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Presstek's Mark Sullivan on new Virtuoso quality management product

Published on November 1, 2012

Presstek Group Product Director for Digital Imaging Mark Sullivan talks to Cary Sherburne about the recently announced Virtuoso press tool for quality management and what sets it apart from other simliar tools.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com. I’m here with Mark Sullivan who is the Group Product Director for Digital Printing at Presstek. Welcome.

Mark Sullivan: Thank you.

Cary Sherburne: So, Presstek recently announced a new product called Virtuoso, which I guess initially will be on Presstek DI presses, well the 75DI, but eventually you will expand that to a broader market. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Mark Sullivan: Sure. It’s a product that really when the printer company works very hard and sells that job, now he’s got to worry about delivering the proof, right? He’s got the proof and he needs to deliver to the proof. And there are basically three things that he needs to worry about. He needs to worry about the color, he needs to worry about the registration, and then other printing anomalies, just group hickeys, and missing type, and things like that. Virtuoso, what he does today is the pressman himself will actually be the judge of whether the job is okay or not. Virtuoso kind of takes that pressman’s experience. You have 15 years of pressman experience and you put it in a box. And you put that into the press. And now Virtuoso can judge, based on what you tell it, the color, the registration, and any defect detection. That’s all in one unit.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, and it also can match it to a PDF, right?

Mark Sullivan: Yeah, we’ll have another software that we’ll match it to a PDF. It’s a unique unit. It’s one imaging component. And then it’s software upgrades for whatever it is that you’re looking for.

Cary Sherburne: And it’s modular so there’s four different modules?

Mark Sullivan: There’s four different modules that you can guy at any time. You buy the base unit and then it’s basically a phone call to get the next module.

Cary Sherburne: And there are other, obviously quality control kinds of devices out there in the offset world, so what’s different about it? Is it the one imaging head? Is that the key?

Mark Sullivan: The one imaging head is one of the key things, and actually because of the imaging technology that we use, we actually borrow it from fax machines. The price point is going to be very aggressive. So we feel that we have the ability to make this an ubiquitous product.

Cary Sherburne: So it’ll start out on the 75DI but hopefully over time be OEM’ed with…

Mark Sullivan: We hope to not only OEM it, but we’re looking at actually after marketing it.

Cary Sherburne: After market, okay. And so the other thing is since we’re sort of talking about the 75DI, you’ve also added some capability to that including what, personalization and some UV stuff?

Mark Sullivan: Yeah, we’ve continued to expand on what it is that we do with the 75, and a lot of it actually is to target the packaging market. We’ve had a lot of response from folding card manufacturers that this is a format that they’re really interested in as their run lengths decline. So we’ve kind of managed to, or looked at expanding the product so it can fit that market space better.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, because it’s a B2 sheet.

Mark Sullivan: Yes it is.

Cary Sherburne: And there’s a lot of activity in that market. Maybe you can talk about that a little bit. I mean, you guys…

Mark Sullivan: Well I’ll tell you. We came out with a B2 device back at Ipex, and we firmly believe what we would see the market do is either go very, very large, or come down to a half sized sheet and move away from that 40-inch market. And I think we’ve seen some activity today, or in the past time that has actually affirmed that.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, that’s great. Yeah, so once again chemistry-free plates. B2 printing, half-sized sheets.

Mark Sullivan: And, you know, market moving to the middle.

Cary Sherburne: Market moving to the middle. Well that’s great. Well thanks for sharing, and good luck with that Virtuoso thing.

Mark Sullivan: Thank you very much, Cary.

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