Trends of Direct Plate Printing Presses - Report from Drupa 2000 Exhibition

During the Drupa exhibition held in Dusseldorf, Germany from May 18th to 31st, the largest number of direct Plate-making printers was exhibited, and some were called CTP (Computer-to-press) printers. This is called a DI (Direct Imaging) press. The United States Presstek Corporation has registered the trademark with DI. Presstek’s "We Are DI" billboards are displayed on the booth and throughout the show.

In 1991, Presstek collaborated with Heidelberger Printing Machinery to develop the world's first GTO-DI direct plate printing press (with a web size of 520mm). In May 1995, Presstek's DI technology was adopted, Heidelberg introduced Quickmaster (Quickmaster). ) DI46-4 eight-color four-color printing press (format 460mm), in this DI printing machine is installed inside the drum automatic plate device, automatic ink control device and plate, rubber, automatic cleaning cylinder imprinting device.

In March 1996, the Adast press company in the Czech Republic applied Presstek's DI technology to launch the 745CDI four-color four-color printing press with a 660mm format. In 1997, the Karat Digital Press Company, a joint venture between KBA and Scitex, applied Presstek's DI technology to launch the 74 Karat four-color printing machine ( The width is 740mm).

From 1991 to 1997, the DI printers developed from the eight- to four-port presses based on Presstek's technology all use waterless offset printing plates. They not only use special waterless offset inks and waterless offset printing plates (Pearldry), but also The cooling system of the offset printing ink system is also increased, making the cost of equipment and consumables high, affecting the promotion of DI printing presses.

In May 1998, Cero (now CeroScitex, a joint venture company with Scitex) cooperated with Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG to develop the world's first water offset press - SM 74 DI. Offset printing ink, and can choose to use Kodak Poly light or Agfa and other manufacturers of CTP plates, greatly reducing the cost of use.

At this Drupa exhibition, Komori Press Co., Ltd. applied CeroScitex technology and showed for the first time the world's first DI diverted four-color offset press Project D (1020mm format). Offset printing machine.

At the exhibition, the German Mann Roland Offset Printing Machine Company also adopted CeroScitex technology and exhibited a DI four-color multicolor web offset press—DICOweb (web size: 520mm).

At the same time, Presstek developed the offset printing version of Pearlgold for DI offset presses and developed the ProFireR on-machine scanning module. At this exhibition, it was installed at Japan Ryobi (3404DI), Japan's Sakurai. (OL-47EIIDI) and Czech Adast (557DI) offset presses, greatly reducing the cost.

Dainippon Screen Company also exhibited at the exhibition a water-based DI Offset Press based on its own DI technology and Japan Sakurai, the Truepress 544 (formatted 540mm) and 744 (formatted 740mm). Japan and Germany achieved a winning vote in the competition of offset press manufacturing.

From 1991 to now, after nearly a decade of hard work, prepress equipment manufacturers (Presstek, CeroScitex, Screen) and printer manufacturers (Heidelberg, KBA, Mann Gloria, Komori, Sakurai, Ryobi, Ada (Stacey) cooperated and completed the process from the 8th to the DI printing machine. After going through the process from the waterless DI offset press to the DI water offset press, it also walked from the dedicated DI scanning device to the standard DI scanning device. The process. From the perspective of experts and audiences at the exhibition, the DI printer has basically gone through the process from development to marketization. The future of the offset printing press belongs to the DI printer. This is an irresistible trend.

DI printing machine list (* is new product)

Printer factory format eight open four open
Heidl berg QM DI46-4
Presstek-Pearldry SM74DI
Man-Roland *DICOweb
KBA 74 Karat
Komori *Project-D
Adast *557 DI
Presstek-Pearldry-ProFire 745 C DI

Ryobi *3404 DI
Screen True press 544
Mitsubishi SD plate *True press 744
Mitsubishi SD plate

1. Presstek

Presstek's technology and components can be used for various types of DI printers. The Presstek imaging module is the most installed thermal imaging technology in the industry and currently uses an integrated imaging system called ProFire. This compact design includes lasers, electronics and moving parts that can be easily scaled to the required size (below AO to A4) and the resolution of the desired imaging device. ProFire requires only 3 inputs: image data, laser coolant and power. This device allows DI printers, computer-to-plate and computer direct proofing systems to easily adopt this new technology. In the past five years, Presstek has produced 115,000 laser diodes. The failure rate is far below 1%, and the price is below $1,000. Imaging takes only 5 minutes. Currently Presstek has installed more than 6,000 thermal imaging devices worldwide. The heat-sensitive device is fairly fast and stable, easy to maintain, and does not have to be checked daily/weekly like other thermal lasers, and replaced every year.

The ProFire imaging system consists of three main components: the FirePower multibeam laser system, the FireStation digital controller and data server, and the integrated motion system.

(1) The FirePower laser system consists of Presstek's unique laser diode and extremely fast laser driver. The laser driver is located next to the laser diode, reducing the time for the laser to operate, thus reducing imaging time. Each of my high-energy lasers emits four laser beams from a single lens in the module bag, which allows faster imaging and higher resolution.

(2) The FireStation digital controller and data server are the brains of the system, including FireWire high-speed connections. The system can process 400 million pixels per second. The digital controller transmits the data to the laser and has special electronics to maintain the imaging accuracy, accuracy, and consistency. The FireStation controller is capable of transferring ink ink zone data directly to the ink control system of the direct imaging press.

(3) The integrated motion system can place the laser at the right place at the right time.

At the exhibition, Presstek listed a long list of companies that use the company's DI technology and manufacturers' booths. In addition to imaging components, Presstek also introduced plates for computer-to-plate and plate imaging machines.

2. Adarst's 557 DI

In this exhibition, Presstek and Adast jointly launched a new type of direct imaging printer 557 DI. The direct imaging technology of this model is based on the Presstek ProFire imaging system and the innovative drum design of the internal storage plate, using the Presster's Prardldry Plus plate. At the time of change of plate, the plate material is output from the supply roll in the plate cylinder. At the same time, the plate of the previous job is involved in the take-up plate. This time takes only 20 seconds, and at the same time, 5 plates are imaged. Accurate printing.

557 DI has four-color and five-color models, format 381mm × 520mm, waterless offset printing, 12,000 printing per hour. There are 32 lasers on each machine on the machine. It takes only 4.4 minutes to complete imaging at 2540dpi resolution. 10 minutes of print preparation, including loading, loading, inking, imaging, changing plates, ink key settings, overprinting and color balance.

3. Heidelberg Speedmaster DI 46-4

This is a 34mm × 46mm format full-color color short-printing model. The printing unit is equipped with a unique plate cylinder, each with an integrated master box. Each box contains enough plate material for 35 prints. When printing plates are changed, the four color plates are simultaneously imaged and can be accurately positioned without the operator having to adjust them. Four imaging devices use a total of 16 laser diodes to image the plate. The laser beam etched the top layer to expose the ink-sensitive base layer, while the ink-repelling silicon surface remained intact in the non-printed areas. The imaging accuracy is 1270 dpi and the number of screen lines is 150 lpi. After imaging, the plate is ready for printing using an automatic cleaning system.

The machine is a satellite type, and a four-fold diameter central impression cylinder makes it possible to print four colors at a time, reducing paper stress and tension.

With a printing speed of 10,000 impressions/minute, a 500-print job (including print preparation time) can be completed in 20 minutes. This model fully utilizes the advantages of DI and is designed to change jobs frequently. Not only for short-lived, but also for 10,000 prints/hour, it is handy for long-lived.

4. Heidelberg Speedmaster 74DI

This is the DI model in the original Heidelberg Speedmaster press with the addition of an imaging device.

The Heidelberg AutoPlate plate processing system designed for DI is designed to automatically pull out and clamp the development-free thermal plate when imaging, and then simultaneously image all the printing units through the CP2000 touch screen.

The imaging equipment used in the Speedmaster 74 DI printing unit is equipped with a 40W laser, and the entire imaging time of 20 in. × 28 in. is completed with a resolution of 2400 dpi and does not exceed 3.5 minutes. The imaging process is performed on all printing units at the same time, overprinting is precise, and there is no need for any subsequent processing for the development of the plate.

The ink zone settings are automatically performed. The data of CIP3 is used to calculate the distribution of all color inks of the job and then transferred to the CP ink fountain for reservation. This helps to reduce the amount of wasted paper at start-up and therefore also reduces preparation time.

It is worth mentioning that the AutoPlate system, in addition to the functions of drawing and clamping thermal plates, also has the ability to remotely perform lateral, circumferential, and diagonal line registrations, plus programmable Clean the ink roller, blanket, and impression cylinder. Each plate change and automatic clamping time within 1 minute, and without the use of any tools for the operator, both accurate and avoid deformation caused by the clamping rod.

5. Man Roland's DICOweb

The manufacturer calls it the first real-computer offset printing system on the market. The first time it can be directly imaged, imaged, and reimaged on the press. It is fully automated, there is no film, no plate. Therefore, the DICOweb system has opened up a new path for short-run printing.

The technical specifications of this web printing press using DI technology are: output of 200,000 printings/hour (cutting length of 630 mm), printing speed of 3.5 m/s, variable cutting length, and web width of 520- 300mm. When the job is changed, the imaging operation takes only 2 minutes depending on the size of the web, and the time for the full plate change is about 10 minutes. The imaging operation is produced by a high-resolution laser of 3200 dpi or more.

The cost of production can be greatly reduced by eliminating the need for expensive films and plates

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