PLATESETTING SYSTEMS -- Generation Gap in CTP
The reason for mention here: such plates could provide motivation to replace or overhaul an existing CTP system. They hold the promise of eliminating the cost, variability, space demands and disposal issues that can come with plate processing.
Since a platesetter traditionally has been part of a system, replacing that component can often necessitate making other changes. The ability to accept one-bit TIFFs enables platesetters to interface with almost any front end, notes Agfa's Furman, but production demands may dictate upgrading the workflow system and/or proofing, as well. Also, it has been common practice for plate manufacturers to specify that their processors be used with their plates, he adds.
It should be noted, of course, that digital metal solutions weren't the only CTP options attendees found on the show floor in Chicago this month.
Polyester CTP technology continues to advance, making it more stable and providing cost advantages compared to aluminum solutions. Mitsubishi Imaging has gained a commanding position in that sector by offering its Silver DigiPlate materials and teaming up with Esko-Graphics to market the DPX platesetter line.
The companies chose PRINT 05 as a launch pad for the new DPX Lite two-up (13.3x21.6˝) internal-drum platesetter. It joins a product family headed by the DPX 4 four-up (26.7x29.5˝) unit.
Both platesetters produce press-ready plates at resolutions up to 3,000 dpi with variable spot size. The compact systems are rollfed, automated and have integrated plate processors for daylight operation.
Computer-to-conventional plate (CTCP) also remains an option. While Esko-Graphics previously was reported to have pulled back on its plan to introduce the new Espresso CTCP system, basysPrint North America is moving forward with its UV-Setter products.
The company is touting the extension of "scrolling" technology across its product lines. With DSI2 imaging technology, the head continuously moves over the plate during the exposure process. Solutions for commercial printing include the UV-Setter Series 5 (27x37˝), Series 7 (37x45˝) and Series 11 (62x129˝).