Photosensitive, thermal CtP-who wins and loses?

In the past five years, CtP has been widely adopted by the printing industry. During this period, the broad meaning has also changed: in the past, the company only thought about whether to adopt CtP, but now it is the time and technology used. This consideration leads to another question-which technology will benefit the company most?

One of the characteristics of CtP is that its imaging technology is often renovated in a short time. From 1990 to 1995, the blue argon ion laser plate-making machine used by CtP was replaced by the green FD-YAG laser at the drupa exhibition in 1995. Since 1998, the appearance of the 830nm diode external thermal cylinder plate-making machine has become the leading technology in the printing industry, which has an impact on the market of built-in cylinder plate-making machines. The newspaper industry still prefers a built-in drum with a visible laser light source and a platform plate-making machine, so its market share reaches 90%. In drupa2000, the 405nm purple diode built-in cylinder plate making machine made a comeback and successfully retrieved the token of victory from thermal technology in the printing industry. In the same period, the German company BasysPrint also developed an ultraviolet platform plate-making machine that can project traditional touch plates. Esko-Graphics and Escher-Grad launched the computer direct traditional printing plate (CtcP) plate-making machine at Drupa2004, which revealed the future of CtcP.

Each technology has its advantages

Today's technologies have their pros and cons. The thermal workflow is stable and low-cost, and can support multiple plate-making machines and printing plates. However, users of the newspaper industry and smaller formats also have a headache for the cost of the plate-making machine head, and the choice of the heat-sensitive newspaper plate-making machine is extremely inadequate. Eight years after the emergence of the computer direct plate-making machine Trendsetter, the printing plate-making machine market giant Creo launched a new generation of thermal plate-making machine in 2004. Regardless of whether the process-free thermal printing plate is a major breakthrough, it is good news for users of smaller formats.

Purple diode with low cost

The purple diode plate-making machine attracts many small companies and new CtP users due to its low cost. Through the use of Fuji and Lastra polymer materials, the types of printing plates have been continuously improved; the introduction of Agfa Purple Laser N91 will not be the last brand new purple printing plate. The third type of technology used for CtP is the digital image of the traditional ultraviolet printing plate. BasysPrint shows the productivity of the technology, and its resolution and number of prints have also improved since 2002. In fact, with the exception of a few, CtcP technology has reached a competitive quality. Even though the productivity of producing 115 plates per hour still needs to be improved, the technology is also accepted as the second option by the newspaper industry.

In drupa2004, CtcP technology also has new development. A number of manufacturers are trying to abandon ultraviolet lamps (adopted by BasysPrint and Esko-Graphics) and use high-energy lasers to image traditional digital printing plates. Currently, AlfaQuest is leading the entire trend with the modernized FasTrak, and Escher-Grad and PerkinElmer are also following accordingly.

Different technologies have their market space

Today or in the foreseeable future, we are also not sure which imaging technology is the giant of the entire market. On the contrary, the visible light laser plate-making machine and thermal plate-making machine have also occupied a place in the offset printing market, which can be said to be equally divided. For example, if BasysPrint adopts the traditional printing plate CtcP technology, it is gradually showing its brilliance. At the same time, the development of other inkjet systems (PiscesJetplate) is at an early stage, so it still needs time to observe. The development of CtP technology has undergone multiple layers of changes in just ten years, and people have to look forward to promising new children.

The order of consideration for small-scale companies to choose technology

At present, CtP technology is mainly used by large-scale companies. Therefore, companies with printing and image printing of 70X100 cm can not be ignored. However, as many as 80% of the printing companies in various countries are small-scale companies, and their printing area is less than 50X70 cm. Therefore, at present, many such companies cannot afford the cost of CtP. The CtP technology will be at the helm in the future, and the small Indian system will play an important role. In addition to technical requirements, the iron law of the most effective mass production also needs to be cited. The iron law means that the CtP supplier market will undergo drastic changes. Finally, which technology is most appropriate when using CtP, companies need to make decisions based on the needs of individual companies, such as the required plate production volume, printing needs, required quality, and the degree of workflow integration. Whether an automatic system is effective depends on the labor cost of the plate-making machine required and the number of printing plates required. Since the cost of purchased materials and services usually exceeds investment costs within five years of opening, in addition to investment costs, the cost of purchased materials and services must also be included.

Consultant fees for CtP technology

As CtP technology and its quotations are becoming more and more complicated, the experience of using CtP technology is still shallow, and many printing companies cannot choose the best decision for themselves. Now, the emergence of CtP professional consultants is a must. Quality assurance and monitoring, trial version, image and printing standardization are important issues in today's CtP environment. Therefore, suppliers of control materials and workflows such as UGRA / FOGRA, SystemBrunner, BundesverbandDruckundMedien, and all manufacturers of computing tools are paid attention to by CtP users.

CtP merges with FM outlets

Offset printers need to stand out in a fierce competitive environment, the key is whether the FM outlet program can ensure its competitiveness. With today's technology, in view of the improved FM dot algorithm and the more stable CtP system and printing plate, the FM dot of CtP technology is feasible. However, the success of FM outlets requires "digital integration", which means using data to create more elaborate print points, monitoring color management, continuous process control, and press color / water balance safety. If the basic production technology can be monitored, there should be no hindrance in the use of FM outlets. Currently, suppliers such as Agfa (ChristalRaster, Sublima), Creo (Staccato), Esko-Graphics (Monet, Samba) and HarlequinandScreen (Spectra) are providing second-generation FM network or hybrid network systems. While printing companies monitor these technologies, they also need to introduce their customers to the benefits of printing, and providing services alone is not enough.

Overview of CtP technology

If you want to effectively adopt CtP technology and individually select the appropriate technology for the plate-making machine, processor, workflow and printing plate, a comprehensive sales overview is necessary. Because today's CtP technology continues to change rapidly, people must grasp the trend as soon as possible.

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