Kodak NEXFINITY – More than just a new paint job?

Marc Mascara
Mar 12, 2018

On February 28th to March 1st, during Oscar week in Rochester NY, Kodak opened the Kodak Center to 250 printers, distributors, media, designers and publishers. With an unbelievably warm 60-degree winter day in Western NY, Kodak hosted over two days of product session, industry speakers and customer panels.

Flexcel NX Sample

Attendees would hear firsthand about new product innovations from Kodaks Print Systems Division regarding processless plates, digital printing and functional printing categories. While the event would mainly focus on Sonora printing plates and the Nexpress digital press, other Kodak divisions were also represented.

On hand at the technology fair were:

  • William Schweinfurth represented the Flexographic Solutions with Flexcel NX samples.
  • Joan Taylor and Carlos Muniz were on hand for the Unified Workflow Solutions with demonstrations of the latest in Prinergy Workflow offerings.
  • Stream and UltraStream products were represented by Randy Vandergrif from the Enterprise Inkjet Systems with Prosper Press literature and samples. Preliminary samples of Kodaks UltraStream technology was also on hand, that looked very promising.

    Transparent antenna demo

  • Carolyn Ellinger demonstrated Kodaks latest technology play in material science and deposition with a demo of their transparent antenna application.
  • Demian Gawianski rounded out the fair with a Portrait 3D Printer.

The two-day event labeled Taking PRINT Further focused on sustainability, profitability, simplicity, growth, transformation and partnering. Kodak’s main message centered around how they are focusing on removing cost from their customer’s manufacturing process. With processless printing plates like Sonora, the cost savings becomes quickly evident which remove associated costs in chemistry, processors, water, waste disposal, electricity and floor space. With digital presses like the Nexpress the story is a little more nuanced.

Strategy beneath the new paint job!


In the week following the official launch of the Kodak NEXFINITY Press platform, opinions on forums and boards have ranged from one end of the spectrum to the other. So just what is underneath that new paint job? Peel back the new press cover and you discover a bold strategy and advanced technology planted as the cornerstone of the NEXFINITY platform.

Kodak along with its competitive electrophotographic counterparts (in the heavy production class) are facing increasing competitive pressures from production inkjet systems, mid-volume EP and yes, traditional offset. Each in their own way addressing lower cost per page, increased print quality and a broadening range of new supported substrates. As a strategy, Kodak is addressing the competitive pressures head on, not only for Kodak as an equipment supplier, but also for the existing Kodak Nexpress customer base.  During the NEXFINITY panel discussion, David Bettiol, Director or Engineering & Services for Kodaks Print Systems Division, conveyed how important it was when developing the NEXFINITY platform to focus on customer serviceability and extending component life. Having a robust printing platform meant designing a writing system that would perform with results that extend component life, overcame print run nonuniformity all with increased impression cylinder life while increasing the top speed to 152ppm.

Kodaks response to the competitive pressures:

  • More productivity with production speed up to 152ppm – increasing billable printed product
  • Increasing component life – lower total running cost, increased uptime
  • Advanced writing system – higher quality and extended range of print applications.

All part of the “taking PRINT further” with profitability.

Taking Print Further

While the initial beta customers on the panel expressed the normal hiccups during their test period, they also confirmed a sizeable increase in machine uptime equating to better performance and longer component life. The NEXFINITY platform design is addressing ease of serviceability for operator replaceable components and increasing the productivity of the customers self-serviceability.

But what about growth? Kodak realizes that not only do they have to help their customers stay competitive they also have to help them grow. While the NEXFINITY and its 5th color imaging station was designed to compete with Xerox, HP and Canon, it will also accelerate the migration of offset pages to digital, providing an excellent growth opportunity for its users. CMYK+ with digital equipment has taken off over the past year providing printers with new opportunities for growth and higher value product offerings. NEXFINITY raises the bar for CMYK+ contributing to Kodak’s claim of producing the broadest range of applications in its class. The press print stations are built on rails which allow for a quick change of the print sequence and use of a range of special color options. Kodak claims a general sequence change of all stations can be performed between 20-30 min depending on the order.  This ability opens the possibility for numerous creative design effects based on sequencing as opposed to a constrained special color station. Tad Carpenter of Carpenter Collective presented “Passion for Print” at the opening of the event and reaffirmed to the audience how valuable CMYK+ is to the design community and how it opens a whole new world of on-demand opportunity as never before. Kodak is working with the design communities to educate them on the capability’s that are now possible with digital print and driving home the new reality that something that would take days to produce on offset can now be produced within hours on NEXFINITY.

Finally, NEXFINITY is building on simplicity and incorporating the trends of Industry 4.0. Kodak continues to build in machine intelligence and automation, migrating once manual operations from the DFE to the machine components. Image writing components are becoming more intelligent making intelligent adjustments on the fly, correcting for image smoothness, be it from Kodak patented Dynamic Imaging Technology to Smart RGB, the NEXFINITY platform is utilizing sensors and vision components to streamline production and reduce operator intervention.

The two-day event closed with a tour of the Kodak Business Part campus and the new Kodak demonstration facility, with a hands-on demo of the NEXFINITY Press. Kodak has had their ups and downs over the past few years but sufficed to say a glimmer of the historic Kodak values were evident during the event.  Customer profitability, advanced technology, operational excellence, NEXFINITY captures the historic values of Kodak and Taking PRINT Further.

NEXFINITY customer sample

The first shipment of a commercially available NEXFINITY Press is expected to ship April 2018. Kodak noted a MSRP at $885K US.







If you have stories to share, reach out to me! @Marc_Mascara on Twitter, on LinkedIn, or Marc.Mascara@KeypointIntelligence.com to reach me. For more information on how to gain access to our research, market sizing & forecasts, or how to subscribe to our Production Print or other services, contact Deanna Flanick today at Deanna.Flannick@KeypointIntelligence.com!


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