Uteco and Kodak ready to install first hybrid Sapphire Evo press

Hybrid mid-web Uteco press features Kodak’s Stream inkjet


Uteco and Kodak are ready to install the first hybrid Sapphire Evo press for label and flexible packaging, featuring Kodak’s Stream inkjet technology at an as yet undisclosed Italian customer who works for the industrial and fashion segments. The Sapphire Evo will also be shown running starting from 2 and 3 May on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of May at the Uteco ConverDrome at the Uteco R&D Technologies Centre.

First shown at drupa 2016, the Sapphire Evo has a 622 print width on a 650 mm web width and a repeat length of 2,530 mm. The press runs at a speed of 9000 linear meters an hour targeting converters who will use it to produce labels and flexible packaging of up to 20 million square meters annually on a wide range of plastic films as well as paper. Readers will recall that Uteco showed the slower Gaia inkjet digital press at the last Labelexpo in Brussels that used eBeam curing for short-run flexilbe packaging.

The made-to-order configurations can include flexo and gravure printing units, additional spot colors and inline lamination, as well as the Kodak Stream continuous inkjet heads for high-speed variable printing. Uteco Group chief executive Aldo Peretti has said the Sapphire Evo can provide mass versioning, shorter run lengths, and even long-run digital work efficiently and economically.

Water-based inkjet inks for indirect food contact
Kodak’s water-based inks and pre-coating fluids used by its Stream inkjet arrays on the Sapphire Evo to print at production speeds on flexible films also comply with EU and US regulatory requirements for indirect food contact.

The quality is claimed to be excellent with CYMK process printing as well as options for in-line priming and varnishing. The live demonstrations at the Uteco R&D Centre will take place on 2-3 May, 9-10 May, 16-17 May and 23-24 May from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., including a short presentation and lunch.