IMAGESETTING VS. PLATESETTING -- Setting the Pace
CTP is Not for Everyone
"I'm not anti-CTP," the production manager continues. "For the right printer, in the right circumstances, it is excellent technology. It's just not right for everybody. For smaller printers, in the $2 million to $7 million sales range, it just doesn't make much sense."
Checkmate installed an eight-page Fujifilm Sumo imagesetter in order to have the flexibility to output film sizes from 10x12˝ to 30x40˝. Along with doing work for end customers, the shop outputs film for a lot of printers, including plants with in-house prepress capabilities and even some with CTP systems.
"Not every job is best suited to go CTP," Granata asserts. "Printers that have bought into the idea that CTP can do everything, and gotten rid of their imagesetters, are now forced to send out for film."
In addition to concerns about proofing expressed by many film users, Granata says the biggest problem with CTP for a trade shop is that a single device can't be configured to meet all the needs of a diverse customer base.
"Our industry has never adopted a standard for punch configurations. Even the same print shop may use different punch configurations and plates depending on the job. We work with 50 to 60 different printers, and we can't possibly support every punch configuration.
"We've looked at CTP in depth, and it just wasn't practical for our business. We'll probably do that type of analysis on a yearly basis, though. We will install CTP when clients demand it but, to date, we've never had a single one ask us to run CTP," Granata concludes.
Peczuh Printing in Price, UT, bought into the concept of adopting CTF to smooth its transition into CTP. "We decided to invest in a Tanto 5120 imagesetter and Trueflow workflow system from Screen (USA) because we wanted to ease our way into an eight-up workflow," reveals Tim Peczuh, prepress manager. The shop previously had been using a four-page imagesetter to support its 29˝ MAN Roland 304 press, but needed to upgrade its prepress capabilities after adding a 40˝ MAN Roland 706 press, Peczuh explains.