Just Image and Print: Process-free Plate from Presstek Breaks 100k Barrier
Wednesday, February 27, 2002
February 27, 2002 --- (WhatTheyThink.com) --- Last week, Seybold Reports said Presstek would show a truly process-less plate at IPEX called Applause. The Applause plate has a run length of 100,000 impressions and outruns process-less plates from Agfa and Fuji which top out at about 30,000 impressions. Kurt Wolf in writing for Seybold Reports said, "If the technology proves itself in the field, it could catapult Presstek out of the niches it has so far been limited to and turn it into a market leader." WhatTheyThink.com conducted an interview with John O'Rourke, Consumables Product Manager, at Presstek about the possibilities with Applause. (The complete interview is posted at www.whattheythink.com) He says that Applause would mean no further treatment after imaging. "The design principle for Applause is based on applying a thermally ablative, water receptive coating on top of an ink receptive substrate. Because the top coating is ablative, we can physically remove it using only thermal laser energy like laser engraving. As the laser strikes the ablative coating, the molecules excite very rapidly to the point where the coating breaks up and is ejected from the surface of the plate. Removal of the hydrophilic coating reveals an ink receptive layer beneath. Removal of the coating is more than 99% efficient, meaning there is no need for any treatment of the plate after imaging. Once it has been written by the laser, it is ready to print." O’Rourke is most excited about breaking the run-length barrier noting that 90% of print jobs are under 100,000 impressions. "The fact that image formation is a purely physical process, requiring no chemistry means that we can deliver a substantially higher level of consistency with Applause. The elimination of process steps not only gives you a simpler process, but also one that is more predictable and repeatable - the importance of consistency is frequently overlooked. The fewer steps you have in a process, the fewer things can go wrong." Owners of DI presses with conventional fountain systems like the Heidelberg Speedmaster 74 DI and Komori Project D could use Applause as a replacement for Pearlgold plates. O’Rourke says there is no acquisition cost for developing hardware and also reduces the total cost of entry into CTP. Premium Access members can view an in-depth interview with John O’Rourke. He discusses results from internal testing, ROI for printers, and more inside details about the development progress of Applause. For more information visit www.whattheythink.com.