DIGITAL PLATESETTERS -- Growing by Twos and Fours
Bentham liked the idea of being able to get a platesetter and front end (Trueflow) from a single manufacturer. And while it wasn't a factor in the buying decision, he says the company has also implemented Screen's Spekta hybrid screening.
Beating External Drums
Screen (USA) positions the PlateRite 4300 as a CTP solution for shops with two- and four-page presses, but actually calls it a six-page (26x32.7˝) machine. The Plate-Rite 4100 is an entry-level solution available with a SA-L 4100 single-cassette autoloader. Both are external drum machines with an auto-balance feature to support different plate sizes and an automatic in-line punch system.
There are a couple of other metal platesetting systems with distinctive features that half-size shops may also want to consider when making the move to CTP-based production.
Esko-Graphics offers the Plate-Driver 4, which features the option to field upgrade among a choice of lasers and to an eight-up (31.5x42.3˝) format. The internal drum machine's imaging system can be configured with violet (30mW), thermal (1,064nm), FD-Yag or argon-ion lasers. It supports a maximum plate size of 26.8x31˝ and a range of resolutions up to 3,200 dpi.
The company also offers the PlateDriver HS, a higher speed violet imaging system for exposing photopolymer or silver-halide plates, and the PlateDriver QPS 4, a cost-effective version for imaging silver-halide violet plates.
Bridging the analog and digital worlds, basysPrint offers a family of flatbed digital platesetters that can image conventional offset printing plates and proofing materials with sensitivities in the 360nm to 450nm range. The UV-Setter 57 and the UV-Setter 57-f handle materials up to 27x37˝ and operate in daylight conditions with a choice of semi- or fully-automatic plate loading. Imaging at up to 1,500 dpi is achieved by directing UV light onto a Digital Micro-mirror Device (DMD), which for the faster "f-generation" model contains nearly 1.3 million tiny mirrors.