It's Like Totally' Digital
Printers willing to work through a few minor obstacles can reap huge rewards by implementing "total digital workpath" concepts and technologies.
by Terri McConnell
In 1919, three gentlemen put up $500 dollars each to start a new business in downtown Cincinnati. The companyPhototype Engravingtook its name from an amazing new technology for photographing type and etching it into metal printing plates.
During the past 80 years, Phototype Engraving has remarkably remained on the leading edge of packaging printing technology, offering a comprehensive portfolio of services ranging from digital photography, to image asset management, to conventional and photopolymer platemaking, to short-run printing. The company is one of only a handful of color separators to fully embrace the concept of a totally digital workpath. For all its efforts, Phototype has compiled a client list that reads like a "Who's Who" of leading manufacturers: Printpack, Procter & Gamble, Ross Laboratories, Smuckers, Aurora Foods, and Hillshire Farms. In recognition of their pro-active, partnership-based service, Phototype recently received Huntsman Packaging's Key Supplier Award. Of Phototype's total revenues, 75 percent is from packaging accounts.
In this first in a series on digital platemaking, packagePRINTING asked Phototype's Director of Marketing, Chris Deye, and Director of Printing and Plating Technologies, Bill Hounshell, to comment on digital technology's impact on the package printing process and the relationship among print buyer, separator, and converter.
pP: What is the totally digital workpath?
CD: "The concept began 12 years ago when we installed Scitex retouching workstations. The purchase was driven by an end-user who saw the potential for a giant leap in image quality. We made the investment, but then customized the way we used the workstations to control costs.
"Today, with our digital photo studio on the front-end and two recently purchased Barco Graphics Cyrel Digital Imagers (CDI) on the back-end, we have a truly complete, digital workflow. The challenge is to use all this equipment to meet clients' specific needs, while finding efficiencies that reduce costsor at least keep them constant. That is the totally digital workpath."