Technology Editor

Among the more notable, prepress-related developments at Graph Expo and Converting Expo 2004 were several things that didn’t happen.

It was a simple matter of timing that kept Presstek Inc. from having anything new to report regarding its bid to acquire the business and assets of the A.B.Dick Co., according to Ed Marino, president and CEO. A.B.Dick’s future continued to be in the hands of the Bankruptcy Court since it had filed for Chapter 11 protection. Marino still expected a favorable decision to be rendered by the end of October, since no other formal bids had been entered as of the show’s opening day.

CIP4 (The International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress) cancelled a press conference it had scheduled for day three of the show. Among the topics expected to be discussed was a status update on the development of Interoperability Conformance Specifications (ICS) for JDF-compliant products.

Establishment of uniform benchmarks for conformance with the specification is seen as an important step toward plug-and-play system integration. This effort potentially enables developers to adopt a one-to-many, rather than one-to-one, approach in implementing JDF. In addition, the ICS documents being written for various printing processes are meant to serve as the basis for future official JDF Certification testing.

The much speculated about announcement of a violet digital plate from Kodak Polychrome Graphics (KPG) wasn’t made in Chicago, but it did ultimately come in the same time frame as Graph Expo 2004. KPG unveiled a first version of the plate at the IfraExpo newspaper exhibition in Amsterdam, Netherlands, targeted to newspaper applications,

Plate in Beta Stage

KPG’s VioletNews plate is said to currently be in beta testing and will be commercially launched in the first quarter of 2005 initially in Europe, but its North America release will follow closely. It is a negative working, high-speed photopolymer plate offering a resolution of 2 percent to 98 percent dot at up to 175 lpi and supporting run lengths of up to 200,000 copies. KPG has confirmed that it plans to launch a violet photopolymer plate for commercial CTP applications later in 2005.

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