CTP FIELD REPORTS -- Set to Compete
The system is very user-friendly, McClafferty points out. "Our press operators now have the ability to do their own plate remakes, since the display walks them through the process. They can walk into the plate department, press three buttons and have a plate 6.5 minutes later," he says.
Fecondo admits the shop has encountered some problems with static, but he says that issue has been easy to address. "We haven't seen any scratching, or at least not any more than with a manual platesetter," he adds.
As an owner, McClafferty says he was most concerned about how well the actual switchover would go. "We had to basically go conventional again while we were doing the install," he notes.
The old system had to be taken out first, Fecondo explains. "We plated up a day or so worth of work in advance. Then on that Monday morning, we took the old system out and by the afternoon we had the new system installed. By the start of the second shift on Tuesday we had a live job come off the system," the plant manager says. "The testing we previously did with the plate was a big help. It showed we didn't have to make any chemistry changes in the pressroom."
McClafferty also attributes the smooth transition to the homework and planning the shop did upfront. He recommends other new adopters bring digital plates in for testing before tackling the platemaking equipment decision.
Fecondo says another reason the switch went off without a hitch was that the shop's existing Rampage front end was capable of driving the new platesetter. However, the package did include a new Matchprint 5542 ink-jet proofer. "It's a tremendous proofer and definitely contract quality. We now can generate proofs in seven minutes, compared to 35 minutes."
As a final thought, McClafferty notes that he has made investments like this in a down economy before. "There is a risk involved, but sometimes it's better to make investments at such times. Manufacturers definitely are more aggressive about making deals during downtimes."