CTP FIELD REPORTS -- A Digital Duet
Speaking just for the Dubuque plant and not Quebecor World as a whole, Prepress Manager Joe Ryan says thermal really hasn't factored into the CTP buying decision.
"When we purchased our first platesetter in 1999, we didn't feel thermal imaging was necessary for us. While it may bring higher quality, our high volume dictated that imaging speed was the critical success factor," Ryan explains.
The plant's primary niche is 8.5x11˝ educational products in one- , two- and four-color, Dunn says by way of explanation. It also produces some consumer publications.
According to Ryan, the requirements of the violet-light-sensitive operating environment haven't raised any issues for the printer. "We've been able to maintain very consistent output with the violet plate," he says. "That was one thing we were somewhat concerned about going in, but we've really been satisfied in that regard."
Since Quebecor World Dubuque still has a film warehouse, Dunn says it is doing about 55 to 60 percent of its work CTP. "We're doing virtually 100 percent CTP with jobs that come in as electronic files, though," he adds.
Another company that has seen the light in adopting CTP is Fanfare Media Works, in Valencia, CA. The operation's experience is a little different, though, since it is a captive printing department for a company that publishes advertisement-oriented supermarket publications and produces register tape advertising for U.S. and U.K. markets.
Just this past January, the company switched to running an eight-up Purup-Eskofot (now Esko-Graphics) PlateDriver visible light (YAG) platesetter, reports Tom Sawyer, vice president of production. It continues to use the same Western Litho DiamondPlate LY-8 plates it had been imaging on a different machine, he adds.
Thermal Not Needed
"We came to the conclusion a long time ago that thermal didn't fit our application," Sawyer says. "Since the longest run we are going to be producing is about 100,000 impressions, we don't need the extra expense and slowness of thermal. I wanted to go with a system that offers output speed and less expensive plates, so it would be more cost-effective for our operation."