Heidelberg previously had announced its intention to introduce a new generation of the Speedmaster 102 sheetfed press and to have all of its systems JDF-enabled at Drupa 2004.
The big story from dotrix N.V. was still the recently announced agreement between Agfa-Gevaert and Barco for the former to acquire all of the assets and staff of the Belgian-based ink-jet press manufacturer. The company currently focuses on industrial applications, including folding cartons, displays/signs and decorative sectors. However, Etienne Van Damme, manager of business development at Agfa Gevaert, stated that, "We didn't buy them for what they are today."
At Drupa, dotrix says it will demonstrate enhanced configurations of the.factory (the dot factory), its single-pass, color ink-jet press that uses UV ink and drop-on-demand, piezo heads to print up to a 25.6˝ web at 78.7 feet per minute (9,763 square feet per hour). The system sells for about $1 million.
Enhancements shown reportedly will include a new UV curing unit, software upgrades (including PANTONE Matching System capabilities) and support for an extended portfolio of substrates. Another first on the stand will be a print engine coupled with a jumbo unwinder and sheet cutter.
Fuji Photo Film was one of the companies that offered fairly detailed information about the product introductions it expects to make at the show. The emphasis will be on computer-to-plate (CTP) system technology, along with a new color management strategy in response to the growth in digital camera use.
The details were a little sketchy regarding a planned processless CTP plate announcement, but it reportedly will be a multi-layer, photopolymer technology that addresses the limitations of current products in the areas of sensitivity, run length and performance on-press. An all-new dedicated B2-format violet platesetter will have its debut, along with single-cassette versions of the B1-format Luxel V-9600 and Vx-9600 automatic violet platesetters. In addition, Fujifilm plans to release a new FM screening solution and JDF-enabled Celebra Extreme workflow.
- Albrecht Bolza-Sch