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JUSTIFICATION FOR CTP -- Streamline Your Production

May 2002
BY BOB PELLEGRINO


FCB is the key to success for today's printing companies. What is FCB? Keep on reading.

Ever since 1984, when the first Macintosh was introduced, the printing industry has been in a state of digital upheaval. Slow to the acceptance of this new technology, many companies reluctantly spent money on computers in an attempt to sustain their business. This bitter-sweet relationship is evident once again today and we call it computer-to-plate (CTP).

In an industry where changing technology has become the norm, it is still with reluctance that many printers even consider CTP.

Perhaps it's the fear of the unknown or maybe it's just human nature. But whatever it is, get over it! The second stage of digitization is under way with a full head of steam. Today, since we are capturing images and setting pages digitally, does it make any sense to produce film in order to make plates? New technologies have now given us the opportunity to close the door on almost all analog processes.

The time to harness all of these technologies and build a completely digital network—going from pixel to paper—is now. The World Wide Web has given us the opportunity to seamlessly work with our clients by providing services that we could only imagine a few short years ago.

Through the use of FTP servers, we are able to receive clients' files directly to our digital department, thereby streamlining the process to a complete CTP workflow. Considering all the technology we have at hand, it's hard to believe that many printing companies still look the other way. Smart owners are now cashing in on the very low interest rates available and using this slow market to carve out unbelievable deals with leading platesetter manufacturers.

You must use this slowdown as an opportunity to ramp up your digital department so you can be ready for the next wave of success. Those owners who always wait until the market changes first before investing in their companies are usually the ones left behind when opportunity comes knocking.

One persistent problem that plagues the graphic arts industry is the lack of trained employees. Your electronic prepress department staff must become proficient in running a totally digital network. To fully integrate all the available digital services, you need people who are well versed in IT (information technologies).

Let's face it—all these services run on computers and most are not Mac-based. The first order of business should be to hire or outsource qualified IT personnel. You really need a person you can count on to grow your internal network.
 

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