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Monday, September 22, 2014

Reflex wins industry recognition with Kodak Flexcel NX System technology

Formed in 2002, Reflex has grown to become one of the largest companies of its kind in the UK. Operating in a highly competitive market, Reflex is always keen to consolidate and improve its already strong market position by offering continuous innovation and improvement across its product range, as well as taking advantage of the growing shrink sleeve market.

Upon assessing the market, it quickly became apparent that the Kodak Flexcel NX System offered the technology which Reflex needed to impress its clients, with excellent print quality, impressive capabilities for shrink sleeve applications and affordable operating costs, thanks in part to the Kodak Spotless Flexographic Solution.

Kodak Flexcel NX System has enabled Reflex to deliver outstanding results to customers improving the company’s DNA, and directly contributing to retaining existing clients and attracting new customers.  Reflex’s flexo offering is driving the business forward, helping it win a host of industry awards and raising the company’s profile.

Challenge
Like any successful business packaging specialist Reflex was always looking to offer its clients new innovations and improvements, but it also had two specific goals in mind – firstly to take advantage of the growing shrink sleeve market and secondly to revitalise the flexo side of its business.

Reflex’s, Brand Equity Manager, Adam Lee explained: “We’ve enjoyed some rapid growth since we started the business in 2002 and we’re now one of the biggest companies of our kind in the UK. However that doesn’t make us complacent – far from it, we’re always looking for the next innovation that can allow us to offer something more.

“We know print quality is extremely important to our customers, but equally we know they don’t have bottomless pockets. Therefore we wanted any technology we invested in to be able to deliver affordable packaging for customers, rather than provide an expensive offering only suitable for niche brands.”

Alongside innovation and affordability, Reflex also identified reliability, ease of use and repeatability as key attributes it was looking for in any investment, as Adam explained: “Operationally we needed the kit to be spot on, there’s no point having a box of tricks which promises the earth but needs to be wrapped in cotton wool to perform, and is then temperamental to operate.”

Solution
Upon examining the market, it quickly became clear that the Kodak Flexcel NX System offered a best-in-class solution, with all the innovation Reflex was looking for, along with the practical operational aspects vital to any sound investment.

Kodak Flexcel NX Plates produce excellent print quality on both paper and film substrates, and when used together with the Kodak Spotless Flexographic Solution, they allow spot colours to be reproduced consistently with process colours, thereby negating the need in many cases for spot colour inks. This in turn reduces cost, time to market and production complexity. By simplifying production, reliability and repeatability are increased, both of which bring further benefits.

Adam commented: “This technology means we save considerably on make-ready costs and can increase the amount of time we actually spend printing. However, what is really exciting is the quality of print on shrink materials is such that by using Flexcel NX Plates we can offer a real alternative to gravure, which can of course be prohibitively costly for shorter print runs.

“Typically flexo UV inks are used in these circumstances, but if the shrinkage is too great the ink will ‘crack’ and ruin the appearance of the packaging. By contrast, through the use of Flexcel NX Plates we were able to use solvent-based inks that can cope with a high degree of shrinkage and still deliver outstanding print results. We knew this would open up a huge range of possibilities for our customers.”

Benefits
Just a month after making the decision to invest in their first Kodak Flexcel NX System, Reflex’s new press was installed and fully operational. The reception by Reflex’s clients was extremely positive with many switching production to the new technology. Industry recognition followed at the EFIA Awards, with Reflex’s work receiving Gold, Silver and Bronze for Flexible Print on Paper and Gold for Flexible Print on Film, Silver for Technical Innovation Printer and Gold for Best in Show.

Adam commented: “We were delighted to receive such a raft of accolades so quickly after installing the Flexcel NX System. We received recognition for six separate projects across three clients, which not only helped cement relationships with key customers but also raised our profile dramatically. I can confidently say we’ve both won new business and secured existing clients as a direct result of investing in Kodak Technology. With any innovation we look to it to improve the DNA of our business; Kodak’s product does exactly what it promises to do, and does it reliably and cost effectively.”

Grant Blewett, Kodak Eamer Sales Manager Flexographic Solutions, added: “It’s incredibly rewarding to hear how companies like Reflex are taking Kodak’s technology and using it to drive their business forward. Their experience proves that excellent quality printing is achievable at an affordable cost and needn’t be the preserve of luxury brands. This is particularly true in shrink applications, which we expect to grow in popularity as legislative changes here in the UK and further afield mean brands need to include more information on packaging than ever before.”

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