Buying Refurbished Equipment When Setting Up Shop

By: Chuck R Stewart

Two important printing machines in the print shop are the imagesetter and platesetters. These machines give results similar to what you can achieve with your home printer, but images of larger sizes can be printed. Imagesetters are an earlier technology that has been, in general, replaced by the platesetter.
Imagesetters produce large black and white images of very high quality. Graphics of up to 22 inches to 44 inches can be printed on the imagesetter, with a resolution that is generally in the range of 1200 and 2400 dots per inch (dpi). The final product is similar to the output from a laser printer, except that you can get greater image sizes, and the blacks on the image from the imagesetter is darker than the black that can be achieved by a laser printer.
Imagesetters are quite costly, so you might want to consider purchasing a used, refurbished model. It is very easy to find this type of machine for sale online at attractive prices. Prices for various types and models of rebuilt imagesetters by various manufacturers can be in the range of a low of around $4000 to a high of over $20,000. With this wide range of prices and wide variety of types of models, the buyer will benefit from the advice of a knowledgeable seller of refurbished imagesetter equipment. For this reason, you may want to purchase such equipment from a company that offers knowledgeable sales people who can educate you on the merits and benefits of each type or model of imagesetters. The cost of equipment sold this way will, in all likelihood, cost somewhat more than equipment bought without this assistance, but the additional cost will pay for itself in the long run because you will purchase the exact type of equipment that you need for your particular purposes. There will be no stabbing in the dark and disappointment caused by purchasing the wrong equipment.
Platesetters are raster image processors that can be purchased in three types. These three types are capstan, external drum, and internal drum. The platesetter creates a lithographic plate that can be used on an offset press. Offset printing was developed by Ira Washington Rubel at the turn of the Twentieth Century. In offset printing, the resolution can start at the 1500 dpi range to extremes of 4000 dpi.
Prices for platesetters are considerably higher than prices for imagesetters. Again, a refurbished machine can be a way of economizing, while providing equipment that will give many years of uninterrupted service. Prices for refurbished platesetters can run in the range of $20,000 to $75,000 and up. As with the imagesetter, it is wise to buy from a reputable seller of refurbished equipment so that you can make use of their expertise in helping you to set up your print shop. For a full-service print shop, you will need a variety of equipment to do the many jobs required by your customers. In working with the sales people, you can plan the needs and design of your shop and ensure your future success.

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Chuck R Stewart was impressed with the technology used today in the platesetters. He recently reviewed printing equipment and was impressed with the technology used today in the imagesetter.

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