Buyers' Guide on Platesetters

Drupa 2012 witnessed the launch of a raft of platesetters for the newspaper, commercial and flexographic printing segment, finds out Sachin Shardul

26 May 2012 | By Sachin Shardul

In 2008 which was the Drupa year, Andrew Tribute had stuck his neck out in favour of violet. The world preferred thermal. But as per PrintWeek India’s CTP report, violet still enjoys the dominating market share in India.

In 2012, once again the Drupa year, violet still grabs 53% market share in India.

One key reason for the violet boom in the India print industry has been the TechNova factory in Taloja which has aggressively marketed and installed violet CTP solutions. When the violet factory was set-up in 2008, the managing director and chairman of TechNova, Pranav Parikh said, “TechNova is providing end-to-end solutions, which includes plates, inks, and platesetters. This has become a must for the Indian print industry, which is witnessing a very exciting growth period. Print firms have taken a quantum leap in terms of the quality of the print applications.”

Contrary to popular belief, the main reason for increasing violet CTP installations has been quality and robustness along with lowest cost of ownership. The main reasons of increasing violet CTP installations have been speed, improving diode technology and the cost.

New launches at Drupa 2012
All the major CTP platesetter manufacturers like Agfa, Basysprint, Esko, FFEI, Fujifilm, Heidelberg and Kodak have launched new generation of platesetters.

Agfa Graphics has introduced two new high-speed platesetters for the high-volume newspaper market. The Advantage N PL HS (pallet-load, high-speed) and the Advantage N TR HS (trolley-load, high-speed), both produce up to 350 printing plates per hour.

Basysprint launched its next generation of 4-up and 8-up CTP UV platesetter for digital exposure of UV-sensitive offset printing plates. The new UV-Setter Series 460x and Series 860x deliver resolutions of up to 2,400dpi.

Fujifilm launched the Flenex DLE (Direct Laser Engraving) B2 CTP system, which Fujifilm says offers an “incredibly simple and high-quality method of producing flexo plates”.

Heidelberg unveiled a 5,080dpi version of its Suprasetter A52/A75 Suprasetter. Also, a new compact Auto/Dual cassette loader for the Suprasetter 105 was unveiled with a smaller processor to reduce chemistry and power usage.

Kodak showcased its Achieve all-in-one CTP system, which it says delivers “all the benefits of Kodak’s thermal imaging technology, such as exceptional image quality, true stability on press and operational efficiencies”.

The Kodak Achieve CTP system is currently being introduced in the Asia-Pacific region. Later in the year, availability will expand into emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

These models are on the radar of most Indian commercial print players. More than 250 platesetters are expected to be installed in India in 2012. This includes 200 brand-new platesetters and 50 refurbished platesetters. This is an improvement on the number of installations for 2010-11 of 210 platesetters which included 164 new platesetters and 46 refurbished platesetters.

What’s new in... CTP PLATESETTERS
1. Noida-based Creative Graphics, a flexo pre-press house, has ordered an Esko CDI Spark 4260 with 4000ppi high resolution optics and a processor line from DuPont.

2. Navakal, the Mumbai-based regional Marathi newspaper has invested in a brand-new Screen Platerite 2055Vi-S violet CTP platesetter, a first in Mumbai.

3. Fujifilm India announced the installation of the first Screen PT-R8600 M thermal CTP platesetter along with the Zac processor and one developer waste reduction system XR-2000 at the Faridabad-based PR Packaging.

4. TechNova’s 250 installations of violet CTP systems in India is a unique feat by a vendor. With the installation of the Alinte 8 High Definition at Hi-Tech Printing Services, Mumbai, TechNova crossed the 250 figure in a period of two years.

5. The Delhi-based pre-press bureau Nector Graphic increased its plates producing capacity by installing a refurbished Creo Scitex Trendsetter. Kodak’s Trendsetters are among the preferred systems in India.