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Esko-Graphics introduces updated PlateDriver violet CtP product line

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), March 1, 2004 – Esko-Graphics, the market leader in violet CtP solutions for commercial printers, has introduced a broadened portfolio of PlateDriver platesetters to continue its successful product line. Throughout 2003, the PlateDriver product line has consisted of five platesetters: PlateDriver QPS 4, PlateDriver 4 and 8 Semi and PlateDriver 4 and 8 Auto. Based on CtP market response, Esko-Graphics is introducing a new, broader palette of CtP devices, encompassing a new PlateDriver Compact (4-up), the PlateDriver 4 Semi, the new PlateDriver 6 in Semi and Auto version, and the PlateDriver 8 in Semi and Auto version. All PlateDriver CtP units can be delivered with Esko-Graphics workflows, or simply integrated into an existing third party workflow. A flexible platesetter family PlateDrivers provide printers many flexible options, including a standard or high-speed version for plants requiring the greatest productivity possible. The PlateDriver Automatic features a fully automatic plate loading and plate processing capability, simultaneously holding as many as 500 plates in five different sizes on-line. The PlateDriver Semi loads plates manually: while a plate is being imaged the next plate is loaded, providing high-end quality and productivity at a cost-effective price point. Plate unloading and plate processing is still fully automatic. The PlateDriver Compact offers manual plate loading and unloading, essentially operating like a traditional contact frame. Customers with evolving format requirements have the choice of purchasing either the 4-up, 6-up or 8-up model of the PlateDriver Semi and Auto. Even after installation, a PlateDriver 4 can be upgraded to a 6-up or 8-up model. All these PlateDrivers utilize the same FreeBeam violet laser and can image both silver halide and photopolymer violet plates by a simple change of a filter. The choice of resolutions supported matches every production need: 1200/1270 dpi for publishing purposes, 1800 dpi for magazine printing jobs, 2400/2450 dpi for commercial print and 3200 dpi for security printing and top-quality commercial print. Customers can also choose from an unlimited number of standard or customized register systems. All PlateDrivers utilize the same violet laser and can image both silver halide and photopolymer violet plates. The Power of violet CtP Violet CtP technology has many acknowledged advantages, including lower total cost of ownership, longer laser life cycle and convenient yellow safelight handling for plate loading. Violet laser diodes are only in use when the output device is imaging plate material, whereas other laser types often remain ‘on’ whenever the output device is switched on. This means that the operational lifetime of violet is at least 4-5 times longer than the specified lifetime. And, Esko-Graphics offers a 3-year unconditional warranty on the violet laser system on all PlateDriver models. Violet imaging systems and accompanying printing plates are the most advanced and state-of-the-art CtP technology on the market. Esko-Graphics is fully backing this technology and strongly advocates that it offers the best business case for the commercial printer. By increasing the power of the violet FreeBeam laser from 30mW to 40mW, high speed PlateDrivers can expose photopolymer plates at the same imaging speed as silver-based plates. 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 conventional or thermal plates. Unbaked, violet polymer plates offer run lengths of 100,000 – 250,000 prints, but baked can run 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. New PlateDriver portfolio The PlateDriver product line takes on a completely new look, with two new models joining the popular, existing versions – all sharing violet technology: The new, 4-up PlateDriver Compact is a versatile 2- and 4-up CtP device for smaller printers seeking simple and straightforward conversion to CtP, at a very affordable price. The PlateDriver Compact can support all 2-up and 4-up printing presses, with built-in 3-point plate registration, ready for post punching prior to mounting on the press. Maximum plate size is 615mm by 745mm. The PlateDriver Compact integrates with an existing prepress workflow or can be configured with Esko-Graphics’ FlowDrive 4 workflow solution. It provides a complete and affordable CtP system combining the latest CtP technology with the lowest cost of ownership. The PlateDriver 4 Semi is a mid-level 4-up platesetter supporting all 4-up presses. Its flexible resolution/output speeds make it a versatile platesetter for a variety of uses. The built-in AccuPunch register system ensures perfect registration on every plate. The PlateDriver 4 Semi can be upgraded to a high-speed model, or to 6-up or 8-up models. The new PlateDriver 6 Semi offers all the features of the PlateDriver 4 Semi, but with extended press coverage of 4-up and 4-up super size presses, plus support for Commercial Web presses that require plate sizes up to 680mm by 930mm. The PlateDriver 6 Auto is similar to the PlateDriver 6 Semi, but with automatic loading of up to 500 plates on-line in 5 different bins with overnight, unattended operation. The PlateDriver 8 Semi is similar to the other Semi models, but built to support 8-up and specifically 40” presses, as well as commercial web presses that accept plate sizes up to 800mm by 1075mm. The PlateDriver 8 Auto is an automatic version of the PlateDriver 8 Semi. “Printers today face extreme demands from print customers requiring faster turnarounds, shorter run lengths, and 24-hour service. As a consequence, printers require further pressroom automation to be more competitive,” notes Christian Erikstrup, Esko-Graphics product manager for Offset CtP. “One of the key elements for pressroom automation is investment in CtP and digital workflow. Many printers have already invested in workflow automation for their prepress operations, perhaps in connection with Computer-to-Film (CtF), and are now ready to take the final step into CtP. For those customers, Esko-Graphics proudly offers an adaptive CtP concept that covers today’s market demands. This includes an opportunity for prepress and pressroom automation with CIP3 and perfect registered plates, the proven on-press performance and lowest cost of ownership of violet CtP, and a future path for JDF and CIP 4 “end-to-end” printing automation.”