Computer-to-plate and Thermal Advancements
To share with the industry a sampling of select CTP activities—and opinions—Printing Impressions encourages this tour of conventional and thermal CTP operations.
New Bedford, MA
Peter DeWalt, president of Reynolds-DeWalt Printing, contends that his printing facility, a conventional CTP site since February 1996, does more than 97 percent of its work CTP. The facility specializes in multicolor work, primarily product brochures of 16 to 32 pages.
At Reynolds-DeWalt, the move to a conventional CTP workflow was, for all intents and purposes, surprisingly flawless, as DeWalt explains.
"The first six months we ran primarily fully imposed, plate-ready film, then we started choosing particular customers with files we were highly comfortable with and converted those customers to CTP," DeWalt reports. "For us, CTP was much easier than we expected—once we started, we made the transition very quickly into a CTP mindset and now are totally committed to CTP."
An Optronics Aurora external-drum platesetter capable of imaging PostScript files directly onto large-format color aluminum plates and film with screen rulings up to 300 lines per inch is the cornerstone of the $8 million printer's CTP site.
Reynolds-DeWalt also relies on DuPont Silverlith SDB plate technology and ScenicSoft Preps imposition software to maximize its CTP workflow, as well as the Optronics ColorSetter 4000 film imagesetter, which is used as a node on Optronics Color Production System (CPS) architecture for digital workflows.
A CalComp printer for black-and-white imposition proofing and a Silicon Graphics file server plus a DALiM Bolero trapping workstation also play key roles in Reynolds-DeWalt's workflow. Color proofs are output on the shops two Iris digital color proofers.
"We expected that once we started CTP, the conversion would be quick, but we never imagined that—within the first six months—50 percent of our business would be CTP," DeWalt recalls. "We feel we have tied our CTP production together in a strong digital workflow, which we plan to expand."