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With its five-minute changeover and lower plate cost, the 344 is the logical alternative to conventional litho, says Simon Eccles.
Six months after its Drupa debut, Screen's A3+ format TruePress 344 digitally imaged litho press is available for demonstrations at the UK showroom in Milton Keynes. Visitors to Digital Print World in London last month could also see it in operation. The first UK sale has been made to Pre-Press Digital in Newcastle (PrintWeek, 10 November), which will install it in January alongside a pair of existing Xerox DocuColor 6060 variable-data colour presses. The UK has only been allocated a handful of the initial production run and they have all been sold, says UK sales manager Bui Burke. 'We are looking at April/May for the second batch.'
Although this is a digitally imaged press with a brand new processless wet offset plate, this is downplayed in Screen's marketing message. What really matters is that this is an offset litho colour press in a box that's no harder to use than a high-end colour copier. All workflow, job queues and running operations are completely automatic, with intelligent closed-loop colour controls. Job changeovers take just five minutes, with all four plates imaged in two minutes.
The only manual operations are adding ink, plate cassettes and paper at one end, and taking finished sheets from the stacker at the other.
A single button selects the five-minute daily cleaning cycle. …