Kodak has expanded its manufacturing of the Sonora plate at German and China plants, while announcing plans to phase out plate production at its facility in Leeds, United Kingdom.
The investment into Sonora plate manufacturing is in response to what Kodak describes as an increased demand for its process-free printing plates. More than 450 Kodak customers around the world currently use Sonora plates. In Europe, Kodak has invested in its Osterode, Germany, plant with an upgraded Sonara plate manufacturing line. The Osterode plant began shipping Sonara plates in November 2013.
In Asia, Kodak has completed an upgrade of its Xiamen, China, plant to begin producing Sonora Plates. Kodak also states it is currently selecting another plate-production site to better serve customers in the Americas.
“This is our strategy to win and best serve customers in the printing plate market,” stated Brad Kruchten, Kodak’s President of Graphics, Entertainment & Commercial Films. “The technology strength of our Kodak Sonora process-free plates, combined with our plan to increase production capacity and locate our manufacturing closer to customers, will enable us to serve the many customers who are embracing this product.”
As part of its strategic, global manufacturing plan, Kodak is to phase out production at its Leeds plant, beginning that process in the third quarter of 2014 and completing it in mid- to late-2015. As a result of the action, Kodak expects to incur total charges of $30 to $40 million.
“Our employees in Leeds have a long history of capably serving our customers with the quality products they have come to expect from Kodak,” stated Robert Price, General Manager of Worldwide Plate Operations. “However, with the investments we made last year in the new high-speed manufacturing line, the capacity of our Osterode plant can now meet future demand growth from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”