Kodak and Uteco have worked together to develop the Sapphire Evo W, the first flexible packaging press to use Kodak’s Ultrastream continuous-flow inkjet technology.

The first system, with a print width of 1.25m, has already been sold into the market, though the two companies, previous collaborators over the Sapphire Evo, aren’t expected to formally launch their new press until drupa 2020 in Dusseldorf in June next year.

The Sapphire Evo W uses water-based inks, can print short- to medium-run length jobs, and offers production speeds equivalent to analogue presses. The wide-format press will also reportedly allow brands to use digital printing in their conventional flexographic print formats.

‘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’ operation,’ said Uteco Group president and CEO Aldo Peretti. ‘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.’

‘Ultrastream is revolutionising flexible packaging for brands,’ added Randy Vandagriff, vice president at Eastman Kodak Company and president of the company’s Enterprise Inkjet Systems division. ‘Uteco’s application of our technology in its 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.’