Kodak introduces SONORA X Plates
The new Sonora X plates can enable up to 80% of offset printers to benefit from process free platemaking
KODAK SONORA X Process Free Plate builds on all the advantages of Kodak’s process free technology, while adding significant technology advances that remove the barriers to process free that previously existed for printers that have demanding performance requirements.
With longer run length, faster imaging, and more robust handling capabilities than other process free plates, SONORA X Plates can be used for nearly any application that is typically printed with an unbaked processed plate.
Kodak estimates that up to 80% of the offset print market will now be able to go process free, including large commercial sheetfed printers, heatset and coldset web printers, offset packaging printers, and printers using UV and low-energy UV. In addition, the new SONORA X-N Process Free Plate extends the technology to medium and large newspaper printers.
SONORA X Plates can print two to six times longer than KODAK SONORA XP Plates, depending on application, and improved exposure sensitivity ensures that printers can maximize platemaking throughput on even the fastest platesetters on the market.1 A proprietary enhanced anodizing and coating technology increases the robustness of the plate, so it can withstand highly automated or fast-paced operating environments, where plate durability is crucial.
Since Kodak first commercialised its process free technology in 2005 thousands of printers have chosen to simplify their platemaking with Kodak’s process free plates, eliminating plate chemistry and the burdens of maintaining and running a processor.
Over this period, Kodak has continued to enhance the capabilities of its process free plates, rolling out SONORA XP and SONORA NEWS Plates in 2012. Kodak’s leadership with process free technology continues with the SONORA X and SONORA X-N Plates which will become available worldwide in Q2 2018. These new plates complement the existing SONORA Plates portfolio.
“Kodak’s goal is to make printing more sustainable and to make it profitable for all printers by eliminating processing and chemicals from platemaking,” said Brad Kruchten, president, print systems division, Kodak.
“SONORA X delivers a breakthrough for process free technology. The dramatic improvements to run length and handling enable the market fit for process free to expand to up to 80% of the market, thus making Sonora X truly mainstream.”
Ralf Lokay, owner of Druckerei Lokay in Germany, a previous user of SONORA XP Plates and one of the first printers to test and convert to SONORA X Plates, stated: “Sustainability is a business advantage for our company, from how we heat our facility to how we print for our customers. In fact, over 75% of our customers print with Lokay because of our strong commitment to sustainability, and SONORA Plates play an important role here.
"Since converting to process free plates, we have reduced water consumption by more than 30% and have eliminated all chemicals. We do all of this while producing the highest quality output for our customers.”
With both economic growth and environmental sustainability determinedly front-of-mind when it comes to printers’ strategic investments, Kodak is forecasting the trend to process free plates to continue and anticipates that 30% of the company’s plate volume will be process free by 2019.