CTP FIELD REPORTS -- A Digital Duet
One of the key reasons he was sold on the new device is the way it handles the plate prior to imaging, Sawyer reveals. "The transport length from the plate tray to the imager is very short," he explains. "Also, the slip sheet removal system on this particular machine is very positive, which is important because that's one of the problems that can stop a platesetter. This system grabs the plate and physically blows the sheet off the plate and catches it in a trap at the bottom of the unit. We haven't had any problems with jamming because of that feature."
Mahaffey's Quality Printing is set apart from the other CTP users in a number of regards, but it reports a similarly positive CTP experience. The sheetfed-only, Jackson, MS-based shop is using a four-up Presstek Dimension 400 thermal platesetter to image Anthem processless plates, reports Jeff Wall, production manager.
The printer has changed some of the specific products it uses, but it has always employed thermal CTP technology, Wall points out. "When we went to DRUPA 95 to buy a system, the prevailing choices were all visible light, but they were targeted to the eight-page printer and were out of our price range," he says. "We weren't shopping for thermal persé, but Presstek had a four-page unit (Pearlsetter 74) in our price range. That happened to be a thermal machine."
Mahaffey's installed the Dimension in July of 2001, but keeps its original platesetter as a backup, Wall reports. The shop became a very early adopter of Presstek's Anthem plate largely out of necessity.
"We ran into severe supply issues with plates from another manufacturer," the production manager explains. "The manufacturer ran us out of plates and/or chemistry a number of times, including for a six-week period at one point. Presstek helped fill in the gaps, first with its PearlGold plate and then the Anthem."