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CTP Systems -- Violet Support Isn't Shrinking

September 2004
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by MaRK SMITH

Technology Editor

Weak strains of the great violet vs. thermal CTP debate cropped up in some post-Drupa reports, and then were echoed in postings on the PrintPlanet.com "Computer to Plate Pressroom, CTP Technologies" eCommunity and other industry forums. These discussions largely have covered old ground, but two pending developments are seen as having the potential to change the competitive picture.

CORRECTION:
Heidelberg announced a new option in its Prosetter violet platesetter line prior to Drupa, which should have been included in the printed version of this story.

With the new Multi Cassette Loader (MCL), any Prosetter can now image up to four different plate formats without changing cassettes. The automated system combines the company's existing Single Cassette Loader (SCL) with a Multi Cassette Container that can hold as many as four cassettes. Each cassette stores up to 150 plates, for a total of up to 600 printing plates ready for fully automated plate production. A software-controlled elevator system in the Multi Cassette Container automatically loads the appropriate cassette for the required plate format into the SCL.

The MCL reportedly can be retrofitted in the field to existing Prosetter systems in just a few hours. It provides light-safe operation, enabling the CTP system to be used in daylight conditions.

While not limited to its violet systems, Heidelberg also introduced a new "Plate On Demand" function that integrates the Prosetter directly into the pressroom. At the Prinect CP2000 Center, the press operator simply selects the required job on the touchscreen, then with the press of a button can start plate imaging for the required color separation or the entire job directly via the CTP device.

This function reportedly will be available at the end of the year. Users must have Prinect MetaDimension Version 5.0 and enable the Preset Link option in the Prinect CP2000 Center Version 41 or Prinect Print Center.
One is the belief that Kodak Polychrome Graphics (KPG) is on the verge of adding a violet-sensitive product to its current thermal digital plate lineup. Some industry pundits have suggested it's a question of when, not if, but this is still just speculation unless and until there is a formal announcement from KPG.

For its part, the plate manufacturer would only say on the record that, "KPG has had a strong commitment to thermal, while continually listening to our customers and monitoring other technologies such as violet. As small- to medium-size customers transition to digital, their needs may dictate a change in market requirements."
 
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Most Recent Comments:
Javier Torras - Posted on May 29, 2007
Hello, im just reading about the new violet chemistry free plates, and i would like to know when are these plates going to be available and which hardware will i need, because im going to buy an Empower V70 (palladio II, lp68ultra for lithostar ultra lapv plates), and i prefer to buy new technology such as violet chemistry-free plates, so i hope you can give me more information about it, thank you very much. Javier Torras Formex Impresores S.A. de C.V.
Bimal Chaku - Posted on September 27, 2006
why have thermal or Violet when we can have normal PS plate exposed on UV CTP
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Javier Torras - Posted on May 29, 2007
Hello, im just reading about the new violet chemistry free plates, and i would like to know when are these plates going to be available and which hardware will i need, because im going to buy an Empower V70 (palladio II, lp68ultra for lithostar ultra lapv plates), and i prefer to buy new technology such as violet chemistry-free plates, so i hope you can give me more information about it, thank you very much. Javier Torras Formex Impresores S.A. de C.V.
Bimal Chaku - Posted on September 27, 2006
why have thermal or Violet when we can have normal PS plate exposed on UV CTP