Atlanta, Georgia, USA


Low chemistry plates make sustainable packaging shine


Leader in sustainable packaging solutions. Employs around 58,000 people worldwide, at more than 300 production facilities


Create impactful packaging for consumer and healthcare products – while reducing costs, lead times, and environmental impact

Kodak Solution


"The jobs we are taking on are becoming increasingly complex. Packaging design is more sophisticated, and we use more colours, foil, embossing or unusual shapes. But we still need to be able to get the artwork transformed for the press – and this is where the versatility of Kodak's ELECTRA MAX Plates comes into play."
Mark Graham, Pre-Production Manager, Food & Beverage, EMEA, WestRock
Westrock ELECTRA MAX Plate
Flying off the shelves: KODAK ELECTRA MAX Plates produce eye-catching packaging


In the hyper-competitive world of consumer goods, products need to grab people's attention in a split second. As packaging printers, WestRock (previously MPS) need versatile plates that can deliver eye-catching finishes, satisfy their sustainability commitments, and reduce their soaring energy bills. With KODAK ELECTRA MAX Plates, they continue to make huge savings in time, energy use, and money — while still wowing their clients.

The Business Need

In the world of fast-moving consumer goods, packaging long since stopped being something simply to house a product. These days, brands demand innovation in packaging graphics so their goods can truly stand out from the competition. WestRock has also found itself accommodating a greater range of SKUs from single brand lines, and working to shorter lead times, as clients rush to get more products to the shelves more quickly.

This is a tough challenge for any printer, but even more so for one that places such a strong emphasis on sustainability.

Companies like WestRock need plates that can consistently produce sophisticated graphic effects, whether that's foil, embossing, extra colors, or unusual shapes and textures, to give their packaging that extra something. They have to do so using print materials, ingredients, and processes that are kind to the planet, and against a backdrop of sky-high energy bills.

In January 2017, WestRock acquired Multi Packaging Solutions (MPS), a New York-based packaging printer with a similar focus on sustainability. The year before, MPS found itself searching for plates that were versatile enough to meet these potentially competing demands.

The Kodak Solution

KODAK ELECTRA MAX Thermal Plates offered them all the performance they were seeking, with no compromises. Kodak's low chemistry plates promised long run lengths in UV applications, with maximum resolutions and fast imaging —all the benefits of UV, without sacrificing any plate performance.

Conventional plates used in UV print environments have to be preheated and postbaked before going to press for long runs, because of the harsh press chemicals to which they will be exposed. ELECTRA MAX Plates offered a compelling alternative: their technology combines the durability of a baked plate with the cost, energy and time savings of a non-bake plate.

ELECTRA MAX Plates also offered greater press productivity, allowing the firm to save energy and money, not least through the removal of ovens from the process. The printer could also expect to get outstanding print quality and color, with extremely sharp detail that would impress print buyers and entice consumers in the aisles.

The Outcome

After a successful initial trial, MPS committed to running only ELECTRA MAX Plates — a decision WestRock stuck with and benefited from.

As the low chemistry plates don't require baking, they generated enormous savings in time and energy for the company, which now achieves extremely long unbaked runs, even in harsh UV print environments. These have reached between 70,000 and 120,000 impressions for their UV applications, depending on the inks they use.

In combination with the firm's KODAK MAGNUS VLF Platesetter and its automated pallet load, the ELECTRA MAX Plates enabled the team to react quickly to clients' changing demands. If they needed to get 100 plates out in a day to keep up with the workload, they could. With no baking, they could move a job through from receiving digital files to printing, in 24 to 48 hours. Any last-minute on-press alterations were suddenly being dealt with in a fraction of the time, again because they could use the plates straight off with no baking.

The team also noted a very clear uptick in the volume of plates they were putting through the processor before it needed to be cleaned.

Kodak's ELECTRA MAX Plates continue to enable all this while still delivering the high-end quality and print innovations to satisfy WestRock's most exacting retail clients — and their customers.

"We started by looking at energy savings across the site and what we could do to make reductions. Running an oven 24/7 had huge cost implications. Our energy bills were sky high, so we started to talk to Kodak about how they could help."
Mark Graham, Pre-Production Manager, Food & Beverage, EMEA, WestRock
"We work with our clients to explore innovative ways to give their packaging graphics an extra dimension. But at the same time, we are committed to earth-friendly products, technologies and manufacturing processes. Sustainability is important to us, and to a lot of our clients."
Mark Graham, Pre-Production Manager, Food & Beverage, EMEA, WestRock
"ELECTRA MAX Plates, in combination with our MAGNUS VLF Platesetter, allow us to react quickly to whatever demands are put upon us. I might need to get 100 plates out in a day to keep up with the workload. We can move a job through, from receiving digital files to printing, in 24 to 48 hours."
Mark Graham, Pre-Production Manager, Food & Beverage, EMEA, WestRock
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