Agfa Talks Tech With Printers
NORTH BERGEN, NJ—Agfa recently held a one-day "Technology Showcase" for area printers, featuring its chemistry-free CTP solutions and Sublima XM screening. Deborah Hutcheson, Agfa's senior marketing manager, Digital Solutions, gave attendees an overview in a formal presentation and then two of the company's customers shared their first-hand experiences.
John Santangelo, executive vice president of H&S Graphics in Lodi, NJ, conducted demonstrations of Azura aluminum plates being imaged by an Acento thermal platesetter for chemistry-free CTP production. The family owned, 10-person general commercial shop made the move to that system after trying a competitive technology.
According to Tom Santangelo, president, the variability in the shop's plate demand was a central reason for seeking out a chemistry-free CTP solution. "On some days we'd run a handful of plates, on others we'd run 40 or more plates," he explains. "The issue for us became the cost of chemistry as we had to constantly pump and dump it to keep a consistent output."
Representatives of Ramsey Press in Mahwah, NJ, were also on hand to talk about the printer's use of Sublima screening and the business it has gained as a result.
Kodak to Sponsor Digital Printing Users Group Meeting
ROCHESTER, NY—In a major step toward the Indigo Customer Exchange (ICE) becoming a multi-platform digital printer users group, Kodak has agreed to be a premier sponsor of the organization's annual meeting. Its membership is set to gather in Las Vegas on November 11-12, 2005.
"We are excited to have support from industry leaders such as Kodak as we extend ICE's reach into the broader community of digital printers," says Val DiGiacinto, president, ICE.
"This is a great forum for us to share our knowledge and expertise on the opportunities that exist for printers to expand their business through digital printing," adds David Tashji, director of worldwide marketing, Digital Printing Solutions, Kodak's Graphic Communications Group.
Canon Celebrates 50 Years In the U.S.
NEW YORK CITY—Canon U.S.A. celebrated its first 50 years in the U.S. and shared its vision for the future at Canon EXPO 2005. Fujio Mitarai, president and CEO of Canon Inc., shared his plan to continue globalization of the business and to expand broadband connectivity for a "new world of digital."
Mitarai's keynote address focused on the continuance of R&D efforts, shifting energies to innovate color solutions and plans to reach $50 billion in sales by 2010.
On the 150,000 square feet of floor space at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Canon unveiled imagePRESS, a digital color technology brand for the commercial printing market, marking Canon's entrance into the high-end, high-quality color digital press market.
"Canon's business direction is to combine the highest quality color output with unmatched media handling capabilities—differentiating us from the competition," says Tod Pike, senior vice president, Imaging Systems Group. "The introduction of the imagePRESS brand clearly announces our intention to expand our superior value proposition to commercial print and graphic arts customers."
Developed with significant customer input, the first imagePRESS offerings are expected to be launched in the second half of 2006, although presses named "X" and "Y" were previewed at the show. imagePRESS "X" is a 70 page-per-minute (ppm) solution, featuring CIP4/JDF integration and full in-line finishing options. imagePRESS "Y", a short-run solution for the graphics market, is intended to work in conjunction with the imagePROGRAF W8400 family of wide-format ink-jet printers.
Also introduced was the imagePROGRAF W8400D (dye-based) wide-format ink-jet printer, which optimizes color performance and gradations on both plain and glossy print media. Capable of printing up to 44˝ widths, the W8400D offers a maximum 2,400x1,200 dpi resolution, while achieving print speeds up to 307 square feet per hour at 1,200x1,200 dpi resolution.
Along with the unveiling of its "Canon imageANYWARE" slogan, the company announced a handful of related partnerships.
Adobe Systems will be developing paper-to-digital scanning, security and print solutions based on Adobe PDF to work with the imageRUNNER multi-function hardware line and imageWARE software.
Canon is working with Microsoft on a color management system, called Windows Color System, for the soon-to-be-released Windows Vista operating system. Incorporating Canon's Kyuanos software, the system reportedly will provide better screen-to-print matching, along with supporting alternative color spaces and greater bit depth.
"We are living in a time in which connectivity is ubiquitous, networking is commonplace and digital content is becoming richer by the day," notes Yoroku "Joe" Adachi, president and CEO of Canon U.S.A. "Canon imageANYWARE uniquely positions Canon to help thrive in this miraculous new digital world."
PRIMIR Printing Plate Study Published
RESTON, VA—PRIMIR, the Print Industries Market Information and Research Organization, recently published a new study titled "Life Cycle of Analog and Digital Lithographic Printing Plates." Completed by Boston-based State Street Consultants, the study projects the total market for lithographic plates in North America to decline about 11 percent in volume over the 2005-2010 time period.
Even as the overall market declines, the researchers say continuing adoption of computer-to-plate production will simultaneously drive both a rapid growth in use of digital plates and a steep decline in demand for traditional analog plates. This trend will hold true for both metal and non-metal categories. By 2010, digital plates are expected to account for close to 80 percent of total lithographic plate shipments.
The study also assessed the CTP device market. Its findings indicate that the installed base of platesetters in North America had reached close to 12,000 units by the end of 2004, including metal and non-metal systems. This installed base is forecast to grow to more than 17,000 machines by the end of 2010.
Additionally, the research projects a significant replacement market will emerge for metal CTP systems over that same period. By 2010, such installations should account for about 80 percent of annual metal CTP shipments.
For more information about this study, visit www.primir.org.
INDIANAPOLIS—Digital Color Graphics (DCG) is installing a Xerox iGen3 digital production press driven by the Fiery Q5000 color server from EFI. The company reportedly will serve as a Midwest showcase center for the equipment manufacturers and their distributor, Enovation Graphic Systems.
LOS ANGELES—Specializing in production of outdoor graphics for the entertainment industry, Lithographix Inc. has expanded its capabilities by installing two Vutek UltraVu 5330 super-wide ink-jet printers. Digital services reportedly account for $10 million of its current $120 million in annual revenues and that contribution is projected to rise to $25 million over the next two years.