In one of the largest deals of its kind, AST Group of Companies signed with Gulf Commercial Group for 2 Kodak Nexpress 3300 digital machines worth one million US dollars. With the new investment in force, AST is seeking to increase their print quality and enhance the delivery mechanism in force.
The deal, which was unveiled during the Gulf Print and Pack event, includes 2 Nexpress presses that will be installed in the company’s UAE and Qatar branch respectively. The Kodak Nexpress 3300 digital press can print 120 sheets per minute with a resolution of up to 600 dpi. It can also print on different media such as glossy paper, textiles, recycled paper, and on a wide variety of paper used in offset printing.
Mentioning the details, M.G. Ittan, Managing Director of AST said to ME Printer, “We chose Kodak as there is no other machine in the Middle East that can match the quality offered by a Nexpress.”
He added, “This deal was made to meet the different requirements of our customers. Customers here in the Gulf region want things delivered within a matter of hours and to keep up with the deadline we had to expand our facility. It is a proactive decision for our business.”
Expressing his optimism about the market, Ittan said, “We are always optimistic. This big step reflects our confidence in the market, for example, since we opened our branch in Qatar we have recorded an increase in our customer base. This has encouraged us to expand our activities further in digital printing.”
Speaking about the company’s future plans, he said, “We plan to invest in 2 more Nexpress machines within the second half of this year. Right now we are in the process to complete the infrastructure facilities required for those machines. We are also planning to enter the Saudi market and to open a number of branches there. This will be our next major step.”
Nasser Darwazeh, General Manager of Gulf Commercial Group was quite happy with the deal and said, “We are delighted with our partnership with AST group, which has resulted in the installation of 2 Nexpress machines in UAE and Qatar respectively. Apart from this there are upcoming installations, which will be completed by this year end. AST is trying to move to an advanced level in digital printing similar to that available in Europe or in America.”
Detailing about the technical specifications of the machine, Nasser said, “The Nexpress has a fixed print quality regardless of the quantity printed. It can also print on various materials and can print on large paper sizes, which means that it can print on posters, banners and on other large size media.”
“Nexpress 3300 is an advanced printer by Kodak. We have installed 8 presses in the UAE and with this new deal we will have a total of 10 presses in the region. We are planning to add more of these models to the local market because the requirements in the digital print market are growing rapidly,” said Nasser.
“Printing is only half work done; the second half stands completed only when it undergoes finishing procedures and are delivered to the client. AST has the necessary expertise to handle the requirements of the market and its trends. The new investment is a calculated move made by them to move ahead in the digital printing frontier.”
In a separate deal Asiatic Printing Press in Dubai purchased an all new Kodak Trendsetter 800 CTP system. The deal was also announced on the sideline of Gulf Print and Pack 2013.
Speaking about the deal, Vipin Ramachandran Executive Director of Asiatic Printing Press said, “Based on our past experience we believe that Kodak CtP systems is the most reliable and appropriate platesetter for our operations.”
Ramachandran added: “The new platesetter will enable to churn out 30 plates per hour with high quality and precision. On the other hand with updated workflow software we will be able to increase our production.” “
Ramachandran also is satisfied with the fast delivery and commissioning of the machine which only took two weeks.