Esko-Graphics introduces PlateDriver HS platesetter for violet polymer plates
Press release from the issuing company
Ghent (Belgium) – June 24, 2003. Esko-Graphics announces that its family of violet PlateDriver CTP systems is extended with a high speed PlateDriver HS platesetter is now capable of imaging violet polymer plates in addition to violet silver plates. Up to 46 4-up plates can be exposed per hour on the PlateDriver 4HS, while up to 42 plates 8-up plates can be exposed on the PlateDriver 8HS (at 1200 dpi.). The PlateDriver HS utilizes a 55,000-rpm spinner to attain the very fast imaging speeds required to meet the most demanding production requirements. Plates can be exposed in metric and imperial resolutions from 1200 to 3200 dpi.
Violet imaging is faster than thermal imaging, as visible-light plates are much more sensitive than thermal plates, allowing faster imaging with less powerful lasers. By increasing the power of the violet FreeBeam laser from 30mW to 40mW, violet polymer plates can be exposed at faster speeds. An internal drum system with violet technology allows the use of a smaller spinner mirror. The rpm of the spinner can be easily increased allowing faster imaging speed. A thermal imaging system requires an external drum system, which is difficult to rotate fast because of the weight of the drum. Speed is typically increased by adding more, costly diodes.
By increasing the power of the violet FreeBeam laser from 30mW to 40mW, it is now possible to the PlateDriver HS can expose polymer plates at the same imaging speed as silver-based plates. even when using a very high spinner speed. Both visible-light plate technologies are much more sensitive than thermal plates, allowing faster imaging with less powerful lasers. The FreeBeam laser integrates only one violet diode and the faster speed is easily obtained by increasing the spinner speed. Both visible-light plate technologies are much more sensitive than thermal plates, thus allowing faster imaging with less powerful lasers. The FreeBeam laser integrates only one violet diode and faster speed is easily obtained by increasing the spinner speed. In thermal external drum systems, speed is typically increased by adding more, costly diodes.
Violet laser diodes are only in use when the output device is imaging plate material, whereas other laser types are in use whenever the output device is switched on. This means that the operational lifetime is at least 4-5 times longer than the specified lifetime. Esko-Graphics is so confident of the reliability of the FreeBeam laser that earlier this year it announced a 3-year unconditional warranty on the laser system. There are no requirements attached to the warranty, such as mandatory service agreements or plate bundling. In fact, the cost of a PlateDriver service agreement has been reduced to reflect the warranty.
With the PlateDriver, printers can change between silver and polymer plates with only a few on-site changes activated by the PlateDriver’s control software, without changing any mechanical or optical parts. However, because of the different nature of the two plates, post-processing processing and chemistry need to be changed.
Violet for more convenient and cleaner processing
Esko-Graphics has found increasing interest among medium and large printers for violet polymer plates. They are less expensive to purchase and process, and can last as long on press as thermal plates. Unbaked, violet polymer plates offer run lengths of 100,000 – 250,000 prints, but with baking can offer up to 1,000,000 prints, even with UV inks. Besides longer run lengths, these plates can be processed in conventional aqueous chemistry and the waste does not contain silver or other potentially hazardous materials.
Processing chemistry for violet polymer plates lasts up to 3,000 square meters (approximately 32,000 square feet) of plate before the processor has to be cleaned and refilled – about three times longer than some other technologies. For the average plate department, this is equal to a free week of processing.
A flexible platesetter
All high speed PlateDrivers provide printers many flexible options. The PlateDriver HS Automatic features a fully automatic plate loading and plate processing capability, holding as many as 500 plates in five different sizes simultaneously on-line. The PlateDriver HS Semi loads plates manually, one or two at a time, providing high-end quality and productivity at a cost-effective price point. Plate unloading and plate processing is still fully automatic with the PlateDriver Semi. Customers have the choice of purchasing either a 4-up or an 8-up model. Even after installation, a PlateDriver 4HS can be upgraded to 8-up, or can change lasers to expose different plates. Customers can also choose from an unlimited number of – or customized – register systems.
“With its lower price tag, lower laser cost, lower operating cost, and high speed, the PlateDriver HS is an extremely productive platesetter for medium to large facilities,” remarks Tine Haakonsen, Esko-Graphics Marketing Operations Project ManagerChristian Erikstrup, Esko-Graphics Product Manager. “Along with the PlateDriver's imaging quality, and workflow flexibility, Esko-Graphics is making it easy for printers to install a high speed platesetter that is truly future-proof.”
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