CTP FIELD REPORTS -- Set to Compete
The payoff in prepress has come in terms of cost savings and workflow speed. "We eliminated a proofing person by going to digital proofing and eliminated a full-time platemaker with the platesetter. Our Mac operators handle the complete CTP system; we have five or six operators all trained to run the platesetter. They were ready to roll with two days of training," Blasing says.
"We've also cut out using film for 95 percent of our work in just four months, and the digital plates have only been running us about five percent more than our analog plates," continues the company exec. "We haven't been able to go 100 percent CTP because we still have clients ordering reprints."
Any printer financially able to make the move to CTP should take the plunge, Blasing believes. "I've been in the printing business for 35 years, and this is the most amazing piece of equipment I've purchased yet. It's not all that big of an investment, either. The price of the platesetter was almost the same as the first drum scanner I bought 12 years ago," he points out.
Blasing opted to buy the machine outright. "I operate my business a little differently than the typical printer. I don't believe in leasing equipment. I put a lot of money back into the business, and we've always maintained good cash flow. That's how we're able to stay up with the technology," he explains.
The company owner also insists on buying the right technology. "Most printers want to go with a cheaper digital proofer. We could have bought an ink-jet system for about one-third the price, but it wouldn't show the dot structure. My top clients won't sign off on a continuous-tone color proof," he says. "We can match our digital proof closer on-press than we could with film and an analog proof."