CTP FIELD REPORTS -- Set to Compete
The printer had previously been outputting imposed film flats on an eight-up imagesetter, so it was familiar with the requirements of a digital workflow, the owner says. "We were looking to compress the time line on jobs even further," he notes. "Being able to go from approval to plate in 20 minutes is astounding."
Having a fully automated system eliminates the need to have an operator dedicated to "watching plates go through a machine," Gust says. "We're able to load plates for all five presses into the unit and never think about it until the loader is empty."
All Service hasn't had any problems with the reliability of the automation features, but it did encounter some scratching on the back of plates, the company owner reports. "While the scratching itself wasn't on the front of the plate, we were concerned about the savings potential creating problems in the image area. The manufacturer was able to address the scratching."
Considering the shop had been working in a direct-to-film environment, Gust was surprised by the extent of the learning curve it had to master in going CTP. "We chose the Nexus workflow from Artwork Systems. Learning to use the tools to the fullest extent takes time, even for a seasoned prepress manager. We really didn't buy the workflow and platesetter as a package, but they work together. Once everything was ironed out, I was very glad we made the move to CTP. We can get up to register on-press in 50 sheets, compared to 300 or 400 sheets."
Gust advises potential buyers to be prepared for the learning curve, and to keep a separate workflow in place until the entire system is working in a cohesive way. "New adopters will be surprised at how fast they go 100 percent digital, though. We've reached that point already," he notes.