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DIGITAL digest

October 2006
Presstek Committed To Short-run Market

HUDSON, NH—In response to growing demand for short-run color output, Presstek Inc. believes it has developed digital solutions that target this marketplace and provide customers a smarter way to print. That was the primary message expressed by company executives during a pre-Graph Expo press event held at its headquarters last month.

“While market data shows that other areas of the print market are shrinking, short-run color is growing,” noted Ed Marino, Presstek president and CEO. “Whether print service providers choose to address this opportunity with the speed, quality and profitability of a highly automated DI press or with the efficiency and high quality of chemistry-free CTP plate making for conventional offset, Presstek solutions are designed to be the fastest path to the digital future for printing establishments, regardless of their size.”

One solution where the company holds high hopes is the new Presstek 52DI digital offset press, making its North American debut at Graph Expo in Chicago. Capable of printing up to 10,000 iph at 300 lpi, the landscape-oriented (52cm) press accommodates a 20.47x14.76˝ sheet size. Geoff Loftus, Presstek’s general manager for press products, said the 52DI’s sweet spot is the 500 to 5,000 color sheet range—filling a gap between digital copier-based technology and conventional offset.

He added that there are 2,500 active DI presses worldwide, with growth expectations at 10 percent to 15 percent by the end of 2007.

Also on hand for the press event was Presstek customer Grover Daniels, CEO of Boston’s Copy Cop, who installed a DirectPress 5334DI to support his company’s eight retail locations. He noted that the press has helped Copy Cop offer clients higher quality and faster turnarounds.

John O’Rourke, CTP systems marketing director, reported the positive reception being received to Presstek’s new Anthem Pro chemistry-free digital plate.

Anthem Pro is a thermally imaged CTP plate that combines the advantages of chemistry-free operation and the capability of a grained anodized surface. Designed for run lengths up to 100,000 impressions, there is no need for gumming, baking or chemical processing of the plate.

“A truly chemistry-free plate streamlines workflow, eliminates variation in process control, saves time and materials, and protects our environment,” O’Rourke pointed out.

With 1,000 employees, three manufacturing facilities and most recent fiscal year sales of $274.1 million ($296.9 million projected), Marino also revealed that Presstek’s growth plan is centered around strengthening its sales channel in North America, further global market penetration beyond the United States and Europe, as well as continued product line expansion. This will likely include, among others, an even larger format DI press and a new entry-level model. Direct sales currently account for 68 percent of Presstek revenues; dealers, 23 percent; and OEM agreements, 9 percent.

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