CTP FIELD REPORTS — A Digital Duet

Ambrose Printing, in Nashville TN, is also a mixed sheetfed and web operation, but it only has one location. The printer specializes in religious and sports publications, as well as general commercial printing of magazines and newsletters. It first moved into CTP production in September of 2001 with the installation of a large-format Creo Trendsetter 4557 with autoloader.

“We installed that machine because we have a 55˝ KBA-Planeta sheetfed press,” says Harold Eddy, treasurer and co-owner.

In February, Ambrose added a second platesetter. “We got the opportunity to be a beta test site for the new Creo Lotem Quantum with Spectrum proofing. It gives us digital proofing backup, as well as additional platemaking capacity,” he says.

Both of the machines have thermal imagers, so the shop is running a combination of Kodak Polychrome Graphics 830A and Gold thermal plates. Ambrose currently uses the Gold plates just on its web line, but the plan is to convert over completely once it has used up an existing consignment inventory of 830 plates, according to Eddy.

“Gold plates run faster through the processor, since the emulsion can be removed quicker. Also, the 830s don’t have to be post-baked, but should be. The Gold product isn’t designed to be post-baked.”

The shop’s plate preference drove its adoption of CTP, Eddy reveals. “We really didn’t consider visible light imaging options. We thought thermal made more sense for us,” he says. “The process is more like what we were already doing (with its Approval XP4 digital proofer), so it was an easier transition. Also, since we had an existing relationship with Kodak Polychrome Graphics, we got a financial deal (rebate and seven-year lease) that enabled us to make the move.”

Ambrose Printing already is running about 99 percent CTP production, the company exec reports. “We still get a few jobs with old pieces of film that we expose to plate,” he explains.

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