First Ultrastream press sold

Jo Francis
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Kodak and Uteco have sealed the first sale of an Ultrastream-powered flexible packaging press, but the details of the customer involved are currently under wraps.

Vandagriff (far left): delivering on promise to have units installed by H2 2020
Vandagriff (far left): delivering on promise to have units installed by H2 2020

Ultrastream is Kodak’s fourth-generation high-speed continuous inkjet technology. It uses water-based inks and is integrated in Uteco’s new Sapphire Evo W flexible packaging press.

The Sapphire Evo W model that has been sold has a print width of 1.25m with a production speed that is said to be “equivalent to analogue presses”. A Kodak spokesperson said the customer had requested anonymity for the time being.

Kodak described the press as “game-changing”. It will have its official debut at Drupa 2020 next summer.

Randy Vandagriff, president of Kodak’s Enterprise Inkjet Systems division, said: “Uteco’s application of our technology in their new press is a game changer and a great example of how Kodak is helping printers to lower their costs and drive efficiency. 

“We are proud to be delivering on the promise we made in February to have units in the market by the second half of 2020.”

The press is targeted at short- to medium-run length work, at a price point that is claimed to be “favourable to flexography”, and Kodak said there was a healthy pipeline of customers interested in it. 

Ultrastream heads are 100mm wide and print 600x1,800dpi at up to 150m/min. The system uses a ‘rail and nest’ system and is simpler and more compact than the earlier Stream inkjet heads.

Aldo Peretti, president and CEO of the Uteco Group, commented: “As the world leader in the production of printing and converting machines for flexible packaging applications, we recognise the need for digital solutions in our customers’ operations.

“Converters and brands expect quality solutions that are sustainable and uphold brand integrity. We are proud to work with Kodak to deliver new technologies that meet such demands and enable growth.” 

Kodak’s Stream inkjet heads are used in Uteco’s existing Sapphire Evo hybrid press.

Kodak plans to bring Ultrastream technology to market by harnessing the capabilities of its OEM partners in a number of markets, including commercial printing, packaging, corrugated, labels and décor.

Picture shows, left to right: Randy Vandagriff; Jim Continenza, executive chairman, Eastman Kodak Company; Aldo Peretti; Riccardo Passerini, sales director Mediterranean & Balkans Region, Enterprise Inkjet Systems, Kodak

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