News was given on the progress of Cyrel Digital Imaging (CDI) platesetters. Since 1995 a total of 220 CDIs have been sold out of a total CTP population of 270 machines. DuPont looks forward to the concept of using satellite platesetters in different production centers, networked to a central platesetter, as a driver for digital growth.
DuPont has developed PowerBeam optics using a new longer-life laser beam with fiber diodes to image a full size plate in just over 20 minutes on the totally PC-controlled CDI Classic. The original TwinBeam and SingleBeam versions are also available. A similar option is planned for the CDI Compact.
Upgrades to the CDI Spark label and small carton version include an integral RIP for driving other output devices, including Digital Cromalin proofers. A CDI Spark version to complement the Cyrel FAST plate processor will be launched in April at Ipex 2002 in the UK.
There are currently 30 FAST installations in Europe and 120 systems in North America. The thermal-process dry technology is seen as a valid alternative to solvent-based processing. Besides environmental concerns, the plates can be made in 36 to 52 minutes, rather than two to five hours or more. Quality issues include a lack of plate swelling for an even plate with reduced dot gain.
Analog flexo plates remain at the heart of DuPont Imaging Technologies’ business. Among several developments is the Cyrel HIQ, which has improved surface technology will deliver both good halftones and consistent solids. It was also learned that the much-hyped AQS water-washout plate is fading fast. DuPont will support the user base, but has stopped development work.