Miraclon, the new independent home of Kodak Flexcel Solutions, is only a few weeks old, but the company is moving quickly with its strategy for continuing to drive innovation in the flexo package printing sector.
Customers, industry influencers, channel partners and Miraclon team members from around the world are meeting at a series of Flexo Forums in the Americas, Europe and Asia to ask, “What’s Next?’ and focus on the Future of Flexo. With an agenda that covers topics ranging from sustainability requirements to print production efficiency and automation, and the technical innovations that will continue to drive the transformation of flexo into a modern, standardized manufacturing process, the three-day events are designed to harness the views of the full packaging value chain and facilitate ways to work more closely together to achieve a common goal.
Among the guest speakers to date, Philippe Roulet, of Pack & Mat Consult and former Head of Packaging Materials and Training at Nestle, has provided insight into the Brand perspective on innovation with a particular focus on flexible packaging materials and environmental considerations, while Markus Bauschulte, Technical Sales Director at Windmöller & Hölscher shared the company’s views on Industry 4.0 and the future of flexo in the flexible packaging sector. A lively discussion on the needs of Global Brands and how Service Providers can best meet their needs benefitted from Christopher Horton’s and Tim Hirsch’s extensive experience growing service provider companies like SGS and Pacificolor. Leader in packaging innovation Sanjay Patel, formerly with Coca Cola, leveraged his wealth of knowledge to facilitate workshops designed to foster creativity, agility and collaboration.
Awards show reality of transformation
The Forums held in the Dominican Republic and Istanbul brought together winners of the inaugural Kodak Global Flexo Innovation Awards. Representatives of the companies responsible for the twelve winning entries, a blend of prepress specialists, printer-converters and consumer goods print buyers, received their coveted awards in a gala celebration and shared their unique stories in a series of interviews and panel discussions that focused on the value their innovations are bringing to print production operations and brand clients alike. With diverse areas of market focus from flexibles to carton and corrugated box production the innovators truly embody the theme of transformation. Clear proof that the flexo process is firmly establishing itself as the process of choice for packaging is shown by the fact that 11 of the 12 winners had proved to clients that not only can flexo equal the quality of offset and gravure printing but outperform the other processes in workflow efficiency and sustainability. All winning entries were printed with Kodak Flexcel NX Plates.
“Miraclon may be a new name,” says Miraclon CEO Chris Payne, “but we are already a force to be reckoned with. We have a decade of achievement to build on and a global footprint, and most importantly, a forward-thinking team of more than 300 people that are focused on, and passionate about, flexo. The 2008 introduction of the Kodak Flexcel NX System has helped to revolutionize flexo and ignited a constant stream of innovation since then from our R&D teams, our customers and our industry partners that has effectively created a brand-new industry in which flexo is a genuine alternative to offset and gravure. Underpinned by our Kodak Flexcel technology, today’s most capable flexo production offers an unrivalled combination of quality, consistency and printability that more and more brands want in their supply chains – and I’m excited that, collectively, we are not standing still. There is so much more that the flexo process can do and we’re honoured to lead the charge.”