The Fong Dynasty
Printers will need platesetters to deliver jobs faster and increase production capacity. Turnaround times are being squeezed, and we found that platesetting plays an essential role in expediting work. When we installed our Komori press, we learned something else that was very intriguing. Some of our magazine customers require 20 sets of proofs. Most printers would naturally send the files to a digital proofer. We experimented and discovered that it's less expensive to create plates and print traditional press proofs directly to the Komori press. Assuming you have CMYK in the units, it takes less than an hour to mount plates and print the sheets. And our customers, of course, love receiving a press proof for approval.
PI: How did all of this affect your decision to purchase Optronics?
Fong: Back in 1990, we investigated a number of imagesetters for digital output, using a very large, difficult file. Optronics imagesetters achieved the best results, culminating in the purchase of an Optronics imagesetter for Fong Brothers Printing. When we introduced that printing technology in China, we were given permission to sell Optronics imagesetters and platesetters as well. They performed very well for our customers and were financially successful for us.
When Intergraph announced they wanted to divest of Optronics, we recognized that computer-to-plate technology would continue to grow in importance. I also strongly believe in Fong Brothers' credibility and wanted to secure CTP technology for the Chinese market. It was important to assure our Optronics customers in Asia that they would continue to be serviced well.
But, most significant, we believe that Optronics platesetters—in terms of imaging, ease of use and cost—perform as well as anything in the marketplace. In fact, we allowed a printer in China to conduct a side-by-side comparison with another platesetter. The Optronics Aurora platesetter was selected because of quality, reliability and price. Perhaps it's something we should allow printers to do in the States. It's the next generation of Optronics products we're staking our fortunes on.