In 2017, Ohshika Printing became Japan’s first printing company to receive the coveted Kodak Green Leaf Award. It’s an honor well deserved for this 117-year-old printing company. Ohshika is a leader in UV packaging printing for a slew of popular Japanese snack brands and consumer goods.
Since 2001, the company has made significant strides to reduce their environmental impact. At the company’s six manufacturing sites, they have taken steps to reduce their energy consumption through the use of LED lighting, the installation of solar panels and they use hybrid cars for the company fleet.
When Kodak first introduced the SONORA XJ Process Free Plates in 2015, Ohshika saw the potential to expand on its commitment to run a more sustainable printing operation. But as a UV printer, Ohshika was cautious about switching to a new plate system, let alone a relatively unproven process-free technology that could also handle the rigorous demands required for UV printing.
“While we saw the potential for the significant energy savings and elimination of processing could deliver, we were not confident that SONORA could handle the demands of our UV presses and provide the quality our customers demand.”
The company’s caution turned to excitement after Ohshika began a thorough testing period. On an average month, the presses consume 5,000 plates to serve the needs of hundreds of its customer’s packaging jobs. Ohshika set a benchmark for testing at 30,000 impressions per plate. After a week of testing, SONORA proved it was fit for the job. The test demonstrated the UV plates are capable of delivering longer run lengths for UV print applications than any other process free plate by offering consistent quality across 30,000 impressions.
Mr. Hiroyuki Furuta, General Manager at Ohshika, said, “After the test, we felt confident that SONORA UV was the right fit for our operation. It can handle the complex and challenging jobs that we do everyday for our customers, while also delivering a significant benefit to our bottom line and impact on the environment.”
Since the initial testing period, Ohshika changed all of their plates to 100% SONORA XJ.
Mr. Nobuyoshi Hamatake, General Manager of Production Department, commented on the transition. “I was worried that the move to a new plate would be challenging for my team, but with Kodak’s support, we were up and running very quickly. The transition was quite seamless for our company.”
The adoption of SONORA XJ is also hitting the bottom line for Ohshika by helping the company eliminate chemical waste, all the costs associated with the disposal of hazardous liquids, and the related maintenance costs for the developer to the tune of 5 million Yen annually. In addition to the significant environmental improvements, Mr. Furuta and his team have been delighted by the on-machine image quality, especially with their oil-based printing and UV printing presses. Ohshika’s steady commitment over the past ten years to continuously invest in reducing their operations burden on the local environment has been good for business and the community they serve.