CTP vs. CTF -- The Debate Rages On
In addition to the Heidelberg/ Creo and CreoScitex Trendsetter family, ECRM, Purup-Eskofot and Screen (USA), among others, all offer CTP devices for a diverse market.
ECRM, which purchased Optronics in 1999, has two platesetters in its stable of products. The Tigercat is optimized for commercial prepress and printing businesses that specialize in brochures, forms, annual reports and other demand-ing print jobs. Tigercat produces plates at resolutions up to 3,556 dpi and can output 50 full-size (24x29.5˝), four-up plates per hour at 1,270 dpi, and 20 plates per hour at 3,556 dpi.
Tigercat's sibling, the Wildcat, is aimed at publishing applications and boasts throughput of more than 120 single-broadsheet plates per hour at 1,000 dpi. Wildcat can also produce plates with a resolution up to 2,540 dpi and a screen resolution of up to 150 lines.
Both machines use a multi-facet halogen laser and can be ordered with a red laser for imaging directly on red-sensitive, silver-halide metal plates, or with an optional green laser for imaging on green-sensitive, silver-halide or photopolymer plates.
Purup-Eskofot's ImageMaker series provides devices for both computer-to-film and computer-to-plate workflows. This device line includes the ImageMaker B1 CTF, ImageMaker B1 CTP, and ImageMaker B1 CTP Thermal, as well as the ImageMaker B2 CTF, ImageMaker B2 CTP and ImageMaker B2 CTP Thermal.
Screen (USA)'s PlateRite 8000 has found a fan in Tom Coker, electronic prepress manager at Communicorp, the printing division of insurance giant AFLAC, located in Columbus, GA. Coker says, "We spent two years researching the thermal platesetting market. Within the first 30 days of installation, the PlateRite 8000 has already exceeded our first six months' projections."
The PlateRite 8000—and it's 4-up cousin the PlateRite 4000—boasts a speed of 12 plates per hour at 2,400 dpi, and achievable resolutions up to 4,000 dpi with true, round dots. The non pre-bake thermal plates can range in size from 21.6x25.6˝ up to 37x45.6˝.