Digital Magazine

Digital News for the Converting Industry

News from: AB Dick, Agfa, Collabria, CreoScitex, DAX, GretagMacbeth, Mitsui & Co., NPES, PGI, PIA, Presstek, Purup-Eskofot, Schawk, Xeikon, and X-Rite.

A.B. Dick & Purup-Eskofot Announce Agreement

NILES, IL, USA & BALLERUP, DENMARK—A.B. Dick Co. and Purup-Eskofot have agreed to share technology in direct-to-plate (DTP) devices. The agreement, which was reached late last spring, involves component parts for a large-format DTP unit expected to be on the market early next year. Notes Purup-Eskofot CEO/president William Schulin-Zeuthen, "This is the first step of benefiting from the synergy created through the merger of [our company] and Scanview. Working together with a very successful worldwide partner like A.B. Dick provides huge potential. We also intend to pool our R&D resources." Previously, the companies had pooled resources to market the DPM2340 direct-to-plate device. "Our first venture together last year was very successful," says A.B. Dick senior VP Ken Newton. "This agreement proves we will continue to offer our customers the best technology available."

PrintCommerce Solution Now Available in Japan
SAN MATEO, CA, USA & TOKYO, JAPAN—Collabria Inc.and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. have agreed to give Mitsui the right to distribute Collabria's PrintCommerce, an on-line printflow solution, throughout Japan. Mitsui will provide sales, marketing, and technical support for PrintCommerce in Japan. "We are pleased to take our relationship with Mitsui to the next level," states Alan Hu, Collabria president and CEO. "Printers and print buyers using the PrintCommerce system in the United States today are realizing significant cost and time savings. As the largest general trading company in Japan, Mitsui will be able to help the Japanese printing industry realize comparable savings." PrintCommerce is available as a hosted application service through privately branded web sites and enables print buyers and suppliers to conduct business on-line. The service can be accessed 24 hr/day, 7 days/week.

Industry Studies
NPES Study Gauges Digital Impact on Litho Presses

RESTON, VA, USA—According to the Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing, and Converting Technologies (NPES), variable data and direct imaging presses will have a minor impact on short-term revenues generated by traditional litho presses. But, reports the organization, the new digital print options will continue to spread quickly through the marketplace, and the factors driving the growth have large implications for the industry long-term.

These were the key findings in NPES's newly completed study, The Changing Dynamics of Print: The Near-Term Impact of New Press Technologies—The Variable Data Press and the Direct Imaging Press. The latest in a multiyear series of original research projects, the study provides a clearer picture of how variable data printing (VDP) and direct imaging (DIP) will affect markets, revenues, and growth prospects for the printing, publishing, and converting industries.

PIA Study Focuses on Printing E-Commerce
ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA—Forecasts for the printing industry's e-commerce adoption is the focus of the latest study published by the Printing Industries of America Inc. (PIA). Vision 21, The Printing Industry Redefined for the 21st Century, is the third in a series of studies developed by PIA. According to the organization, the first two—Printing 2000 and Bridging to a Digital Future—are consulted widely by printers looking to develop strategies to learn about and integrate industry changes. Dr. Ron Davis, PIA's chief economist, reports the e-commerce research focuses on models that have emerged and have been accepted by printers, customers, and suppliers. Impresse, a printing industry e-commerce provider, supplied funding for Vision 21, and Heidelberg, Sun Chemical, Kodak Polychrome, and Georgia Pacific also sponsored the study. The report was unveiled in October at a PIA national conference in Chicago, IL.

Supplier News
CreoScitex Demos Plateless Technology at Graph Expo

CHICAGO, IL, USA—CreoScitex, Burnaby, B.C., Canada, unveiled its SP plateless digital printing technology at this past September's Graph Expo/Converting Expo. According to co., the SP process eliminates the need for lithographic plates when offset printing, which the mfr. says will save printers the expense and hassle of ordering, unpacking, stocking, and recycling plates. The process utilizes fluid lithographic materials that are applied as thin coatings. Immediately after application on press, a thermal laser imaging system switches the lithographic properties of the coatings to create the image. Reports Brad Palmer of CreoScitex, "Our goal was to demonstrate the feasibility of the SP process. We are now working with several leading press manufacturers to bring this technology to commercial reality in about two years."

Xeikon to Integrate Agfa Digital Printing Systems
MORTSEL, BELGUIM—In an agreement reached in July, shareholders of Xeikon N.V. approved the integration of the DPS business of Afga-Gevaert N.V. into Xeikon's operations. The transferred business assets include Agfa's toner and developer technology, R&D staff, intellectual property, and manufacturing operations. Xeikon CEO Alfons Buts says, "The integration consolidates Xeikon's leadership position in the digital printing market. The newly acquired digital front-end technology and additional world-class professionals will accelerate Xeikon's penetration of new applications." Xeikon also has reported the closing of a final agreement under which Man Roland, Oftenbach, Germany, will assume responsibility for Agfa's direct sales and service staff worldwide, with the exception of those employed in North America and in Japan.

Schawk Brings CTP Flexo Capabilities to Mexico
DES PLAINES, IL, USA—Schawk Inc. has completed a digital imaging prepress facility in Queretaro, Mexico. From production art and conventional photopolymer platemaking through CTP imaging, the 14,000-sq-ft facility offers complete digital prepress workflow capabilities, says the co. Notes William Farrisee, director of business development for Latin America, "The new facility enhances our ability to deliver speed-to-market solutions for our multinational clients and to assist them in realigning standards in Latin American countries to achieve global brand consistency." Schawk provides advanced technology services for the food, beverage, and consumer products packaging, point-of-sale, and advertising markets.

DAX Announces Marketing Promotion
CHICAGO, IL, USA—Digital Art Exchange Inc. (DAX), recently announced the promotion of Katie Matrone to manager of marketing communications. According to the co., DAX is the first managed Internet and application service provider for the graphic communications industry. Prior to her new appointment, Matrone held the position of marketing coordinator. Matrone, together with VP of technology Charles Gehman, will raise and maintain DAX brand awareness by overseeing all marketing-related activities while helping facilitate strategic partnerships, alliances, and relationships. After contributing to the successful launch of PrintPlanet.com, Matrone will be involved in daily decisions concerning the concept, design, advertising, and overall branding of PrintPlanet.com, which, according to DAX, is frequented by more than 20,000 subscribers daily.

Polaroid Announces Personnel Moves
WALTHAM, MA, USA—Polaroid Graphics Imaging (PGI) LLC has appointed K. Richard Littrell VP of North American field operations. Formerly the senior worldwide product manager for CTP systems at Agfa Corp., Littrell will be responsible for all of PGI's field sales throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. In addition, PGI has promoted Richard C. Deroo to the post of director, strategic partners and OEM sales. Deroo advances from his position as business line manager and will manage PGI's current growing partnership activities with Agfa and Man Roland. He also will direct the company's ongoing development of additional partnerships and OEM relationships with other industry leaders.

GretagMacbeth Revamps Seminar Format
NEW WINDSOR, NY, USA—GretagMabeth LLC recently announced the reformulation of its 2000 Fall-Winter Color and Appearance Seminar program. According to the co., the new format gives attendees the option of attending one or both of the day sessions. The first session, "Basic Fundamentals of Color and Appearance," helps attendees understand how to evaluate, measure, and communicate color through lectures, demonstrations, and discussions. The second session, "Advanced Practical Use and Measurement of Color Data," will assist attendees in the identification and control of certain measurement variables. For the second session, the co. recommends attendees understand color fundamentals and possess a working knowledge of color and instrument usage.

Presstek Names New Distributor
HUDSON, NH, USA—Presstek has named VIP Offset & Graphic Arts Supplies & Equipment Inc. a distributor for its new computer-to-plate (CTP) prepress products. According to Presstek, the distributor will service customers located primarily in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Among the Presstek products VIP will distribute: the Dimension Series CTP systems with Anthem thermal plates, both of which were showcased for the first time at September's Graph Expo in Chicago, IL. Says Carl Brucher, Presstek's eastern regional sales manager, "The quality of [these products] combined with the expert guidance VIP provides to its customers surely will result in higher productivity."

CreoScitex to Bundle X-Rite Technology in Proofing Package
GRANDVILLE, MI, USA & BURNABY, B.C., CANADA—X-Rite Inc. and CreoScitex have signed an agreement in which CreoScitex receives the right to bundle X-Rite measurement equipment with the CreoScitex contract proofing system. The agreement, which expands a continuing relationship between the two companies, will provide CreoScitex with the ability to enhance color management capabilities of its Iris Contract Proofing system using X-Rite's DTP41 autoscan spectrophotometer technology. CreoScitex will bundle the DTP41 with Iris2PRINT and Iris4PRINT digital contract proofing systems.

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