Distribution Deals Announced at Nexpo

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By: E&P Staff

Saturday at Nexpo marked the start of distribution agreements between two U.S. vendors and two European vendors that significantly broadened the product portfolio of a partner to each agreement.

Minutes into the first day of the annual newspaper trade show and conference, thermal platesetting package supplier Southern Lithoplate announced that it will offer a violet platesetter — the Newsmatic HS plus from long-time output systems supplier ECRM.

Nexpo marked the introduction of the platesetter and a broader product offering by plate manufacturer that put together an alliance of companies supplying hardware, software and consumables for computer-to-plate output.

Southern Lithoplate signed to be a dealer of ours,? said ECRM National Accounts Manager Paul Norton after an HS plus machine was rolled into Southern Lithoplate?s booth.

Steve Mattingly, Southern Lithhoplate?s marketing chief, emphasized that his company remains partnered with Screen USA and Kodak for their thermal plattesetters. Mattingly added that he still believes the market will persist in a 70-30 split of thermal to violet platesetting.

The arrangement is partly a consequence work begun about two years ago to come up with a suitable violet-sensitive plate for customers not looking to convert to thermal CTP. To that end, Mattingly said, Southern Lithoplate applied technologies of its own, those that came with its acquisition of Citiplate, and others covered by the Imation patents Southern Lithoplate bought in 1999.

The result is the Tiger V plate.

The partnership was made attractive by ECRM?s new imager, which, with its 120mW laser, ?guaranties that s we introduce our process-free plates ?that machine is already prepared,? said Mattingly, who added that he does not regard competitors plates as chemistry- or process-free if they still require rinsing and/or gumming.

In the course of an early-afternoon presentation at the MAN Roland booth, Markus Feldenkirchen, CEO of ppi Media US Inc., said the subsidiary of the press maker?s production-management software unit had been named North American distributor for Escenic, the Norwegian Web-publishing software developer.

For ppi Media, the deal follows last year?s announcement that it would partner in this market for German asset-management software developer Digital Collections. For Escenic, it follows integration work with publishing systems supplier Digital technology International, based in Springville, Utah.

The latest deal makes ppi Media a ?Web-first content provider,? said Feldenkirchen. He noted that his company recently began offering an ad-scheduling component in its systems suite and said it will introduce early next year the editorial component.

The comprehensive, ad-order-through-post-press workflow and production-management system is capable of accommodating multiple publishers using one plant or one publisher using multiple plants, according to Feldenkirchen, who said the last quarter was ppi Media?s best to date.

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