Computer-to-plate and Thermal Advancements

“We had a distinct concept in mind for establishing our thermal CTP operation,” explains Tennant. “We started off conservative with the usage of our CTP devices, then, as we grew our network, we devoted a lot of time and energy to supporting our CTP abilities.”

Today Anderson Lithograph is, on a daily basis, running six- and eight-color work utilizing thermal CTP. Writing plates on a CTP device is the easiest part of the equation, Tennant reports, while managing the digital data, picking the correct network architecture and training personnel is where the rubber meets the road.

“Moving huge amounts of data through a network—that poses the greatest area of challenge,” Tennant assesses.

A recent Anderson Lithograph CTP job proved to be a prime example—manipulating a series of digital photograph images, provided to the company in the form of PDF files, and delivering a high-quality, eight-color magazine insert. Well- known digital photographer Gerry Bybee came to Anderson Lithograph with the images and a concept that he wanted to feature in the Advertising Annual of Communication Arts. Michael Cronan of Cronan Design took charge of design for the project, and within three days of Anderson Lithograph’s first conference with Bybee, the company was moving PDF files among the three sites.

“We extracted the files, created metallics and multiple bump colors to enhance each image, did preliminary proofing on the Kodak Approval, and ran a second generation of proofs on the Creo Trendsetter using Polaroid’s DryTech film and Matchprints in order to better simulate the metallics and bump colors,” Tennant explains. “The job literally came in on a Wednesday and was printing on our Komori Lithrone eight-color press by Friday.”

What about touring CTP activities at other locations, not just the thermal activities at one particular site? A hit-and-run visit to both conventional and thermal CTP shops shows a clear enthusiasm for the technology—as if the CTP wares cluttering trade show floors and industry conferences weren’t proof positive that CTP has the industry in a well-executed stranglehold.

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