BY MARK SMITH Technology Editor The goal is basically the same regardless of what name is given to the technology—no-process, process-free or non-process plates. Since computer-to-plate production is all about taking steps, variables and labor out of the workflow, it naturally follows that people would look to eliminate the chemistry-based plate processor. The leading plate manufacturers have very similar takes on the future of this development, even if they differ on what to call it. This shared vision begins with a focus on non-ablative switchable polymer and/or on-press development systems as promising technologies. That is, with the exception of Presstek Inc. in Hudson, NH.
BY CHERYL A. ADAMS In the great digital plate debate, the stakes are high, competition is fierce and expert opinions are numerous . . . "Thermal is dead!" "Visible light will fade away!" "Polyester is taboo!" "Blue laser diode isn't a technological breakthrough, it's a setback!" "Anything but silverless UV CTP is economically unsound!" When the dust settles, which consumables (and related technologies) will be left standing? Which ones will not only survive, but thrive in a future where print will compete with other media channels and other digital printing options, such as distribute-and-print, and the Internet? As more commercial printers address the transition