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"In-House" the Theme of 2000 REPLItech North America

by Stephen Clark Jr.

During this years REPLItech North America, the key words for companies displaying products was "in-house," as many new, and some not-so-new products were focused on bringing a company's complete duplication needs in-house. At this year's REPLItech North America, the Miami Beach Convention Center buzzed with live jazz, cocktail lounges, and a putting green. Short run CD-R and DVD-R duplication solutions seem to have been the underlying theme of the traditionally replication-focused conference. Many manufacturers are banking on the hope that companies will choose to forgo outsourcing to a replication, printing, and packaging company for smaller projects. Fully automated systems, from burning to printing, were at the front of more than a few companies' booths.

Primera Technology (http://www.primeratechnology.com) demonstrated its new Composer Optical Disc Duplicator, an automated unit that supports jobs of up to 50 discs. The duplicator is available in CD-R or DVD-R models, and supports automated output to an ink-jet or thermal printer. Discmatic (http://www.discmatic.com), meanwhile, was busy showing off their new 50-disc DVD-R duplicator, the DVDiamond 1000. Featuring a Pioneer DVD-R drive as well as Prassi's PrimoDVD software, the duplicator marks Discmatic's advancement into the DVD duplication market. Not to be outdone, Rimage Corporation (http://www.rimage.com) Producer Prostar which sports a 500-disc capacity, and uses Rimage's Perfect Image Producer software suite. Other manufacturers exhibiting automated duplication systems include MediaFORM (http://www.mediaform.com), Microtech (http://www.microtech.com), T.S. Solutions (http://www.ts-solutions.com), and DixxPli (http://www.dixxpliusa.com).

Once a disc is burned, it needs to be printed, right? This fact wasn't lost on Primera, who along with its new Composer, also showed off it new Inscripta Thermal CD Printer, which offers 600 x 300dpi printing. O'Dixion (http://www.odixion.com) was also busy displaying its new line of ink-jet CD printers, the DigiPrinter series. There are two versions of the printers, a 720 x 720dpi model, and a 1440 x 720dpi model.

As increasingly more data is stored on optical discs, the need to verify that data becomes ever more important. At REPLItech, as there were several disc verification utilities on display. Machines to measure the Jitter, BLER, and other errors of an optical disc were prominently displayed. Advanced Surface Microscopy (http://www.asmicro.com), Dr. Schenk (http://www.drschenk.com), OMP (http://www.omp.nl), and Yokogawa (http://www.yokogawa.co.jp) are among those who exhibited optical disc analyzers and testers.

Business Card and custom shaped CDs also played a prevalent role in the booths of a few exhibitors at REPLItech. Increasingly, companies are finding it hip to offer a business card-shaped CD rather than a traditional 3 1/2-inch by 2-inch piece of cardboard. Microtech has even added CD-R card printing to its ImageAutomator series. One of the more interesting machines was Media Shaper 2000's (http://www.mediashaper2000.com) CD and DVD shaping system, which cuts not only business card CDs, but custom shapes as well.

Of course, REPLItech wouldn't be REPLItech without replication equipment, and there were plenty of manufacturers showing off the heavy metal. Toolex (http://www.toolex.com) was busy unveiling its automated DVD replication system, the Maxliner, while Krauss-Maffei (http://www.krauss-maffei.de) was exhibiting its Triathlon series of CD/DVD replicators. Another company with replication equipment on display, Steag Hamatech (http://www.steag-hamatech.com) presented its new CD-R manufacturing system at REPLItech.

This year's REPLItech North America featured a nice mixture of replication and duplication equipment. While the large-scale optical disc replication equipment still took center stage at the show, duplication equipment targeted at smaller companies and in-house production threatened to steal it.

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