CTP--The Digital DRUPA
With Baited Breath
What should we expect for DRUPA 2000 from the CTP vendor community? Expectations are for this technology segment to grow rapidly as conventional, thermal and new variations of the platesetter evolve to meet the needs of a broader base of users—from the small, standalone printer to the multi-site mega-consolidator.
While many contend vehemently that the YAG laser devices with photopolymer plates will maintain their leadership position in value when packaged with manual-load devices such as the Fuji PlateJet and Brillia LP-N plates, thermal CTP devices will continue to gain marketing momentum and installation strength, offering printers a variety of semi- and fully automatic incarnations.
At DRUPA 2000, Presstek will debut a new thermal CTP system that will incorporate its latest laser technology. Presstek's new system, scheduled to be launched at the event, will be extremely versatile, supporting a range of plate sizes.
Presstek also hints at a significant plate development forthcoming at DRUPA 2000. The only clue to the nature of the development is the company's emphasis on thermal technology's superiority to visible laser systems.
Presstek is positive about thermal imaging primarily because it enables ablative imaging, which, in turn, ensures a chemical-free process. Further, Presstek executives report, this chemical-free environment promotes greater stability, given the reduction in variables inherent in a multi-step production process.
Krause Sings the Blues
Krause America is plotting a few strategic launches of its own. According to Krause's Dan Wilzinski, the company will have something "new to introduce to the industry in the DRUPA 2000 timeframe, a technology for imaging plates shaped by the needs of the printer—violet laser diode imaging."
Wilzinski reports that violet laser diode technology will be an attractive, cost-saving, daylight-exposure technology that is ready to compete with visible and thermal technologies in many applications.