Winners of Inaugural Kodak Flexo Innovation Awards

Miraclon assembles key innovators to focus on transforming flexo together

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Miraclon, the new independent home of Kodak Flexcel Solutions is moving quickly with its strategy of continuing to drive innovation in the flexo package printing sector. Customers, industry influencers, channel partners and Miraclon team members from around the world will meet at a series of Flexo Forums in the US, 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 and standardized 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, former head of Packaging Materials and Training at Nestle and of Pack & Mat Consult, provided insight into the brand perspective on innovation with a particular focus on flexible packaging materials and environmental considerations. On the other hand, 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 the role of service providers in ensuring the brand owners’ needs are met benefitted from Christopher Horton’s and Tim Hirsch’s extensive experience on the growing role of service provider companies such as SGS and Pacificolor. A leader in packaging innovation Sanjay Patel, formerly with Coca Cola, leveraged his knowledge to facilitate workshops that were 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 winning companies that were a blend of prepress specialists, printer-converters and consumer goods print buyers, received 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 cartons and corrugated box production, the innovators embodied the theme of transformation. Clear proof that the flexo process is firmly establishing itself as the process of choice for packaging was portrayed 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 Chris Payne, chief executive officer of Miraclon, “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 from our R&D teams, our customers and industry partners that effectively created a brand-new industry in which flexo is a genuine alternative to offset and gravure. Underpinned by our Kodak Flexcel technology, the most capable flexo production of the day offers an unrivaled combination of quality, consistency and printability that 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 honored to lead the charge.”