Dome Printing--Matching Proof to Plate
"We wanted a digital proofing system that would use the same RIP as the platesetter, so rather than purchasing two devices—a platesetter and a digital proofer—it made more sense to consider one piece of equipment that performed both functions," Tim Poole explains. "Creo's Spectrum allows us to image plates, film and color proofs on a single unit, which, for us, was the next logical step to ensuring that Dome remains on the leading edge of CTP technology."
Bob Poole states vehemently that maintaining dot fidelity between proof and plate is critical to the output of superior quality presswork at Dome. Spectrum proofs, he contends, are designed to produce matching proofs and plates from machine to machine—a necessary reality for Dome. "With Spectrum, we're getting the dot match," he reports. "We're starting to understand just how much we can do with this level of process control."
For example, Bob Poole continues, the Dome prepress team he directs is now simulating different dot gains for different substrates, in an effort to better predict final output. The prepress team is also preparing plates for a single job on the company's two Creo machines, the Trendsetter and the Spectrum, and combining the two technologies on-press. "With the Trendsetter and the Spectrum," Bob Poole asserts, "we keep up with all of our proofing and plating, even on peak loads. Our remakes are virtually zero, and we're averaging 150 to as high as 300 plates a day."
"Virtually zero." That tiny, but mighty, phrase has a nice ring to it—especially when the topic at hand is remakes for printing plates. At Dome, the phrase also rings true in the primarily Heidelberg-equipped pressroom, where Andy Poole reports, hassles with press-side makeovers are virtually headache-free, thanks to Dome's highly utilized digital prepress operation and Dome's discovery of new digital proofing opportunities.