VALHALLA, N.Y. (June 11, 2007) -- Catering to ad agencies, design firms and graphic designers, The Digital Hub in Chicago is familiar with the demand for superior quality and exceptional service. The company's ability to meet these high expectations in an on-demand printing environment just got that much faster and easier with the adoption of FUJIFILM's Brillia HD processless thermal plates.
The Digital Hub, formed from the 2003 merger of Master Imaging and AnzoGraphics, run jobs on the company's 2-color Heidelberg Quickmaster and 5-color MAN Roland 300 Hybrid presses.
According to Tony Mraz, The Digital Hub's production manager, Fujifilm's Brillia HD processless thermal plates were chosen and put online in September 2006 because of faster imaging speeds and a better price. "The Brillia HD processless plates image at the full speed of our platesetter," explained Mraz, "and are twice as fast as the product we were using before."
Fujifilm's Brillia HD processless thermal plates are compatible with most thermal (830nm) platesetters. The latent image has a distinct contrast that allows for immediate visual inspection - a real time-saver for both prepress and press. Mraz adds, "The Brillia plates have saved the expense and mess associated with processing conventional thermal plates."
The plates require an imaging power very close to their existing, market-leading thermal-processed counterparts, so plate production speeds are not slowed at all. The Brillia plates can be handled under daylight conditions and, due to Fujifilm's new functional undercoating technology, require no additional equipment for true processless capability.
Fujifilm worked on site with The Digital Hub for the installation, and technical support has assisted the company during the transition, which Mraz characterizes as "fantastic." Unlike the 30 minutes they received from another vendor, Fujifilm technicians spent the entire day with The Digital Hub. "They took the time to make sure everything was right - imaging the plates, putting them on press, making any needed adjustments - before they left the plant," said Mraz. "The plate set-up was very thorough and professional and the Brillia plates have performed as expected - great."
When the company added their fourth press in February, the 5-color MAN Roland 300, Mraz says he made one phone call to Fujifilm, who sent the same technician out to set up the plates for the new larger press.
Brillia HD processless thermal plates support run lengths of up to 100,000 impressions and work well on both sheetfed and web presses. The Digital Hub printed upwards of four million impressions of all types of commercial sheetfed work on three presses last year. With the addition of the fourth press, this kind of plate performance becomes even more important.
The Brillia HD processless thermal plates, approved for 1% - 99% at 200 lpi conventional or 300 lpi for hybrid and FM screening, fit into The Digital Hub's use of conventional and FM screening standards as well as that of their trade customers.
"The company has had great success imaging and selling the plates to other printers. We have some trade accounts that send us files. We image their files to the Fujifilm plates, and they print from them," said Mraz.
Transitions to new equipment and supplies can all too often be disruptive in a busy shop. With the Brillia HD processless thermal plates, Mraz reports that The Digital Hub's workflow didn't really change, it just got a whole lot faster, which means the bottom line just got a boost, too.