Axel Zoeller--Taking Giant Steps
"Color management is considered a prepress technology but, in fact, Heidelberg is investing a significant number of R&D dollars to assure color management from prepress to press. We want to integrate the two, based on an open CIP3 standard, with the launch of the new CPC2000 control terminal, as well as the new CPC24 color control terminal for our Speedmaster line of presses. The integration of prepress, press and finishing based on CIP3 technology is the single biggest opportunity to boost the productivity of our industry."
PI: Thermal platesetting gained acceptance in 1998, especially in the eight-up market. What is driving its success? Will the four-up market be next?
Zoeller: "The general implementation of CTP technology is not a question anymore, even among commercial printers. Printers of all sizes have realized the benefits and savings that CTP offers in the prepress arena and in the pressroom with faster makeready plus more efficient press utilization, as well as more consistent color throughout a print run. These are the key factors for the technology's positive ROI. A recent GATF survey showed an overwhelmingly positive response by CTP users: More than 75 percent of all CTP recorders installed in 1998 in the U.S. commercial industry were thermal devices, which means the market has accepted thermal as the superior technology.
"The introduction of new thermal media by various suppliers will further strengthen the thermal technology. Heidelberg, through its joint venture with Creo, is by far a leading thermal supplier to the industry, thanks to the technology of the Trendsetter line. Success of these CTP installations is not just because the Trendsetter has proven itself in the field, but because of the excellent workflow technologies in front of the machine.
"The Spectrum dot-based proofer will further strengthen the acceptance of the Trendsetter line in our industry. The four-up market has already seen significant installations in 1998; it is poised to rapidly grow and will overtake the eight-up market latest in the year 2000."