Why Buy an Imagesetter?
In a perfect world, commercial printers may opt to go directly to CTP, passing over the imagesetter in a quest for high digital prepress productivity.
But in an environment that is harsh, cruel and unforgiving (just ask your toughest customer!), most commercial printers are finding the prudent move to all-digital prepress horizons starts with an imagesetter investment.
Screen's latest imagesetter effort is a new line of high-end output devices called Katana. The Katana 5040 is able to image on media up to 16˝ with a maximum imaging width of 15.7˝. The Katana 5055 can image on media up to 24˝, with a maximum imaging width of 21.7˝. The larger image area caters to the full-size film imaging of most B2 press formats and single-page broadsheet newspaper formats.
Katana imagesetters can be equipped with a choice of RIPs, including Screen's Taiga, which RIPS, traps, imposes, offers OPI and allows the user to edit the file without going back to the desktop, providing digital integrity throughout the workflow. Other RIPS that also interface with the Katana include Harlequin's ScriptWorks-based RIPs and PowerMac-based Adobe PostScript 3 RIPs.
"The imagesetter market is obviously growing. We're seeing tremendous activity in the eight-up format, which is obviously opening up new opportunities for commercial printing operations," reports Phil Kane, vice president of sales at Screen (USA). To date, Screen has an OEM agreement with Fujifilm on the Katana imagesetter for distribution to the U.S. market.
Turning to capstan initiatives at ECRM, the company recently introduced its new wide-format imagesetter called StingRay. Available in two versions, the StingRay 6300 has a 25˝ quality imaging width and the StingRay 5200, which is field upgradeable, has a 20.5˝ width. The 6300's width enables it to produce eight-up impositions for commercial printers or double-truck pages for newspapers. Both image to film, paper or polyester plates.