Belgian prepress specialist BasysPrint has announced a new range of UV platesetters able to handle a range of plate treatments for different applications in a single device. The UV-Setter 450x and 850x, four- and eight-page platesetters respectively, have a flatbed design and include an integrated punch for accurate custom punching before exposure. Both models can be used to image UV plates for offset printing or spot varnishing, magnesium or copper photo engraving plates (up to 10mm thick) for hot foil stamping and embossing, as well as screen meshes and dies.

Not just for offset

Christophe Lievens, director of sales and marketing for Basysprint said that the new systems should help customers 'differentiate themselves in their commodity market'.

"With the promotion of being able, with our BasysPrint UV-Setter, to image different substrates, we want to offer our customers the possibility to differentiate in their commodity market. Today every printer prints their products applying, where possible, that extra touch of detail or special feature in order to differentiate. However to apply spot varnish, or embossing or even hot foil stamping, the creation of the plate is rather expensive. Most of the printers have to go to special trade shops to get one of these expensive imaged plates.

Now if they can make those plates themselves on one and the same engine, it has both an advantage in cost and flexibility. Printers will also apply much more of these finishing features if they can make the plates themselves," he said.

Modular designs

The devices have already been distributed to BasysPrint's network of resellers although they won't be commercially available until November. Both formats have a modular design that can be upgraded from completely manual to fully automatic multi-cassette systems able to run five different plate formats.

The 850x offers greater productivity than its predecessor with a dual-plate loading system to process two plates simultaneously, producing up to 120 plates an hour.

The system can also be remotely controlled through mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers.

Leivens added that the systems were aimed at eight-up and VLF printers and trade shops. He said: "The ability to provide an array of innovative applications that will differentiate their offering in an increasingly commodity-based industry is of the utmost importance."

Cross Applications

Basysprint is now looking into other applications for the platesetters: "Our BasysPrint UV-Setter is using a Violet laser light source, emitting energy at 405nm. Any substrate which is sensitive to 405nm is being evaluated," said Leivens.

He added that both customers and substrate suppliers have been "very optimistic". Classic UV applications also include printing plates for flexography and screen printing, and the production of flexible cutting dies. All of this can be produced on UV-Setters this even applies to magnesium-based etched dies for hot film stamping and embossing.

The touch setter CtP at your fingertips!

basysPrint drawn on its expertise in operating UV-Setters to develop a 'Touch Setter', featuring a completely new operating interface (GUI : Graphical User Interface) The operating concept of the basysPrint exposure unit is all about 'touch menus'. Fitted with a touch screen, it can be used for file management, ongoing operations, settings, maintenance and servicing. Controlling the UV-Setter can also be done from any computer on the network or even via wireless portable devices just like the Apple products.

The basysPrint UV-Setter endless energy!

The first violet laser diodes, which date back to 1999, had a modest 3 milliwatts (mW). Since then, diode performance has accelerated rapidly 5mW, 15mW, 30mW, 60 mW, 120 mW, 180 mW, followed by 200mW. At present, basysPrint uses 600mW diodes in its UV-Setters. The company is now on the verge of introducing 1000 mW diodes. As a result of these developments, the energy available to the modern exposure unit heads from basysPrint has increased significantly over a very short period of time. In terms of exposure units, this has allowed basysPrint to reduce the number of modules per head and simplify the configuration. One to three modules are now used per head, and they have managed to simplify both the technology and the product range for customers something which previously required a lot of time and effort.

Precise and efficient: the UV-Setter's autofocus

Another technical feature to which basysPrint paid a lot of attention is the outstanding autofocus of the UV-Setter's exposure heads, ensuring a sharp-edged point at all locations on the printing plate. This autofocus from basysPrint can balances out unevenness of the plate surface, regardless of whether it's the result of plate coating production errors or dirt on or under the plate. It is also a "focus on the fly" system, i.e. it adjusts continually depending on the requirements and exposure process. Evidently, it does this automatically as human intervention would not be possible in such a short space of time. And this is an autofocus with precision of 1 , which can follow the contour shapes of the screen in screen-printing exposure for instance.

DMD: a high-tech chip with much potential

The DMD's (Digital Mirror Device - the electronic reflective chips used in basysPrint's exposure unit head) have gone through rapid development. This DMD generation will once again raise the standard with a higher resolution, greater reflection on the chip and a considerably enhanced data throughput.

Sustainable CtP production that's faster than ever

The company has decreased the energy requirement of head cooling from 3500 watts to 1000 watts. The new developments has allowed to lower the connections of the UV-Setters from rotary current (three-phase connection) to standard alternating current (two-phase). With more than 32 distributors, basysPrint UV-Setters are sold in more than 40 countries worldwide basysPrint has renowned OEM partners who are continually using and installing UV-Setter technology in screen printing (KiWo) and exposing newspaper plates in flexography (MacDermid).