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NexPress Substrate Qualification Program

The Kodak NEXPRESS qualification program consists of several testing components, as defined by Kodak NEXPRESS and performed by trained PAL technologists. These components are a mix of evaluations of adhesion, runnability, performance/transfer stability, and print quality. Testing is performed only after the Kodak NEXPRESS has undergone daily and weekly calibrations to ensure its performance falls within a controlled window of expectations for testing.

RIT’s Kodak NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Press Substrate Qualification is a fee-based program for the evaluation of substrates on Kodak’s NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Press platform.  Upon successful completion of the on-press evaluation and confirmation of the recorded press performance information recorded during the evaluation by Kodak NEXPRESS, a parameterized script file including ICC cluster assignment is assigned to the substrate. This substrate script allows for effortless installation of the substrate with optimized performance set-points on any Kodak NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Press. These script files generated from successful qualifications are distributed worldwide through the official Kodak NEXPRESS qualified substrate catalog to Kodak NEXPRESS owners and operators.

Program Overview

The Kodak NEXPRESS qualification program consists of several testing components, as defined by Kodak NEXPRESS and performed by trained PAL technologists. These components are a mix of evaluations of adhesion, runnability, performance/transfer stability, and print quality. Testing is performed only after the Kodak NEXPRESS has undergone daily and weekly calibrations to ensure its performance falls within a controlled window of expectations for testing.

Upon receipt of both the substrate and the application datasheet, the supplied substrate is acclimated to the TAPPI condition testing laboratory for a minimum of 24 hrs. Following acclimation, substrate properties are measured and verified in PAL’s Print Materials Analysis Lab. Testing on the NEXPRESS s3000 is then performed using the following six tests:

  1. SIC evaluation: Calibrates timing of feeding and duplexing if relevant to the press. If a SIC evaluation cannot be run successfully, then it is not possible to complete the qualification.
  2. NMR evaluation: This test calibrates the fusing section of the press by adjusting both the width of the fuser NIP and the temperature at which the fuser runs. This results in a specific combination of NIP and Temperature specific to the supplied substrate and validates that good adhesion and optimum image vs sheet gloss has been obtained.
  3. EFR evaluation: This tests determines the optimal Energy Flow setting for this substrate at the calibrated NIP and fuser temperature. Additionally this run of 600 simplex sheets must be completed without interruption due to factors of runnability.
  4. 3 SIC evaluation: 3 additional SIC timing runs are completed with the applied optimal fuser settings from the NMR and EFR runs. Performance information from these calibrations is captured and supplied to Kodak for final approval of the substrate qualification.
  5. ASP evaluation: Collects the data from 512 prints, either simplex or duplex (256 sheets) based on the paper properties. The performance information collected is supplied to Kodak for final approval of the substrate.
  6. ICC Cluster Assignment: After running another calibration to reduce the appearance of banding within the prints, evaluation sheets consisting of three sets of images are run with three profiles. These prints are evaluated under standardized lighting by a team of technologists to determine which of the three relevant profiles produces the best result on the target substrate. When the team has reached agreement, the identified ICC cluster is assigned to the target grade.

Following completion of the physical qualification tests, the information collected during the tests is supplied to Kodak, who analyzes the data and gives a final approval on the qualification, and generates the script files for the grade.

At this point, the script files, a certificate of qualification, a detailed report, and a qualified substrate logo are provided to the customer, and the scripts for the qualified grades are added to Kodak’s worldwide qualified substrate catalog.

Official Qualified Substrate catalog

RIT proudly hosts the Kodak NEXPRESS Worldwide Qualified Substrate Catalog in support of Kodak Digital Production Color Press owners and operators. Qualified substrates are added to the catalog after they have completed the testing and at the approval of the submitting company. Substrates may be removed from the catalog if they have not been successfully re-qualified within the last 4 years.

Pricing & Basic Requirements

Full Qualification                                                                  $1,900 per substrate
   (Quantity discounts are available; inquire for more information) 

Number of Sheets Required for Qualification                   3000

Sheet Size Required for Qualification                                 12” x 18”
   (Size tolerance should not exceed +/- 1mm)

Acceptable Sheet Thickness Range                                     50 - 400 µm
   (Synthetic Fiber sheets are limited to 50 - 125 µm)

Acceptable Uncoated Substrate Grammage Range           59 - 352 gsm
Acceptable Coated Substrate Grammage Range               80 - 352 gsm

Additional Testing

In addition to substrate qualification, PAL also supports customized evaluations on the Kodak NEXPRESS; this can include, but is not limited, to:

  • Adhesion Evaluation
  • Runnability Evaluation
  • Image Quality Evaluation
  • Benchmarking Samples
  • Complaint Validation

Testing outside of qualification is billed at the PAL hourly rate of $365 an hour.

Additional Information 

For more information on the Kodak NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Press Substrate Qualification Program,
please consult our program brochure by clicking on the press below:

RIT Kodak NEXPRESS
Program Brochure

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