Brendan Perring of Print Monthly recently profiled the launch of the Kodak Prosper 6000 and a new machine that inkjets 'nano' ink by drawing comparisons with the much promoted, but still unfinished Landa technology. It was an excellent piece of journalism and it got me thinking...
1) This is a great story of innovation through adversity. Nobody had ever really questioned the quality of Kodak products, and clearly the company has retained some quality people. As they come out of a difficult period it seems they have created a product that is of the moment and a compelling proposition.
2) I also think the approach to market is in complete contrast to Landa. And to some extent it reminds me of the Aesop Fable story of the Tortoise and the Hare. (for a reminder of this story please check out http://bit.ly/1n8yed1. Clearly the marketing job Landa achieved with their amazing launch at Drupa in 2012 was spellbinding, but their technology has taken longer than expected to reach the market. Meanwhile, Kodak quietly works away and without fanfare, launches their version of nanography with a fully working machine and seemingly pip Landa to the finishing post. You can understand this frustrating Landa - despite the processes being different, it will have both surprised and irritated them I am sure.
3) Lastly it demonstrates just how versatile inkjet is. We saw this at the InPrint Show. Despite the inkjet process being fundamentally about 'squirting' ink onto a substrate, it is an amazing and proven technology that is being used in a growing array of technologies and applications, and it is not just confined to paper!
Whether the tortoise, or the hare, wins the battle in the end, remains to be seen - but Kodak have certainly got a decent head start in the race.
To read Brendan's piece click here http://www.printmonthly.co.uk/News/Presses/2495/kodak-fights-back-and-claims-nanotechnology-ink
And an article including Landa's response is here http://www.printmonthly.co.uk/NewsStory.aspx?i=2497