A freshly emerged Kodak and a brand new Technology and Solutions Centre combined to make the 8th Graphic Users Association of Kodak Solutions (GUA) Conference an upbeat event with a positive market outlook.
More than 160 attendees were welcomed by Chris Payne, Kodak’s Vice President of Marketing, who highlighted the importance of the GUA and presented the latest update on the company and its emergence.
Karsten Müller, President of the GUA, added, “As a board of customers, the GUA works to ensure that we are equipped with the latest knowledge and expertise to help one another. To do this, we actively engage Kodak to help us find solutions to our real-world business and technical challenges.”
That is one of the reasons why this event for the first time featured a whole track dedicated to the ground-breaking KODAK Stream Inkjet Solutions that drive future growth and long-term success, provided an overview of the technology. The many and varied market opportunities possible were detailed by Tobias Kuhn General Manager Bild Ost and Central Projects. He explained how hybrid printing and the 33 installed KODAK PROSPER S30 Imprinting System were helping Axel Springer connect the printed product with online communication. In one of the breakouts, a member of the project team, Wolfgang Hoffmann, went on to explain all the aspects of introducing such technology into daily newspaper manufacturing.
Innovation leads to business generation
Anthony Thirlby, Managing Director of ESP Colour, discussed how he put this ethos into action with KODAK PRINERGY Workflow System to streamline the receipt and processing of incoming customer files, to become the most productive Heidelberg Speedmaster XL user in the world. Further highlights of day two included Philip Cullimore, Regional Managing Director at Kodak EAMER, explaining how Kodak’s technology can help customers innovate to successfully grow their business.
Other conference tracks included one dedicated to workflow, an exclusive Kodak partner track and one for packaging. The Uteco Group joined the event for the first time to share its approach to transforming flexible packaging production by combining its press technology with KODAK PROSPER S20 Imprinting Systems.
The event also offered the possibility for customers such as Meydis and Mailfactory to share their perspective as well as the ability to participate in classroom sessions and hands on demonstrations of the latest workflow, CTP and digital solutions. These included the KODAK SONORA XP Process Free Plate that totally eliminates plate processing equipment and processing chemistry.
True market data intelligence and simplifying colour management were also covered while there was the chance to look closer at the extensive range of KODAK Unified Workflow Solutions such as the newly-launched KODAK PRINERGY Workflow version 6 with Advanced Preflight in well-attended classroom presentations.
Increased partner participation
Gudrun Alex, Marketing Director Commercial Business & Shared Services, Kodak EAMER said, “One of the main attractions of the conference was the range and quality of Kodak presenters that participated across product management and product marketing, from the regions and worldwide. The number of partners and customers sharing their stories increased this year too giving the conference a much broader market perspective. We were very pleased at how well-attended the classroom sessions were, giving us the perfect opportunity to share the latest features and enhancements in our product portfolio.”
Another conference highlight was the tours of Kodak’s new Technology Centre that gave customers and partners alike the opportunity to ask questions.
Finally, the event was attended by a very special guest - Natasha Bates, a UK school pupil who was this year’s PrintIT! overall winner. Attendance at the GUA was part of her prize for impressing the judges with a print-based program designed to promote Fairtrade products for a supermarket.
“The whole conference was extremely well-received,” added Mrs. Alex. “It was especially encouraging to see real industry enthusiasm for an event that has become a must attend for many Kodak customers and partners.”
The GUA is a worldwide, independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering users of KODAK Solutions with the tools and information needed for business success. The
European branch of the Association Board, which governs the activities of the European association, is made up of nine Kodak customers and two Kodak representatives. Membership to the GUA is automatic when delegates attend the conference and free of charge to all users of KODAK Equipment.