The Future of Nexpress at Kodak

by admin on February 16, 2009

Okay,  so there was a big fuss last week when the Wall Street Journal misheard Perez on whether they were going sell the Nexpress division and other digital products.

The Printceo guys gleefully reported that WSJ had screwed up the reporting and in fact Kodak was forging new alliances like with Ricoh in Europe to push the Nexpress

Okay, so what's really up with the Nexpress? Now, before I continue, be sure to read my post on inkjet presses, just so you know my bias.

Okay, well my opinion on the matter (yeah for what its worth) is that Kodak has given up on selling Nexpress to commercial printers and will be trying to go head-t0-head with Xerox over it's office printing niche. That is to say, whereever there is lot of printing that needs to be done, and you don't see a offset press anymore, that's where they want to put a Nexpress. Now, I don't know if this shift in strategic marketing is a big secret or if they broadcasted this move a year ago and I missed the press release, but hey, it has implications, as they say.

For one thing,  that means offset presses are going to be kicking around a bit longer (oh, I was in suspense over that). Two, you really aren't going to see any big technology advances in the commercial printing industry, at least with hardware for at least five years.

So why is Kodak moving away from commercial printing? Well, besides the obvious fact that proprietary consumables are a tough sell, it probably does n't help that China and the rest of East Asia has gone completely into the crapper. Asia was always supposed to the growth market for printing, and now it's not.

Will Kodak's new strategy of working with alliances to push digital print save the company? I don't know, the answer to that question is above my paygrade. I did some business analysis work for a large financial company that did a lot of inhouse printing in Vancouver, and those guys were as cheap as any offset printer that I've ever met. If Kodak is going to sell Nexpress to those kinds of customers, then they better have one heck of a sharp-looking spreadsheet all drawn up showing exactly how the customer is going to save money with that thing.


JayZ February 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Hey DJ,

I visited a couple of ganging shops that could print short offset runs at low cost and certainly weren’t looking to go digital. However, these digital presses’ claim to fame is variable printing.

Now, maybe things have changed in the almost one year I’ve been out of the graphic arts industry, but variable printing had struck me as a solution looking for a problem. Very few printers were making a successful go at that. I can’t imagine that the current economy is helping, either.


Dave K March 3, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Andy Tribute would beg to differ. He thinks offset is on the decline, and digital print will replace it…

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