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New Presstek Dimension Excel Computer-to-Plate System Makes North American Debut

Press release from the issuing company

HUDSON, N.H., Oct. 6 -- Presstek, Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of environmentally responsible high tech digital imaging solutions for the graphic arts and laser imaging markets, today announced the North American debut of its next generation computer-to- plate (CTP) platform, Dimension Excel. Incorporating Presstek's new ProFire Excel thermal imaging technology, Dimension Excel offers improved productivity, flexibility and automation. Presstek will display Dimension Excel in Booth 5047 at Graph Expo, the largest printing trade show in the U.S., scheduled for October 10-13, 2004, at McCormick Place, Chicago. Dimension Excel is the natural extension of Presstek's award-winning series of thermal CTP platesetters. New capabilities for Dimension Excel include higher throughput-up to 20 plates per hour-as well as more automated plate loading options. Dimension Excel features a new "load-ahead" capability, allowing the operator to pre-stage a plate while the machine is imaging. When imaging is completed, the current plate is sent to either a stacker or a conveyor-washer-stacker system, and the next plate is loaded from the pre- stage area. This enhancement will allow a more streamlined workflow and less operator monitoring. Additionally, the load ahead capability allows the implementation of an optional Automated Plate Loading System. Presstek will preview the new Automated Plate Loading System at GraphExpo. This modular upgrade will provide printers with an option for complete "hands- off" platemaking workflow. The Automated Plate Loading System can be configured to perform plate selection, punching, and slip-sheet removal. It will hold several sizes of plates on-line, providing the flexibility that is necessary to easily support multiple presses-from small duplicators to oversize 4-up (also referred to as "6-up") presses. "When Presstek solicited market feedback about future CTP developments, the response was clear: make the Dimension capable of running unattended-and make that automated capability an easy field upgrade," noted Marc Johnson, Product Line Marketing Manager for Off-Press Products. "Presstek worked with a well-regarded leader in CTP automation to develop the Automated Plate Loading System, and we're thrilled with this technical accomplishment which we are previewing to the world for the first time at GraphExpo. We're even more pleased that this technology was designed to work in concert with the new features in the Dimension Excel, allowing printers who buy the Dimension Excel to have an easy, clear upgrade path to full automation." Pricing and availability for the Automated Plate Loading System upgrade will be announced in early 2005. Dimension Excel retains the small footprint and ease of integration that has made the original Dimension platform one of the leading choices for smaller print shops. Dimension Excel is fully compatible with Presstek's Anthem chemistry-free and Applause process-free thermal plates. "We're excited to add these new capabilities and enhanced performance with the new Dimension Excel platform. With the new Automated Plate Loading System, and the imaging and productivity enhancements, Dimension Excel is an attractive solution for an even broader range of print producers," said John O'Rourke, Marketing Director for Off-Press Systems. "Its flexible configuration makes Dimension Excel a fit for both small shops and busy shops that require higher plate production throughput." Presstek, long committed to the development of environmentally responsible solutions for graphic arts imaging, was first to market with a process-free plate, making Applause commercially available in October 2003. With the Automated Plate Loading option, Dimension Excel is capable of batch producing plates overnight for a more productive first-shift operation. O'Rourke added, "Presstek pioneered process-free imaging in the graphic arts, and we're pleased that the new Dimension Excel platform will allow us to bring this efficient, economical and environmentally responsible solution to an even broader market."