Fujifilm to unveil new CtP system and Elara 5 Workflow at IFRA Berlin

Elara Production Planner
Elara Production Planner

At the  IFRA World Publishing Expo 2018  (9-11 October, Berlin), Fujifilm will introduce two new solutions to its newspaper portfolio, both reinforcing the company’s commitment to making newspaper production more profitable as part of its Superia initiative. The company will be present in Hall 21a Stand E.01.

Superia has seen considerable success in the commercial print market since its introduction, with its simple aim of reducing the resources used in offset printing in the form of materials, labor, water, energy and waste.  Fujifilm has now applied these ideals to newspaper production, with a particular focus on improving automation and reducing material usage and waste.

The company will be showcasing two new modules as part of its Elara 5 Workflow, Elara Production Planner and Elara PDF, and will also unveil a new addition to its Luxel VMAX range, the Luxel VMAX 600, shown at Ifra in concept form and, which the company claims to be the fastest CtP device on the market.

Elara Production Planner

Elara Production Planner is a unique new workflow tool that allows Elara users to plan newspaper editions based upon press configurations that can be created from inside the Elara 5 system. Software-to-press interfaces are often extremely expensive (sometimes the interface costs even more than the entire workflow software) but such expensive systems are no longer needed. Elara Production Planner takes care of press configuration and template setup directly, from which the workflow gets all the information it needs. It also automates the process of page pairing, press cylinder correction and plate-stacking and sorting.

Elara PDF

Elara PDF is a new tool (available for all major platforms: Windows, Apple Mac and Linux) that can check, repair and normalize PDF files before production. Many newspaper printers get PDF files from external parties and these can have a range of specific issues that need to be addressed, such as RGB format images, thin lines, incorrect versions, missing fonts, low resolution images or overprinted text. Elara PDF finds and fixes these issues where possible and notifies the user via the user interface or by email. This versatile system also offers pre-flighting, picture enhancement, ink-saving, PDF flattening, anti-aliasing and more. A version that includes the high speed and comprehensive Elara Rip is also available.

Luxel VMAX 600 CTP

Having introduced an innovative trolley-based pallet loading option for its Luxel VMAX 400 CtP at last year’s IFRA exhibition, Fujifilm this year is demonstrating its leadership in newspaper systems by showcasing how even greater levels of speed and efficiency could be achieved with the technology showcase of the Luxel VMAX 600. Owing to its cutting-edge laser technology and optimal plate-loading functionality, it can operate at unrivalled speeds.

Whilst punch bender manufacturers and processors still struggle to keep up with these types of speeds, the Luxel VMAX 600 showcases what is possible in terms of raw plate imaging speeds.  Fujifilm will therefore be reviewing customer interest with a view to introducing it as a commercial system at a later date.

According to Yasunobu Nishiyama, senior vice president, Graphic Systems Division, Fujifilm Europe, “Improving automation and maximising efficiencies remain key goals in Fujifilm’s continuous drive to innovate and develop leading solutions for its newspaper customers. These new additions to our Superia newspaper portfolio offer the possibility of even greater levels of automation and production efficiency, while also helping minimise environmental impact.  In what continues to be a very challenging market, Fujifilm is striving to help newspaper printers make further advances in terms of optimizing production and maximising profits.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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