There was no Prosper on the Kodak stand, instead it had a unit to show a preprinted web being printed at high speed with its Prosper inkjet heads with the stand filled with examples of inkjet printing on standard substrates for a wide range of applications from publishing, direct marketing and into packaging on both film and cartonboard.
This is the future for the technology, though nobody in Lucerne could say if Prosper was remaining with Kodak or was about to be sold off. That is with the exception of divisional head and main board director Philip Cullimore and he was not saying.
As a customer Gask & Hawley was present. It has the Prosper heads mounted on an M600 web press and examples where offset and inkjet combine for retail flyers showed that there is no quality penalty from printing inkjet on this type of application.
The secret has proved to be the use of a precoater, either inline or offline with the effect of giving the inkjet a predictable surface to interact with. “When you pretreat the papers you extend the colour gamut of inkjet. You can match a Virgin red for example,” he adds. “You can’t always get that colour gamut any other way. Now a lot of customers are wanting to do coating inline on the Prosper> and for that you need the full complement of dryers.”
The applications table brimmed with samples of newspapers, mail pieces with QR codes for consumers to load a personalised web page and download user specified content. In a newspaper this might include additional video or audio content that a commuter can access on the train journey to work.
There were paper napkins produced on a machine built in Germany using the same inkjet technology. And there were cartons printed in the US for a company that is on the verge of going live with inkjet inline with a flexo press.
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