CTP FIELD REPORTS -- Set to Compete
Platesetter: Creo Trendsetter VLF
Plates: Spectratech Spectra 830-n
Size definitely mattered when American Press went shopping for a CTP system some four years ago, according to Barry Long, digital systems coordinator. The web printer was motivated to go CTP after installing a state-of-the-art MAN Roland Lithoman web press that prints 72, four-color pages in one pass, Long reveals. The press requires a roughly 60˝ wide plate.
The company is still using its original platesetter, but did upgrade to the Creo Prinergy workflow along the way. "We'd love to have a second unit, and are looking at putting in another VLF (very-large format) machine this year," Long says.
"For now, we continue to be able to meet our production demands with the one unit. It would be nice to have a second one as a backup, but since this machine has been so reliable we haven't been able to justify the investment without the need for greater plate capacity. We typically process as many as 100,000 pages a year through our CTP system, or more than 55,000 plates per year," he notes.
Simply finding a front end capable of RIPing and feeding enough pages to the platesetter was an issue when American Press looked to install a VLF system, Long recalls. "We understood you had to have both pieces. We narrowed our choices down to about four companies that we felt had a platesetter worth considering, then looked at the workflow those companies offered," he says. "We felt fortunate to find a front end and platesetter from the same company, but we did evaluate the components individually."
The printer already was looking toward implementing a PDF-based workflow. "We fully expected PDF to become the standard, but there wasn't a solid, viable PDF workflow yet. We installed our original front end with the understanding we would upgrade to the PDF workflow when it became available," Long says.