Thermal Plates -- The Heat is On
Brillia LH-PI—a medium-run, positive working thermal plate; run lengths up to 300,000.
Brillia LH-NI—an IR laser-sensitive, negative working, long-run thermal plate for runs of 1 million impressions or more.
Kodak Polychrome Graphics
Thermal No Process—currently in beta testing, this plate requires no chemical processing, can be exposed digitally on a thermal external or internal drum equipped with a debris-removal/filtration system; suitable for runs up to 50,000.
Thermal Printing Plate/830—uses the thermal ablation technology and is suitable for runs up to 250,000. With post-baking, the run lengths go up into the millions.
Thermal Waterless Plate—a wet process plate for waterless printing with run lengths up to 100,000.
ProTherm P3000 (was announced at Graph Expo)—a successor to the Electra 830; run lengths up to 200,000, with post-baking run lengths in the millions.
ThermalNews—a thermal plate for the newspaper market with run lengths of 250,000.
Extrema 830.2G—photopolymer thermal plate, certified for use with CreoScitex thermal platesetters; rated up to 100,000 impressions without post-baking and up to 1 million with post-baking.
Prisma 830 CTP—uses bimetal technology consisting of a layer of copper on top of a layer of aluminum coated with an infrared-sensitive polymer. Created for use with CreoScitex thermal platesetters; run lengths of up to 2 million. No pre-heat or post-baking required.
Anthem—wet offset thermal plate with run lengths of 100,000; no chemical processing or pre- or post-baking.
PearlGold—for dampening-equipped presses.
PearlDry—for waterless printing; suitable for run lengths up to 100,000.
CTP Thermal Waterless Plate Thermal LD—830nm.
Thermal Versus Visible Light
With all the advantages of using thermal plates—better print quality, lower consumables usage and the promise of processless plate making—it's natural to ask the question of why you would use conventional computer-to-plate systems. There are platesetter vendors, such as Agfa, that offer both thermal and CTP systems, and feel strongly that both are valuable. Then there are companies such as CreoScitex that claim, while conventional still has a role today, thermal is key to the future of CTP.