CTP--The Digital DRUPA
"Violet laser diode imaging was developed in response to the needs of the printer who is looking for yellow light plateroom conditions, with a less expensive plate and a simpler, less expensive imaging device," Wilzinski explains.
"Many Krause customers will now benefit from the advantages of violet laser diode with an easy, drop-in replacement to Krause's internal-drum platesetters."
Blue laser diode platesetters—often referred to as violet, because they actually emit energy in the violet spectrum—are expected to be in big demand in the later portion of this year and into 2001.
The Other Players
The announcements planned for DRUPA 2000 may be the validation of blue-laser predictions, supported not only by Krause, but by CTP output and consumables manufacturers including Agfa, Citiplate and Fuji.
While Fuji officials are reluctant to go on record with great emphasis on the short-term anticipation for the blue laser market, Tim Combs, vice president of marketing at Fujifilm, reports that his company has been conducting ongoing research with blue laser diodes and UV laser exposure heads, and, in fact, already has plate technology that can be used on such devices.
Agfa, likewise, has been studying the blue laser and, at present, officials report that Agfa's Lithostar Plus blue laser-sensitive CTP plate lends itself nicely to this technology. The Lithostar has been tested on Escher-Grad's Cobalt 8 blue laser platesetter—the first commercially announced blue laser diode platesetter on the market.
Though lips are sealed as to specific platesetter product announcements for DRUPA 2000, the following technological tidbits offer a direction for the platesetting market, as it steams ever closer to the May event.
Agfa's emphasis for the DRUPA 2000 timeframe will be on Galileo S, a visible-light plate manufacturing system. Featuring a high production speed, this system is designed to bring maximum throughput to high-volume printing operations. Galileo S images plates at speeds up to 50 percent faster than the standard Galileo visible-light system.