Pre-Press - Computer-to-plate

ROI on CTP--To Buy or Not to Buy?
August 1, 1998

That is the (killer) question... BY CHERYL A. ADAMS "It's not really a matter of ROI, but RIB—remain in business," contends Maureen Richards, technical director of prepress at United Lithograph, in Somerville, MA. (She attributes the RIB acronym to an article she saw.) "There are a lot of efficiencies that can easily justify the ROI on CTP, but the ability to do a quick fix when customers want to make last-minute changes is what makes CTP so valuable. You're able to make those changes and still be on press within moments of deadline. CTP gives you optimum control of the prepress process." Customers

From Clean Slate to Direct-to-plate
August 1, 1998

Selling printing has always been a challenge, but never more so than today. Not only is there significant competition in every market segment, but arcane issues such as gamut limitations and color reproduction can make the press sheet seem like a compromise compared to the proof. COMPANY PROFILEName: McCord PrintingLocation: DallasEmployees: 90Annual Sales: $13 millionKey Markets: Advertising agencies, corporate work.One commercial printer has found a solution to this problem: going direct-to-plate. McCord Printing installed an Agfa Galileo computer-to-plate (CTP) system. "We no longer have to sell 'down' from the proof or tell the customer that's as close as we can get to the proof," explains Mickey

Digital Patesetters--Shopping the Output Odyssey
August 1, 1998

BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO As the platesetter market matures, more fully automated and semiautomated devices, perhaps more than the market can sustain, are redefining the role of platemaking to meet the demands of the CTP environment. Thermal imaging technology, functionality to support Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) and PostScript 3 availability now join reliability and throughput as inherent traits of many of today's new platesetter launches. To prepare for new platesetter launches on the horizon later this year, Printing Impressions offers a portfolio of devices and checks in with the technology providers poised to take them to market. Whether plug-and-play platesetting solutions, thermal

Thermal CTP's Next 100 Days
April 1, 1998

Pull up a chair! Welcome to Printing Impressions' round-table discussion of the status, the direction and the promise of thermal computer-to-plate (CTP). Technology providers, ranging from thermal CTP's marketing-savvy pioneer Creo Products—whose campaign with Kodak ignited the industry's thermal frenzy—to an array of other world-class thermal technology suppliers, will debate the merits of thermal CTP today, address the technology's weaknesses on the consumables front and wager predictions for thermal CTP's next 100 days. Where do you think thermal CTP is headed, and when will your organization reap its full, processless potential? Time will tell. For now, let's join the discussion . . . When

First Thermal Plate Tests at Tech Alert '98
March 1, 1998

PITTSBURGH—Attendees here at the recent fifth annual Tech Alert conference, sponsored by the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), witnessed the first detailed study comparing CTP-exposed thermal plates. GATF designed a special digital test image for this test. The image contained vignettes and gray backgrounds to show anomalies such as banding, streaks and inconsistent imaging. There was no real difference among any plates in dot imaging consistency. The Kodak DITP, Fuji LH-P and Fuji LH-N plates had the broadest highlight to shadow dot range of 0.5 percent to 98 percent on the printed samples. The difference among the remaining plates was not appreciable. These same

Computer-to-plate and Thermal Advancements
January 1, 1998

Be it expanding the performance of a conventional CTP site or capitalizing on thermal CTP, this sampling of digital prepress pioneers runs the gamut. As technologies for improving computer-to-plate performance continue to test the mettle of the most ingenious of today's commercial printers, the question raised seems more a statement of logic than a much-pondered, genuine inquiry. How good is CTP? Whether the direction is a conventional CTP route, with investments in a team of platesetting devices and digital proofers, or a thermal CTP focus capitalizing on the proliferation of thermal plates and growing volume of thermal platesetting devices, one factor seems clear: CTP