Uteco Group, in partnership with Kodak, has announced the commercial availability of the Sapphire Evo digital press. Allowing printers and converters a digital offering without compromising on productivity or economics, the press addresses a full range of low and high volume applications that produce up to 20 m2 per year.
Aldo Peretti, CEO of the Uteco Group, commented: ‘Our customers have been asking for a digital production solution that meets their customer demand for more versions, which is driving shorter run lengths, as well as an economic long run digital solution. Uteco’s rich experience in flexo and gravure printing, film handling, coating and drying, coupled with Kodak’s inkjet expertise, now allows us to deliver a device that combines the capabilities of flexo with digital.’
Stefano Russo, COO of the Uteco Group, added: ‘As the demand for mass versioning and customisation of packaging grows globally, hybrid flexo, gravure and digital printing is becoming a very important part of packaging providers’ offerings. The combination of Uteco and Kodak’s technologies not only delivers a competitive option for digital short run printing, but also competes in medium long print runs. This makes the Sapphire Evo an ideal investment for both label and packaging providers.’
The Sapphire Evo brings digital printing to the production floor with capabilities of printing over 9000 linear metres per hour, with compelling economics. Utilising Kodak Stream Inkjet Technology, it delivers excellent print quality on a variety of packaging films and papers. The Sapphire Evo uses media up to 650 mm in width and prints at up to 622 mm and offers CMYK printing as well as options for in line priming and varnishing.
Using environmentally friendly water based inks to print on a variety of flexible substrates, including BOPP, PET and paper, Kodak’s inks and pre-coating fluids used with the Sapphire Evo complies with regulatory requirements for indirect food contact in the EU and the US, as well as brand specific requirements and the EuPIA exclusion list.
Randy Vandagriff, president and corporate vice president, Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division, Kodak, added: ‘Kodak’s 50 year heritage has delivered the quality, capabilities and cost effectiveness that the commercial print and publishing industry have enjoyed with our Prosper press systems. We are excited to take it further with economical water based inks on flexible films at production speeds. It is great to be working with a partner like Uteco to combine its exceptional expertise with ours to deliver a high end digital production device that offers new opportunities for the flexible packaging industry.’
Sold worldwide, the Uteco Group will begin installation of the first unit in June 2018 at an Italian flexible packaging producer for the industrial and fashion industries.