April 18, 2004 - Esko-Graphics has announced the introduction of Espresso, the company's revolutionary 4-up Computer-to-UV-Plate (CtUP) system, capable of imaging conventional pre-sensitized plates with UV light. The Espresso complements Esko-Graphics' successful line of PlateDriver 4-up, 6-up and 8-up violet CtP platesetters. Printers now have even more affordable options to start enjoying the benefits of a CtP workflow, and a broader freedom to choose the CtP technology and platesetter configuration best fitting their needs.
Espresso platesetters offer low cost-of-ownership along with the capability to image inexpensive UV-sensitive plates. They deliver consistent productivity thanks to a proven, highly reliable mechanical design derived from the company's EskoScan scanners, an easy-to-use manual loading system, and an innovative high-precision optical system.
"We are extremely thrilled with the Espresso, and believe it will be readily embraced by the industry. Creating a platesetter imaging conventional plates was not the real challenge: Esko-Graphics has already demonstrated that capability. What was most important was building a device that fits the business model of smaller commercial
printers," remarks Kjeld Moselund of Esko-Graphics. "Imaging lower-priced conventional plates at high speed provides an economic benefit. Doing so with a reliable, straightforward UV platesetter meeting high-quality printing standards offers a major competitive advantage."
ANALYSIS BY WTT CONTRIBUTOR ANDY TRIBUTE
"Esko-Graphics has announced what may be one of the most interesting new CtP products at drupa. This is Espresso, its new entry-level platesetter that images conventional plates rather than special higher cost laser plates. The device is a manual load/unload flatbed unit that images a 630 x 745 mm plate at a speed of between 13 and 21 plates an hour at 2,400 dpi. The difference in speed depends upon the plate's sensitivity. The higher speed is for special high sensitivity plates that are available from many suppliers. Espresso is built using the established ESKOSCAN copydot scanning platform, onto which an UV lamp based imaging system is fitted. This is a very proven accurate platform which should ensure a high level of imaging accuracy and reliability. For the future this will also allow Esko-Graphics to easily build larger format devices should the market demand them.
"Conventional plate CtP (CtcP) is not new. Basys Print have been selling such systems successfully for many years. In the newspaper market alfaQuest have sold some systems using high-power UV lasers in the USA. Espresso is different as it will be substantially lower in cost than the Basys and alfaQuest products, and should appeal to many of the smaller printers that have not bought into CtP. The attractions of using existing plates and plate processors that are used with computer to film has real benefits. The potential for opening up new markets is also significant. Such markets have local plate manufacturers making conventioanl plates, and often impose high tariff barriers against imported CtP plates.
"Espresso is still under development and the prototype will be shown at drupa. It will enter beta test later in the year with shipments planned to start in early 2005. Espresso is not the same product as DICON that was previewed at IPEX in 2002, and is a totally new approach to building a UV based CtP system."
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