Kennesaw, GA – October 2, 2003 - Esko-Graphics today announced that LithoPrint, a successful mid-sized commercial printer in Dayton Ohio, has recently successfully installed a PlateDriver 8, an eight-up platesetter sold by the Xpedx prepress division in Cleveland. LithoPrint is the 5th largest printer in the Dayton Ohio area, with nearly $3 million in sales and 18 employees and operates five presses to print projects such as private label credit forms, brochures, direct mail pieces, and point of sale collateral.
The PlateDriver is a high performance, high quality platesetter with an affordable price tag. It is delivered with a 3-year warranty on its FreeBeam laser system. PlateDriver models can load, expose and punch plates in landscape and portrait modes. Customers can purchase a 4-up or 8-up model and, on site, upgrade to a PlateDriver HS, delivering 28 8-up plates/hour at 2400 dpi. The PlateDriver is built with a linear motor enabling metric and inch-based output resolutions, making it compatible with any CtP workflow, including Esko-Graphics’ FlowDrive and FastLane for Commercial Printing.
Until recently, LithoPrint had been imaging fully imposed films to produce analog plates. Darrell Templeton, LithoPrint president, characterizes the situation, “The price point of platesetters has fallen to the point where, economically, the mid size printer is virtually compelled to explore computer to plate (CtP). We were on the outside looking in when faced with the cost of a thermal platesetter. However, the violet plate and 30mw laser technology imaging polymer plates brought all of it within reach of the mid size commercial printer. Print quantities are declining. With CtP and a half size press, we’re very competitive.”
LithoPrint, who had built an open architecture system with a third party workflow solution, was convinced that a PlateDriver platesetter could easily replace its imagesetter. The workflow sends 1-bit TIFF files to the platesetter. Attractive was the 3-year warranty on the PlateDriver FreeBeam laser, which reduced the overall cost of replacement, and legitimized violet technology. “The PlateDriver warranty is a strong statement of faith in their equipment, and piece of mind for the printer,” adds Mr. Templeton. “We are not tied down with any long term supply agreement on printing plates. We are free to move as technology advances, as quality dictates, or to react to any other marketplace forces.”
The company takes advantage of the portrait plate feed, which allows narrow-width plates to be imaged and fed into a plate processor, without a 90º turn or large footprint. The smaller processor also requires less energy and chemistry. Using the PlateDriver, LithoPrint images plates for all its presses, from a small AB Dick to a large 40 Mitsubishi 4 color. Plates are complete in 2 1/2 minutes.
With their PlateDriver, LithoPrint utilizes their personnel more efficiently, moving their prepress talent closer to the customer – they’re positioned at graphics workstations rather than at the light tables. The faster plate throughput and improved makeready on the floor has taken a full day out of their turnaround cycle.
The PlateDriver provides LithoPrint with a very practical solution for a mid sized commercial printer, that we could only have dreamed of until now,” summarizes Mr. Templeton. “The cost of film we no longer purchase represents over one half of our monthly payment on the machine. In terms of raw materials and production, it was a no-brainer. Esko-Graphics has helped us build a totally open, plug and play prepress system.”
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.