by Ed Marino, CEO of Presstek June 2, 2003 -- Welcome to the first Presstek Perspective column on OnDemandJournal.com. We are excited to be bringing you this monthly feature in conjunction with the industry’s best source of information about digital and on demand printing. Each edition of Presstek Perspective will bring you the latest news and insight about DI presses and chemistry-free computer-to-plate (CTP) imaging. You will hear from a variety of Presstek experts on marketing and technical issues, and we invite you to submit questions, comments and suggestions for future topics. In this first edition, I wanted to share with you Presstek’s perspective on the offset printing industry—where it is going and how we see both CTP and DI playing a critical role in the transition that is underway—as well as bring you up to date on Presstek’s latest marketing initiatives. CTP At Presstek, we view CTP as a necessary and useful transitional technology that enhances offset printing workflow. CTP extends digital workflow through plate creation, improving throughput and productivity by decreasing the number of process steps required to prepare a print job for the press. And we take pride in going one step further—Presstek CTP solutions using Anthem plates are chemistry-free and daylight safe, thus not only consuming less space with no need for darkroom facilities or processing equipment, but removing much of the environmental impact involved with both the traditional film-and-plate process and CTP solutions that requiring chemical processing. With the availability of our new Applause process-free plates later this year, the story gets even better. While Anthem plates only require a simple water wash after imaging, Applause will require no processing at all, the plates are imaged and mounted on the press with no intermediate processing step, making CTP more productive and efficient than ever before. Direct Imaging (DI) Offset Longer term, we believe that DI will become the offset platform of the future, totally eliminating the need to create plates off-press. We believe DI will be a press option, just like dryers and coaters are today. In fact, DI is the sustaining technology for the future of offset. With DI, the entire production process is digital, all the way through the delivery of sellable sheets off the press. With DI technology, a print job can literally move from prepress to sellable sheets in seven minutes! We don’t see the transition to a default DI platform happening overnight, but we do believe that it must happen in order to extend the life of the offset process, as run lengths and cycle times continue to decline and environmental concerns increase. Proponents of conventional offset, whether in the user or manufacturer ranks, often perceive DI as a disruptive technology – and it is. We look forward to being part of a growing recognition that this is a necessary disruption that must take place for new levels of process efficiency to be achieved. Marketing Update We are very pleased to welcome Kodak Polychrome Graphics (KPG) to our team of DI partners. Presstek's team of DI partners -- Ryobi, Heidelberg, KBA, and KPG -- consists of some of the best-known names in the press industry, and Presstek-enabled solutions from these strategic partners provide offset quality output, and a high level of consistency and reliability at a low cost per page for run lengths between 500 and 10,000. Adding KPG to the mix was a critical plank in our strategy to expand the reach of DI in North America. In Europe, we are utilizing a combined network of KBA, Ryobi, and independent European dealers to sell DI media directly to the end user. This allows us to better serve our end user customers and to offer a better value proposition to the customer As part of our expanded marketing and customer support initiatives, we have launched Club DI, an integrated marketing program designed to provide tools and support to our DI customers as they leverage their investment in DI to grow their businesses. Club DI takes the company and its customers a step further toward bringing DI into the mainstream, building on the momentum of our market-focused repositioning effort that has been a priority for the past year. Through Club DI, Presstek offers professionally designed materials that will support DI owners in every facet of their sales and marketing efforts, from announcing the acquisition of a DI press, to hosting an open house, launching a direct mail campaign, and marketing their DI capabilities using in-store promotional signs, posters, sample printed pieces and more. Development of a Club DI online forum is also underway, designed to build community among DI owners, facilitating the sharing of ideas and stimulating owners to explore new market opportunities. The Future is Bright Both Presstek and our team of partners are energized and excited about the opportunities presented by chemistry-free CTP and DI offset—and we are poised for growth as the economy begins to rebound. You will be hearing much more from us over the next few months as we continue to roll out products and initiatives, and as we mount a campaign to educate print buyers on the environmental value of Printing Responsibly using Presstek-enabled chemistry-free solutions. Tune in to Presstek Perspective next month for an in-depth discussion of the new Applause process-free plate and learn about the next generation of quality and productivity Presstek is bringing to the printing marketplace.