The 420, as it was previously known (a reference to its imaging width), was among the first UK machines to ride the crest of the UK’s CTP revolution. It was renamed the DPX2 after Esko sold the manufacturing rights of the machine to ECRM in 2006.
Designed for the B3 two-up printer, more than 600 DPX units have been installed by distributor Apex Digital Graphics. Apex has been associated with the machine almost from its inception after being appointed as the sole UK distributor in 1996 following the demise of its former dealer AM International.
The machine works by punching the plate to fit the press clamp registration pins, and then cutting the plates to fit the printing press. The laser ‘paints’ the image square to the punch holes before processing and drying the plate to deliver it in a press-ready state. Integrated register punches are provided for both 220mm and 425mm distance to ensure a perfect fit on the press and to negate the need for time-consuming press adjustments.
“The platesetter uses 61m-length rolls of dot-print polyester plate material that can be purchased in different sizes to accommodate the various press sizes on the market,” explains Bob Usher, Apex joint managing director. The rolls are housed in the DPX’s two cassettes and can yield as many as 120 B3 plates. Even with a built-in processor, the machine has a small footprint of just 102x107cm, making it a popular machine with customers. Using visible red laser technology and an internal vacuum drum, the DPX can image plates for landscape and portrait format presses. Plates are fed into the vacuum drum and punched according to the clamps on the user’s press. After imaging, the plates are transferred to the built-in processing unit where the image is developed. With full automation, the spot size can be automatically adjusted for a perfect spot that will yield high-quality prints.
Although the DPX’s plate material is light sensitive, the machine is not and as such it can be run in daylight without the need for yellow or red safe lights. The front end RIP is supplied by Harlequin and while current models are sold with a level 7.1 RIP, earlier models were installed with a 2.3 level RIP.
A wider version of the machine was introduced after Heidelberg launched its SM52 press with a larger plate size of 459x525mm in 2003. Extra plate widths are not upgradeable; however, devices made after 1998 can be purchased with RIP upgrades to the latest level.
After ECRM took ownership in 2006, a spruced-up version of the DPX was launched at Northprint 2007 with a number of improvements and upgrades incorporated into the machine, including a new automatic pre-load system.
Apex has more than 30 service employees nationwide and spare parts for models made after 1998 are widely available for purchase.
Max plate size 420x550mm
Upgraded max plate size 460x550mm
Max plate thickness 0.2mm
Max speed 20 plates per hour at 2540dpi
Max resolution 3,600dpi
Read the original article at www.printweek.com.
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