On-Demand Turns Full-Production Color
With NexPress 2100 unveiled, Heidelberg ready for the Xerox challenge, Indigo and Xeikon bolstered, Screen showing intent, Presstek enabling on-press imaging for Adast, Ryobi, Sakurai and soon Didde—and more manufacturers, not the least of which is MAN Roland, targeting full-production digital—there is a new zest to digital printing. It ain't just about on-demand any more . . .
BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO
Say goodbye to on-demand digital printing—at least the on-demand part. It is now June 2000, the much hyped DRUPA 2000 is over and the digital production color press is an emerging force to be taken very seriously by even the most radically traditional commercial printing operation.
Somehow, between DRUPA 1995 and DRUPA 2000, the on-demand digital printing market matured, in the face of skepticism. The result: Where DRUPA 1995 was perhaps the technology's baptism by fire, DRUPA 2000 proved to be its first significant birthday party.
What exactly did DRUPA 2000 do for the growing digital press?
For starters, digital presses are now on-press imaging machines targeting the traditional commercial printer—if the digital imaging powers of Presstek and its new alliances with Adast, Ryobi, Sakurai and, hot off the negotiation tables, Didde Web Press, have anything to say about it.
During DRUPA 2000, Didde announced that the objective of its new alliance with Presstek is to create the first UV direct imaging (DI) web press for direct mail. Didde and Presstek anticipate that it will utilize one or more of Presstek's plate technologies. Didde's alliance with Presstek comes as press manufacturers Ryobi, Sakurai and Adast announce new presses featuring Presstek under the hood.
First, Ryobi. A major announcement for both Ryobi and Presstek during DRUPA 2000 is the Ryobi 3403DI, an A3-size, portrait format, four-color offset press with built-in direct imaging. Jointly developed by the two technology companies, the Ryobi 3403DI incorporates Presstek's on-press imaging technologies, which employ an infrared laser to burn images directly onto mounted plates, enabling CTP handling of digital prepress data, and eliminating film output and image exposure onto the plate.