Color Scanners–Scan Masters

Whether drum or flatbed, today’s high-tech scanning systems are allowing prepress departments to do more, create more—even charge more. Here’s a look at some of the new technologies and creative techniques empowering prepress with high-voltage scans.


The scanning market, like those of its prepress counterparts, is continuing to evolve, especially the flatbed component. Interesting, though, how much hype is concentrated around the kings of digital output, such as the thermal platesetter—arguably the most hyped digital output device ever to hit electronic prepress. But what of the content creator—the device that enables color images to be digitized, manipulated, then output? What of the device that tackles any reflective or transmissive piece of art?

What of the poor, little scanner?

Save the pity for some other prepress device. The high-end scanning market is hotter than ever, with drum and flatbed devices combining automated ease-of-use with dynamic scanning, higher resolution ranges and faster speeds.

Scitex America’s EverSmart Pro and EverSmart Supreme are prime flatbed examples of the push for operating speeds of 15 scans per hour and greater, with increased optical resolution and greater scanning range. Ever-Smart scanners can scan transmissive originals, positive and negative, as well as reflective artwork, including printed material, of any thickness. Ever-Smart Pro and EverSmart Supreme scanners can also scan halftone films for both copydot and digital descreening workflows—ideal for CTP or digitally imposed workflows.

Scitex is not alone. High-end, automated scanning systems from Agfa, Creo, Heidelberg Prepress, Fujifilm, Howtek, Optronics, Purup-Eskofot, Screen, UMAX and other vendors are further enabling prepress departments to produce CMYK- and RGB-specific scans at higher volumes.

What’s new to the market?

Fujifilm recently boosted productivity for its C-550 large-format flatbed scanner with unattended scanning capabilities. The Fujifilm C-550 can now scan unattended so users may focus their attention to additional design responsibilities.

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