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Kodak’s high-volume NexPress platform to the next level, Words by Nessan Cleary

What does it do?
Kodak’s Nexfinity press is the next generation of the NexPress, designed to ensure that Kodak’s digital presses remain a serious contender for high-volume work. It’s a colour sheetfed press using Kodak’s proven dry toner imaging system.
It’s designed for a broad range of applications including direct mail, commercial print, publishing, and packaging. Kodak expects most of these presses to print between 750,000 to 2 million A4 equivalent sheets per month.

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?
The Nexfinity is a brand new press, having been announced just a few months ago, in March 2018. Consequently, it is only just starting to ship in Western Europe, as well as North America.

Specifications
Speed: 120ppm A4 single-sided
Resolution: 1,200dpi
Max sheet size: 356x520mm (356x1,219mm with optional feeder)
Media weight: 60-457 gsm
Colour stations: Five
DFE: Kodak
Contact: www.kodak.com

How does it work?
It will take coated and uncoated media, including offset stocks, up to 457gsm as well as some synthetics. It can handle sheets up to 356x520mm. There’s an optional feeder, available for the Nexpress ZX, that allows for sheets up to 1.2m in length and papers up to 610 microns.

How does it differ from previous products?
The Nexfinity builds on the existing NexPress design but, benefits from a new multi-bit LED writing system, giving 1,200dpi and 256 levels of exposure on the imaging cylinder. There are integrated processors in each of the LED writers to process image data in real time to correct images on the fly.
This takes advantage of Kodak’s new Dynamic Imaging Technology, which is a halftone screening system that applies algorithmic adjustments to specific areas of an image to optimise image quality and consistency based on the image content in each area. This should allow for crisp text, hard lines, soft skin tones and bright skies to co-exist on the same page.
Another advantage of the LED writing system is that key items such as imaging cylinders and blanket cylinders will have longer lives due to the harder dot structure.

How productive is it?
Kodak quotes 120ppm A4 for the standard configuration, though, currently the press runs at 100ppm. It says that all Nexfinity presses will be upgraded to run at 120 and then 140ppm in the next 12 months.
The optional sheet feeder also takes larger 660mm sheets, allowing for more A4 pages per sheet, currently equivalent to 109ppm but up to 152 ppm within the year.

What is the USP of the product?
According to Kodak, the unique selling point of this press is its consistent high quality at low running cost, with Kodak quoting the cost per A4 page as being less than $0.01.

How easy is it to use?
Kodak continues to improve the component lives and related maintenance, along with automating as much as possible, depending on workflow requirements.

What training and support is on offer?
As with NexPress, initial operator training is one week at a Kodak facility, followed by one week of start-up assistance at the customer site. Kodak offers additional on-site assistance as necessary, and specific training for new options such as extended media and new fifth stations. This is in addition to the NexPert Operator Support System that is built in to the DFE and online video segments of tips and tricks on running the best press in the world.

How much does it cost?
The Nexfinity is listed as €750,000, which works out as £662,000.

What is the sales target and how many are installed?
There are currently two running at customer sites and Kodak is installing more, but none in the UK so far.

Alternatives
Xerox iGen5
Xerox’s iGen has long been the main competitor to the Kodak presses. The latest iGen5 is available in several different versions running from 90ppm up to 150ppm, with each one capable of being upgraded to the higher speeds. It also boasts an optional fifth unit with a range of colours and effects available.
Speed: 150ppm A4 single-sided
Resolution:  2,400dpi

Ricoh Pro C9210
Ricoh has only just announced its latest production press, the Pro C9200. There are two models: the C9200, which can produce up to 115ppm A4 and average monthly volumes of 245,000 sheets; and the C9210, 135ppm A4, AMV of 300,000 A4 sheets. It’s also sold by Heidelberg as the Versafire EP, with an option for the Prinect DFE.
Speed 135ppm A4 single-sided
Resolution 2,400x4,800 dpi