April 9, 2004 -- (WhatTheyThink.com) -- In the nearly three-quarters of a century since offset printing technologies first started to take hold, photo-chemical processing has been core to the process, first with film and photo-chemical plates, and now, increasingly, with directly-imaged photo-chemical plates created using computer-to-plate (CTP) imaging technologies. Because of the early use of film to create offset plates, film and photo material manufacturers naturally became the primary suppliers of offset plates, adapting their film-emulsion coating technologies to create photo-chemical aluminum offset plates. The costs associated with producing and processing these plates, as well as the cost of disposing of unused chemicals and the associated environmental impact, have long been considered "business as usual" in the printing industry.
With the introduction of Applause, the world’s first process-free plate, at Graph Expo 2003, Presstek changed the model. And other plate manufacturers are lining up at drupa to unveil their "processless" strategies.
In recent independent research conducted by Winslow Management Company and published in its April 2004 edition of Winslow Environmental News, users of chemistry-free and process-free plates touted the advantages to their businesses of making the switch. The report noted:
- A Florida printer reported annual savings of $75,000 by virtue of the elimination of film and plate chemicals, projecting an ROI for his CTP investment within two years.
- A printer in Southern California cited the environmental sensitivity in his community as a determining factor for making the switch. In addition to cost savings associated with elimination of chemicals, he has improved productivity relative to plate generation, with no sacrifice in quality.
- A small printer in Ohio who has been using Applause plates since the beta testing process began reports now having negligible emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and as a result, has been asked to join an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency panel to promote clean printing options in that state.
According to Matthew Patsky, Portfolio Manager of the Winslow Green Growth Fund, a small cap growth fund, "Our fund seeks above-average long-term capital appreciation through environmentally effective investing. We look for strong fundamental stories, companies that are part of the environmental solution. With Presstek, we found a company that had something that was less expensive to operate, offers a high payback to printers who switch, and is environmentally friendly.
"This is a new paradigm for printing that dramatically reduces the use of toxins, the time for cleanup and worker exposure to toxins. This is a home run. From our perspective, what is holding the printing industry back is a fairly normal inertia in terms of implementing any type of real change. In addition, if printers are nervous about whether we are truly in an economic recovery, they will be loathe to spend any money. Now that there is evidence of an economic recovery, those purse strings will start to loosen. You will start to see people thinking about whether they have the best solutions and the lowest cost in terms of operating expense, and this is where the Presstek solutions come into play."
To request the full report or to find out more about Winslow visit -
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