DIGITAL PLATESETTERS -- Growing by Twos and Fours
Albeit for different reasons, plate preferences also were a major factor in the platesetter buying decision at Tuttle Lithography in Madison, WI, reveals Norm Tuttle, owner and president. For one, the company didn't want to get into a situation of having to pre- or post-bake plates, he says.
"Also, we already were using Fuji conventional plates and, on-press, its digital plates ran basically the same with no adjustments in water or ink," Tuttle adds.
The company was starting from scratch when it went digital in early 2003. It previously had no prepress capabilities to speak of, except the ability to make plates from film. Tuttle opted to take a big leap forward by installing a Fujifilm Dart Luxel T6000 thermal platesetter (a four-up device) and Fujifilm PictroProof color proofer, both driven by an Artwork Systems front end.
Even though the shop's move to CTP production started with the plate, Tuttle says he didn't want to get locked into one plate/platesetter combination. "It (the Dart) is not a proprietary machine. We're able to look at other plates as they come on the market," he notes.
Available from Enovation Graphic Systems, the Dart is an external drum platesetter that supports resolutions from 1,219 to 3,657 dpi. It is available in semi- and fully-automatic configurations. The company also is currently distributing the ECRM Mako 2 (two-up) and Mako (four-up) violet-laser platesetters.
At Drupa 2004, Fujifilm plans to introduce its own four-up violet platesetter in the Saber product family, reports Peter Vanderlaan, group manager, E.I. Output Products, Enovation Graphic Systems. The all-new Saber V-6 four-page device will be offered in manual, semi-automatic and fully-automatic configurations, Vanderlaan says.
Manchester, NH-based Keystone Press is an ECRM Mako 2 user. Owner George Stinson says he looked into buying a platesetter from the manufacturer because of the solid industry reputation it had established with its imagesetters.