The Deregulation Of the Digital Press
Another such alternative, naturally, can be found from the father of the Quickmaster DI, Heidelberg—who else—in the form of its Speedmaster 74 DI. The SM 74 DI, which is expected to receive great attention at DRUPA 2000 this May, employs Creo's squareSPOT thermal imaging technology to simultaneously image plates in up to six printing units, at resolutions as high as 2,400 dpi. Heidelberg's SM 74 DI can use thermal plates manufactured by a variety of plate providers.
As a direct imaging system solution, the SM 74 DI offers tailored hardware and software for the Delta DI RIP, which works according to the ROOM principle, allowing users to prepare various output versions without multiple RIPs.
Each printing unit of the SM 74 DI is equipped with an imaging unit holding a 40-watt laser, which takes three minutes and 30 seconds to completely image the entire page format at a resolution of 2,400 dpi, simultaneously, in perfect register.
And then there is Screen's foray into digital, offset printing. The TruePress 544, an offset digital printing system that, after receiving output data from Screen's TaigaSPACE workflow or another workflow, employs conventional CMYK process inks and spot colors to stock papers of any thickness from 0.3mm to 0.06mm. TruePress supports a printing area of 19.3x14.3˝, enabling full A3 printing with space for register marks.
After plates are automatically imaged, printing proceeds on TruePress at a maximum rate of 4,000 iph for four-color work or 8,000 iph for two-color work. TruePress carries out the entire imaging process automatically, including plate loading and unloading, imaging, developing, fixing, printing and blanket cleaning.
But there's still much more to the story when it comes to color digital presses. Outside the more conventional offset digital realm of the 74 Karat and the Heidelberg SM 74 DI—stepping into the market of the electrostatic, short-run, variable-data-generating digital presses—the following activities are under way in the continually deregulating world of on-demand printing.