Tuttle Litho Customers Embrace Fujifilm Digital Technology
Monday, November 12, 2001
HANOVER PARK, Ill. Anticipating two years to fully implement his new CTP system, Norm Tuttle, president of Madison, Wis.-based Tuttle Lithography, was pleasantly surprised when the new system was 100 percent in just three months. The direct-to-plate installation, which included a Fujifilm Dart Luxel T6000 CTP thermal platesetter and a PictroProof digital contone proofer, took place in March — adding electronic prepress to the company’s growing list of commercial printing capabilities. "We had been outsourcing all of our prepress work, so we went from zero prepress to computer-to-plate in a few months," Tuttle explains, attributing the extra-quick installation time to the expertise of his new prepress manager, Garrison Arsenault, as well as the technical support he received from Fujifilm and his local distributor. Specializing in sales catalogs, marketing and promotional material, as well as stolcastic printing (a form of screening used for fine art prints), color and clarity are critical to Tuttle Litho operations — which is one of the main reasons Tuttle says he chose Fujifilm technology. He spent "six intense months" checking out various CTP systems, from workstations to workflow and color management systems, before making his decision. He selected the Dart because it offers high speed and repeatability, and emphasizes the importance of the latter. "The plate accuracy is right-on," he says. "We had to make some initial color management adjustments when it was installed, but once we tweaked it, we were able to make a plate that matched the proof." Tuttle customers were then called in for test runs, the owner explains. "All of our customers bought into it right away. They were very happy with the PictroProof. They were happy with the entire concept of CTP — that we were giving them a better product, faster and with less expense," Tuttle contends, noting that was the end of film. "We disconnected the camera and had the film processor shipped out." The PictroProof got his customers’ thumbs-up "because it’s a good-color, good-quality proof," Tuttle says. "And, it’s economical. Our customers immediately embraced it." Using Fujifilm’s proprietary Thermal Development and Transfer Technology (a laser diode-exposed imaging process), the PictroProof simulates commercial printing ink with CMY donor material and receiver paper. Replicating the color and feel of an analog proof (without any chemicals or toners), the PictroProof offers Tuttle Litho other benefits, such as quick print time, ease-of-operation and low maintenance. Tuttle claims the Dart is also a low-maintenance, operator-friendly machine, and notes the CTP transition was easier because his pressmen didn’t have to readjust the presses to switch from conventional to digital plates. "We were already using Fuji’s conventional plates, and we didn’t have to do anything differently, for example, adjust the ink and water balance. Staying with Fuji plates, we were able to make the CTP transition very easily. "We’ve always been a high-quality printer," Tuttle concludes. "But now that we’re computer-to-plate, we’re assured of absolute registration and true color. With CTP, we’re printing faster and more cost effectively — and the product is better looking. Fuji technology has helped us to do that."