Tremendous growth in digital photography presents exciting new revenue opportunities for digital print providers. The new KODAK NEXPRESS Photo Bundle features an easy to implement set of components that helps photofinishers and graphic communications providers create valuable photo services products.
The Photo Bundle includes the software and hardware components needed to enhance a KODAK NEXPRESS system for high quality digital photo applications. The professional advisory services, also included, provide tailored assistance, training and workflow consultation.
"Continued growth in custom photo applications among consumers and professional photographers makes this an ideal time for existing or new owners of digital production color presses to expand their businesses with photo services," said Mike Howard, Vice President, Marketing, Kodak’s Graphic Communications Group. "Combining photo applications with digital printing’s strengths in areas such as very short run printing, perfected output and sharp text and graphics creates a more valuable, personalized product. The Photo Bundle facilitates rapid start up and improved return on investment."
With digital camera ownership growing at a high rate, consumers continuously seek new ways to use and display their digital images beyond standard 4×6 in. photo prints. Popular applications include photo books, calendars and greeting cards. According to the Photo Marketing Association (PMA), the value of the custom service market approaches $1 billion and projections call for it to more than double in the next two years.
Photo books, one of the hottest products in the digital photo printing market, generated more than $200 million of sales in 2005, according to PMA. The recent 2006 PMA Camera / Camcorder Digital Imaging Survey shows that 34 percent of households that made custom products created photo books. Personalized photo calendars were the second most popular items at 28 percent of households.
The Photo Bundle consists of a Start Up Assist program, a professional service for shortened time to market with photo products, better operational knowledge for lower cost and improvements on industry-leading up-time performance. Hardware products in the bundle include an upgrade for the KODAK NEXSTATION Front End to improve throughput of large file sizes and one-off production typical of photo services applications; and new Operator Replaceable Components (ORCs) that enable quick access to longer peak performance and reduced maintenance.
Software solutions include premium ICC color profiles designed for optimum photo performance of output with one profile tuned for closest reproduction of professional photographic paper tonescale, color balance, hue and saturation and a second profile tuned for tonescale simulation of photo output but with higher saturation in primaries for consumers and professionals who prefer images with greater ‘pop’ capable on the press. The bundle also provides an add-on module to an industry leading tool, KODAK PROFESSIONAL Digital Print Production software, that allows for greater connectivity between professional lab workflows and a NEXPRESS press; KODAK Custom Color Tools for tuning color profiles; a new photo application creation, ordering and production tool that complements printer or lab workflows and extends it directly out to customers to create products and aggregate demand; and a new screening algorithm for improved color consistency and highlight detail.
Dry inks with improved fade resistance round out the KODAK NEXPRESS Photo Bundle, Important to safeguarding the longevity of any printed color product, these new inks help reduce the damaging effects of light over time.
The KODAK NEXPRESS 2500 digital production color press is the performance model from the KODAK NEXPRESS press family, for high-volume print production environments of up to 1,900,000 pages per month. Customers can upgrade presses as they grow their businesses with options to select desired paper capacity, increase processing capability, and add a fifth imaging unit for delivery of spot color, watermarking and protective coating with the GATF InterTech Award-winning KODAK NEXPRESS fifth imaging unit solutions. The fifth imaging unit solutions also enable high impact glossing in conjunction with the KODAK NEXGLOSSER glossing unit.
Beyond image quality and personalization capabilities, the NEXPRESS press offers a number of other unique advantages for the photo services market, including speed which enables print service providers to deliver on the quick turnaround times that customers want when ordering custom photo applications.
The NEXPRESS press boosts productivity with features such as in-line booklet making and perfecting capabilities. The booklet maker for KODAK NEXPRESS digital production color presses is available in-line or off-line for collating, stitching, folding, trimming, and creating standard or square-back booklets of up to 100 pages. A variety of finishing options and hundreds of qualified substrates allow for a wide range of product configurations and give photo books and other applications a published look and feel.
KODAK products are backed by KODAK Service and Support, Kodak’s worldwide service organization. Named Best Support Organization at the 2006 International Business Awards, KODAK Service and Support includes more than 3000 professionals in 120 countries. These professionals are fully qualified to help customers control costs, maximize productivity, and minimize business risk.