Miraclon bullish on flexo prospects

Jo Francis
Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fresh setup Miraclon aims to “lead the transformation of the packaging business” with its water-based flexo plate system.

The business was established earlier this year when Montagu Private Equity acquired Kodak’s flexo business in a $340m (£276m) deal.

The new company, Miraclon, still uses the Kodak and FlexCel brand names.

At this week’s Labelexpo show the firm officially launched the solvent-free processing FlexCel NX Ultra to the European market.

Chief executive Chris Payne said: “We are a tech company and our goal is simply to transform the way packaging print is created.

“We decided to use the Kodak brands because our customers know the brand well and what it stands for. We are bringing the heritage of Kodak to this new business, the technology and the team is the same.”

Payne likened FlexCel NX to PostScript as being “a similar enabler” for the flexo industry.

Director of marketing and communications Emma Schlotthauer said the FlexCel NX system was helping brand clients “improve quality and drive time to market".

"The improvements deliver meaningful benefits for brand clients,” she stated.

She said that the Miraclon team had cracked the previous quality and consistency issues that had held back water-based processing.

“NX Ultra is a completely aqueous processing environment. Our team has invented and patented Kodak Ultra Clean technology. The whole platemaking process takes under an hour.”

Miraclon has six beta sites for FlexCel NX Ultra, four in the US and two in Europe. Payne said the firm was building up its support infrastructure and planned to scale-up and target broader markets after Drupa.

“This is a growth business and we’re investing. We’re investing $20m on a new plate line at Weatherford [in the USA] and we’re setting up a European HQ in Brussels,” he added.

The firm has also lauded UK FlexCel NX users Reproflex 3, which worked in combination with printer Roberts Mart to match gravure quality using flexo; and Pulse Media for “significantly exceeding” litho laminate results with flexo.

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