Future plans of the hottest plate manufacturers

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The future plan of plate manufacturers

first of all, we should state that digital plate imaging is still an advanced technology in the offset printing field in the coming decades. But why should we discuss such topics as the next step plan of plate manufacturers after the computer direct plate making technology? The main reasons are as follows: firstly, it is necessary to predict the development direction of computer direct plate making; Second, it is necessary for us to understand the strategies of the major plate suppliers who prepare for computer plate making

at the early stage of the development of computer direct plate making technology, people in the industry once claimed that in the field of offset printing, the final development direction of computer direct plate making technology is neither thermal version nor violet laser version, because they can not represent the future of computer direct plate making. First of all, let's take a look at the first step towards the development of direct computer plate making in the future: the treatment free plate, that is, a plate that does not need to be coated at all. After 1995, although pressek company developed the untreated pearldry waterless offset printing plate, due to its complex and difficult production process, the price of the plate was too high and the user's interest in it was low. Naturally, its promotion and application were not successful. Since then, Presstek has continuously launched some non processing versions (such as a n t h e m, a p -use version), but the price is still very expensive. In addition to the above shortcomings, these plates also present some technical difficulties on the printing press

the Azura version of AGFA company was officially launched in January, 2004. It is used for wet offset printing. It is only a little more expensive than the ordinary thermal version. It can perform in-machine imaging. Agfa recently released that at present, more than 100 sets of Azura chemical free printing plate systems have been installed and used all over the world

direct computer to printing press

the second step towards the development of direct computer plate making in the future is the revival of direct computer to printing press (i.e. Di, offset direct imaging on the machine). In the past few years, due to the great impact of computer direct plate making technology on the printing industry, the technology of computer direct to printing machine has lost some charm. Another factor restricting the direct development of computers to printing presses is that printing press manufacturers rely too much on purchasing imaging devices from companies such as pressek and Cleo, resulting in very expensive printing presses. In this way, as a leading enterprise in the printing press market, Heidelberg has the opportunity to develop its own low-cost in-process imaging devices

Heidelberg has always adhered to the business policy of financial stability, which makes it focus on the development of sheet fed printing machines and seek all ways to make its products different from those of gaobao and Manroland. In this respect, in-flight imaging is particularly prominent. It is hoped that this is not limited to Suba SM74, SM102, sm52 and yinba pm52, but also have some features. Sm52 and yinba pm52 have automatic version change function, and can use digital imaging plates such as Azura and other digital imaging plates waiting for external drum imaging. In addition, the sm52 is suitable for various printing machines, usually larger ones. These types of digital imaging (DI) printers will be the more modern and effective successor versions of Kuaiba Di 10 years ago. We all hope to see more attractive Di printing machine models on the Heidelberg booth at the next drupa exhibition

the above situation leads to a very interesting topic: what will happen to pressek and Cleo under the influence of this development trend? Presumably pressek will no longer be able to sell its imaging devices to Heidelberg and kuaibao Di that uses pearldry plates for imaging; Creo is also unlikely to install its imaging device on the speedpa 74DI

the third and final stage of CTP development is the use of erasable Version (or plate roller). Manroland has provided a solution: DICOweb. However, due to the technical requirements of DICOweb structure, the price is very expensive. For imaging, we need to use the thermal ribbon imaging head provided by Cleo, which makes the whole scheme very expensive. Manroland no longer applies the above scheme to the loose leaf printing machine. At present, no CTP dealer can meet the demand of Manroland for external drum plate making machine, which can not only image plates, but also erase plates (such as a product exhibited by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in druba)

in the 1990s, Cleo obtained a patent on erasable in-machine imaging and demonstrated it with the help of AGFA's Litespeed material. Agfa also used Litespeed substances in the production of the first generation of sleeveless Thermolite. Two printer manufacturers are currently testing the technology

plate manufacturers

what will plate manufacturers like Agfa, Fujifilm, Kodak and Cleo do next? We can clearly see from the development of the following four companies in recent years: while constantly consolidating their plate processing and sales position, the above four plate manufacturers are marching towards digital printing in different forms

Agfa company

in 2004, Agfa purchased the plate manufacturer Lastra company, and added a powerful thermal version to it. At present, Agfa has a series of complete computer direct plate making materials: thermal plate, violet laser plate and sleeveless drug plate which is in the leading position in the market. In Switzerland, 9 of the 20 users of xcalibur plate making machine are using Azura version, and another 4 users are rapidly pressing the handle to turn the passive pointer back to the maximum energy of the dial. They are looking forward to the availability of more processing free versions in the market. Agfa has cooperated with chrompress and Saikang. The cooperation experience tells it that when it competes with vendors from the office market, it is almost impossible to make a profit from selling high-performance, toner based digital printing systems. Agfa finally decided to focus on the development of inkjet printing business. After several years of development, Agfa has already possessed considerable competitive strength in the printing market. Agfa sells m u t o h printers with the label "Sherpa". Agfa also manufactures inks (including inks for competitors) and inkjet media (5million m2 per year) in Mortsel, Belgium

Ike found that 7500 sets of Sherpa equipment (not only the proofing machine, but also the latest wide format printer) have been sold. At present, Agfa is expanding into other suitable markets. In january2004, Agfa purchased dotrix company and entered the industrial inkjet printing and packaging market. In cooperation with Thieme, a German silk printing manufacturer, Agfa has developed a platform type inkjet printer suitable for wide and short version silk to ensure high-end printing of products, which is suitable for both hard and soft materials. It is said to be listed in the second quarter of this year

Fujifilm company

it is reported that Fujifilm company clicked the [valve port reset] on the main interface until it heard the rattling sound. In the 2003/2004 fiscal year, its sales revenue exceeded 18.5 billion euros, with 73000 employees. Its products and service support (film and plate) include digital cameras, laboratory equipment, photographic development equipment, printing consumables, medical imaging equipment, storage media, LCD boards, digital multi-function printers Document management software and technical support

Fuji has always provided users with 532nm photopolymerization computer direct plate making materials. A few years ago, the thermal version was developed and sold in bundle with the luxel-t 6000/96000 external drum plate making machine (designed and manufactured by the screen company). In the autumn of 2004, Fuji launched a thermal version suitable for newspaper printing

since Fuji introduced the purple laser (which can be washed and processed under the yellow light), it has also introduced the luxel-v 6000/9600 plate making machine. Fuji users in Germany can choose between purple laser and thermal technology, but in other markets (such as the Chinese market), only purple laser technology is available, and the sales of purple laser version are rising

in terms of proofing, Fuji company launched the joint product Fuji/Epson printer at the 2004 druba exhibition, which began to be sold in the summer of 2004. So far, Fuji has sold 1500 sets of CO branded inkjet printers in the European market. In fact, the action of selling Epson printers through Fuji sales channels has been going on as early as a few years before the launch of joint brand products. The total number of Epson printers sold by Fuji is about 3500 sets

in January this year, Fuji acquired Sericol, a manufacturer of silk printing and inkjet ink. For four years, serial has been selling Spyder, eagle and Columbia platform inkjet printers. Sericol is active in more than 80 countries with products on four continents


Kodak, a giant in the photography industry, obviously feels the decline of the mature traditional photography market, but does not try to occupy the market share of mature digital cameras. As a result, Kodak redefined its business in 2004 and established a graphic image group (GCG) to serve the printing industry

in terms of printing plates, Kodak purchased 50% shares of KPG owned by Sun Chemical Company and wholly controlled KPG. It would not be surprising if the name of "poly light" disappeared from its product name. In addition, with the addition of violet laser plate, the supply range of Kodak printing plate is wider. With the successful acquisition of Cleo, Kodak, like Agfa and Fuji, will stick to R & D and manufacturing and re bundle the plates and plate making machines

Kodak ventured into the color digital printing market together with Heidelberg in 1997. In 2004, Kodak took over Heidelberg's shares in nExpress and Heidelberg's digital production business. In this way, nExpress and monochrome digimaster printing systems are the same again

in 2001, Kodak acquired ENCAD and began to make efforts to develop in the wide market. Kodak produces its own media supports and inks for the ENCAD factory. At the beginning of 2004, Kodak acquired saiangel digital printing company (now renamed Kodak Wanyin), which has achieved great success in the high-speed continuous inkjet market. Based on this, Kodak is developing new printing equipment. I believe that in a few years, when the printing process exceeds 10000 times, digital printing can be comparable with offset printing in terms of quality and cost


in order to compete with Agfa and Fujifilm, Clio purchased its own plate manufacturer in September, 2003. Since the acquisition of plate processing plants in South Africa and the United States, Cleo has been able to bundle the thermal version with trendsetter and LOTEM plate making machines. In March2004, Cleo announced that it had established a cooperative relationship with Sichuan Juguang (300 employees, annual plate output of 18million m2) and produced Yangtu thermal version jtp-1 to jointly develop the Chinese market

In January 2005, Cleo launched claruswl heat sensitive version without treatment. Claruswl is a polyester based ablative material, which is suitable for Heidelberg, gaobao and liyoubi printing presses, and is comparable to the pearldry polyester version of pressek. In addition to its own plate processing, Cleo also subcontracts the plate processing business to other manufacturers, such as ipagsa in Spain. Cleo and iris graphics jointly develop the proofing market, and use Epson 9600, 10600 and iris 62wide to enter the wide market. As for toner based digital proofing, Cleo has two very attractive products in spir server and Darwin variable data printing packaging, which are sold directly through Xerox. In the summer of 2004, Cleo was authorized to sell Xerox docucolor printing system in the U.S. market. The reason is that Kodak purchased nExpress and Heidelberg in the summer of 2004

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