Kodak, once a photographic colossus, announced last week that a new organizational structure at the company will include a business unit focused on 3D Printing.
Under this restructuring program, Kodak will create five new business divisions: Print Systems, Enterprise Inkjet Systems, Micro 3D Printing and Packaging, Software and Solutions, and Consumer and Film.
"Kodak has an extraordinary product and service portfolio, groundbreaking scientific and engineering expertise, and a world-famous and highly trusted brand. We now have the right organizational structure for deploying those strengths to drive growth. We designed this structure to sharpen our focus on performance, predictability and accountability for business results," said Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke.
The plan is aimed at making the company faster moving, more competitive and more entrepreneurial.
Founded in 1888 by photography pioneer and innovator George Eastman, Kodak now focuses on imaging hardware, software, consumables like ink-jet printer ink, commercial graphics, and consulting services. Markets include customers in graphic arts, commercial print, publishing, packaging, electronic displays, entertainment and commercial films, and consumer products markets.
The still photography films which formed the core business at Kodak are now a relatively small part of their business. That business essentially fell off markedly with the advent of digital imaging and Kodak's iconic Kodachrome transparency film was discontinued in 2006 after 74 years of production.
Kodak ran into major financial difficulty during the 1990s and during January 2012, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. About a month later, the company said it was ending production of its digital camera, pocket video camera and digital picture frame products to focus on the corporate digital imaging market.
As part of their bid to emerge from bankruptcy, Kodak also sold off a large share of its intellectual property holdings to Adobe Systems, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Samsung.
Philip Cullimore is slated to lead the Micro 3D Printing and Packaging division. The company says that wing will serve packaging customers and display OEM partners with products such as KODAK FLEXCEL NX Systems and Plates, legacy packaging solutions and touch sensor films.