Fujifilm UK has introduced a new, more inclusive approach to its prepress plate sales called Platesense, which is presumably aimed at encouraging more printers to switch to Fujifilm plates.
Essentially, Fujifilm will offer printers a single price for their plates, which will also include managing waste and aluminium collection as well as supplying the plates and any other prepress consumables, such as chemistry, and CtP equipment. In theory, there should be a slight reduction in the cost of plates since Fujifilm will factor in the money earned from recycling the aluminium, but Fujifilm will also include a charge for managing the waste and reselling the aluminium.
The main benefit is likely to be that Fujifilm takes care of all the waste management though this depends on whether or not you already have in place efficient processes for managing waste and reselling the aluminium. Depending on customer requirements, Fujifilm could also include the maintenance support for the processor, though most printers would already have some sort of maintenance contract for their processor, and of course the value of this will depend on the number of plates used, which has always been the case with plate sales.
Naturally, Fujifilm will also offer additional services, such as switching to its XMF workflow. There’s also some suggestion that Fujifilm could offer management of prepress personnel.
Chris Broadhurst, general manager of Fujifilm UK said: “Despite the drive to digital, in which Fujifilm is a key technology pioneer, the volume of offset print output remains high both in the UK and globally, so the importance of continued innovation in this area cannot be overstated.”
This initiative mainly seems to come from Fujifilm UK and is likely designed to counter schemes from other vendors, most notably Heidelberg, which has been particularly successful in the UK in supplying plates and other consumables to its customers.
You can find more information on this programme at www.platesense.com.