Kodak and technology partner Uteco Group have sold a second Sapphire Evo hybrid press, this time to a Japanese printing business, Kinyosha.


There will be three Sapphire Evos in operation around the world following the latest sale

The deal was agreed “a few days ago”, according to Uteco president and chief executive Aldo Peretti, and installation is scheduled for dispatch in autumn and is expected to be up and running in October. The Kinyosha site will become a technology centre for Asia.

The first commercial customer is Italian packaging printer and convertor Nuova Erreplast (NE), based in Naples, although the press, , has not yet been installed at the NE site.

It is currently being run at Uteco’s ‘ConverDrome’ at the manufacturer’s base outside Verona, but is expected to be moved to the NE site in March.

The press is being used for demonstrations by Uteco and Kodak. NE expects to have enough work to keep the press running for 10 hours per day by the installation.

The latest sale means there will be three Sapphire Evos in operation around the world, with the first machine running at Kodak’s facility in Dayton, Ohio, US.

The press is targeted at the label and flexible packaging market. It was first shown at Drupa 2016 and is intended to compete with offset technologies in terms of speed and quality while maintaining the versatility of digital technology.

The Sapphire Evo has a 650mm web width, with a 622mm print width and 2,530mm repeat length. Speed is 300m/min and the press is targeted at users producing up to 20m/sqm per annum.

It can print onto a wide range of plastic films as well paper. The configuration is bespoke, and can include flexo and gravure printing units, additional spot colours and inline lamination, as well as the Kodak Stream continuous inkjet heads.

Kodak and Uteco are remaining tight-lipped at the moment in terms of the price of the press, but claim a low total cost of ownership.


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