CTP FIELD REPORTS -- A Digital Duet
The benefits from running processless with thermal is a big advantage of the technology, Wall asserts. He says the shop's total plate costs dropped almost 30 percent with the switch to processless, due to a lower raw plate cost combined with eliminating the need for a chemical processor.
The printer has been running nearly 100 percent CTP for some time. It buys all of its equipment and budgets for a platesetter to be a primary production unit for about four years, he adds. "I don't see us making a change in our CTP operation for now, but I stay open minded about new developments," the production manager says.
Installation of an eight-color Speedmaster 74 perfector press has been the biggest change of late in the shop's overall operation. "We're not just a short-run printer any more. We do a lot longer runs on that machine than we did before. It's not uncommon for us to do 250,000 press sheets," he says. "The Anthem is rated at 100,000 impressions, but we routinely break that number."
Same End Result
Despite the differences in the systems they've chosen to install, these users generally agree on the benefits of adopting CTP.
Johnson reports Bowne has seen advantages on two fronts from adopting CTP. "In the prepress area, it has simplified the process and reduced the time from composing to the pressroom," he explains. "In the pressroom, makeready time—even on the web presses—has been reduced and so has paper waste."
Quebecor World's Ryan has a similar take on the technology's benefits. "Our thought pattern going into CTP was that it would just provide cost savings in the pressroom, not in prepress," he says. "But we've found we're also enjoying savings in prepress because of the workflow improvements and shorter cycle time."
Other users zeroed in on the pressroom benefits.