The Next Wave - Digital Directions
"These dynamic RIPs can interpret multiple file formats in native modes (including PostScript, PDF, TIFF-IT) and enable late binding changes in the production flow that are not practical or feasible today—such as allowing late page replacement and redirecting workflows automatically to accommodate production changes and priorities.
"Before 2000, adaptive process control environments will be commercially available to optimize such key production devices as digital color proofers and digital front ends."
Efrem Lieber, director of sales and marketing at Presstek, on direct-to-press imaging.
"Digital direct-to-press imaging is alive and well for 1999—and beyond. Users of Heidelberg Quickmaster DI and Adast 705C DI presses are producing litho quality on short-to-medium-run work at low costs per page, all in highly productive turnaround times. This year will bring improved makeready to the Quickmaster, as well as the first installations of the Scitex-KBA 74 Karat and Heidelberg Speedmaster 74 DI presses. Along with the Adast 705C DI, these four-page DI presses will provide commercial printers with the cost and quality benefits of on-press direct imaging and the productivity of larger formats.
"Like Heidelberg and the others already mentioned, press manufacturers will decide that DRUPA 2000 is a great venue to announce new DI press offerings using Presstek on-press imaging technology and thermal ablation plates. At present, Presstek has nearly 4,000 CTP imagers operating worldwide.
"We believe that 1999 will begin a new growth era for digitally based waterless printing. Not only will digital, on-press installations with waterless plates continue to grow, but large format thermal off-press CTP devices will fuel a resurgence in waterless. Imagers from Scitex and Creo, and plates from Presstek, Toray and others later, will bring full CTP capability to printers that recognize the faster makeready, better color stability and remarkable quality of waterless printing."
Axel Zoeller, director of prepress marketing at Heidelberg USA, on the German giant's great expectations for 1999—and the next frontier for thermal CTP.