Kodak seeking partners to extend Stream applications

By Simon Nias and Melanie Defries, Tuesday 13 December 2011

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Kodak has announced plans to capitalise on its Stream inkjet technology through partnerships with printers and other print equipment manufacturers.

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The manufacturer has formed a new business unit called Inkjet Technology Partnerships (ITP), which will work with customers and other equipment suppliers to build bespoke applications based on the Stream technology, which forms the core of its Prosper range.

The move follows last month's launch of Heidelberg's Stahlfolder Flexomailer, a "revolutionary" mailing line which combines Heidelberg technology with Kodak's Prosper S10 inkjet printheads and a perfecting module from Popp.

UK printers have also been creating their own custom platforms using Kodak's technology, with Anton Group integrating the Prosper S5 printheads with a Scitex flatbed printer and Lettershop creating its own hybrid press combining four-colour litho and the Prosper S10 printheads.

ITP will offer flexible technology packages combining the printheads, inks, data contoller, as well as its implementation expertise, integration and workflow, while partners will bring "valuable insight into the requirements of their markets", as well as their expertise and brand equity.

The decision to work with third parties who have a better understanding of and are more closely involved with specific markets would appear to address the problem raised by Kodak chief executive Antonio Perez in the manufacturer's Q2 conference call, when he stated that Kodak had not fully appreciated the range of applications its customers wanted to use the Prosper for.

ITP will target companies ranging from equipment suppliers to large print providers that require tailored solutions. Potential applications range from commercial print and packaging to functional printing with applications such as product decoration.

ITP general manager Ronen Cohen said: "This business is part of our expanding portfolio in digital printing, and these new inkjet packages and interfaces make Kodak’s imaging technology easy to drop into almost any solution our partners may be working on.

"It’s not just about putting ink on paper, it is about collaborative relationships with market leaders that enable us to bring new and innovative solutions into a market that is experiencing dramatic change."


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