Bellak Color was founded more than 50 years ago as a color separator. “The company saw an opportunity to move into printing while the color separation business was still strong,” says Oscar Gonzalez, Prepress Manager, “and we have been direct-to-plate since about 2000.”
Today, the company has 50 employees, an 8-color Mitsubishi perfecting press and a 6-color Misubishi press configured with an in-line, full-color foil printing process that enables the production of short runs with in-line foil.
Bellak decided the time had come to upgrade its direct-to-plate capability. The violet system was extremely dirty, according to Gonzalez. “We simply could not keep the system clean, which resulted in daily cleaning.” In addition to the chemicals and down time, our platesetter was not imaging consistently. “We wanted to find a cleaner thermal system that could not only give us consistent imaging, but improve the quality our presses could deliver.”
Bellak performed a market study to determine the best solution. Gonzalez comments, “We chose the Presstek Compass 8030 (Booth 3417) with Aeon plates. It was based on price, performance, and the customer-centric approach we saw from Presstek. It was clear that they appreciated our business. We were more than just another sale to them.”
The company chose to use Aeon plates due to the abrasive nature of UV inks used in their in-line foil production process and added a post-bake oven to increase plate durability. Bellak also took advantage of automation upgrades to the Compass 8030, including three input cassettes and an autoloader.
The new plates enable higher quality and more consistent printing with virtually no remakes. “The high throughput is due in part to increased uptime from the cleaner system,” Gonzalez says. “But it is also due to the fact that it is simply a faster machine.”
“There are always bumps in the road when implementing a new system,” he says, “Presstek worked hard to make sure everything ran as we needed it to.”