DIGITAL digest 6-01

A Neutrals Tool corrects neutral areas either by adjusting curve values or with a visual correction tool and only affects colors in those areas. The Paper Simulation Tool adjusts the paper’s white simulation values to more accurately simulate the background of the final offset print.

ColorTune Pro is bundled with all AgfaJet Sherpa digital proofing systems and isn’t sold separately.

The status report on developments in the CTF and CTP arenas was provided by Tony King, market development manager for offset plates. King’s central point was that a range of viable solutions are available, affording customers the option to pick whichever digital output method best meets their individual needs.

Based on its market research, Agfa expects 30 percent of plates worldwide to be exposed digitally by the year 2005. The manufacturer expects to see continued use of all three plate technologies—silver, photopolymer and thermal, King says.

“All of the plate technologies have particular benefits, and no one technology can meet all needs,” King adds. “The industry has used a range of conventional plates and film products, so why shouldn’t the same hold true for digital plates?”

That’s not to say there won’t be some commonality for a given application or market. For example, King notes that nearly all of the visible-light Galileo platesetters Agfa has sold to date have used violet lasers. Imaging speed, laser reliability and near-daylight operation are the reasons, he claims.

While CTP may have captured the industry’s collective imagination, film still is the dominant workflow and remains an important business for Agfa. The manufacturer continues to do research and development in this arena and expects to introduce new products for the foreseeable future, he reports. That being said, the impact of CTP on film use will be inevitable, the product manager concedes.

When it comes to CTF versus CTP, or the manufacturers’ entire range of product offerings for that matter, customers will be the ultimate judge of the technologies, King concludes. That’s why Agfa’s management is stressing that the company be customer focused rather than engineering driven.

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