Treatment-free CTP Plate Features and Applications

The meaning of processing-free media

On the drupa 04 held in May last year, in addition to JDF's great popularity, the Processless Plate has also become a topic of concern to the industry. In just a few years, handling CTP plates has become a reality.

What is the meaning of processing-free media? In a broad sense, it means that after the plate is exposed and imaged on the plate-making equipment, it can be printed on the machine without any follow-up processing procedures. Of course, it does not require chemical development and rinsing treatment. It is a real sense-free processing plate. In a narrow sense, it means that the plate material does not require chemical development after being exposed and imaged on the plate-making machine, but there will be individual non-chemical treatment processes, such as the removal of the ablation waste of the plate material and the application of the protective glue. From the aspect of the plate making method, the processed plates are divided into two types: plate-free plates for DI (Direct On-Flight Imaging) printing presses and plates that are exposed and imaged on a CTP plate-making machine.

Eliminating the advantages of processing media

The advantages of handling CTP plates are many. Excluding post-processes to increase production efficiency, without chemical development, reducing the amount of energy consumed during exposure, reducing overall plate making costs, shortening the cycle of plate making processes, and increasingly emphasizing environmental protection today, its advantages - no pollution to the environment, More obvious.

Although processing-free plates are more expensive than conventional CTP plates, the former can save 35% of the total cost of the overall plate-making process. Therefore, the exorbitant price of each exempt plate can be excusable.

In addition, this type of plate no longer requires a chemical development processor, which saves plant space and, for smaller companies, highlights its advantages.

Previous Handling Plates on Drupa

The company's first exposure to the press-free plate presstek company, the chemical-free Applause plate has been put on the market. This drupa, there are several media manufacturers announced the news free processing plate. Some of the company's products will soon be put on the market, began to enter the commercial phase from the experimental stage; some companies have demonstrated the exemption of processing technology, expressed their intention to deal with the plate material technology field to enter. Here are the free-handling plates that appear on this Drupa:

1. Presstek Corporation

The Applause media was launched in 2003 and has so far been very successful. This plate is currently suitable for use in the company's Dimension Series platesetter and is now being tested on other platesetters. It belongs to the thermal ablation CTP plate material, does not need post-processing after imaging, does not need to remove the ablation waste, can be printed on the machine after imaging. The imaging of the media is excellent. This drupa, the company launched the latest imaging part ProFire Excel Dimension Series platesetter. ProFire Excel, with AM, FM, and hybrid screening technologies, delivers an image quality of 300 lines per inch and a resistance force of 100,000 impressions.

2. AB Dick Corporation

This drupa, AB Dick and Presstek companies cooperated to introduce a chemical-free direct plate-making machine Vector 52TX and working plate Freedom. In a broad sense, it is not a real deal-free plate because the only treatment after imaging is to rinse with water, but it is still worth mentioning here. On Drupa 04, this plate and the Vector 52TX platesetter were highly praised for its compact size, and the CTP was equipped with water flushing components. Freedom media is dry when it comes out of the Vector 52TX platesetter and ready for on-press printing. The imaging of this plate has excellent visual effects and is affordable. The Vector 52TX is used with Freedom media and is suitable for small print companies.

3. Kodak Poly Lighting Company (KPG)

KPG exhibited ThermalDirect at Drupa, a non-ablative thermal plate that can be safely stored for 1 hour in daylight and 4 hours in safe light. The most common concern at the present time is the lack of visible latent images for plate quality after exposure to imaging media to ensure that printing on the machine satisfies printing conditions. KPG ThermalDirect plate has visible latent images. From an observation point of view, its visibility is inferior to that of other plates. The ThermalDirect media supports FM screening. The layout can display 20-micron outlets. The KPG company has a printing capacity of 75,000 India, but customers actually use it. In the process, it had reached 100,000 prints.

4. Agfa

In February 2004, Agfa launched the Azura media. : Azura is not a general-purpose, process-free media, but it uses Agfa's proven technology, Thermolite, a wet offset press for Heidelberg's Speedmaster 74 DI (direct imaging press). : Azura plate base plate is ground and roughened aluminum plate, can be used as a printing hydrophilic layer, photosensitive layer is a true lithographic coating layer. : The Azura plate is imaged with non-ablation exposure. After the image is applied, protective glue is applied to enhance the contrast. This is the only work that requires ※ handling §, which is why it is not really treated as a plate. However, this plate does not require chemical development and is resistant to 100,000 impressions. It is mainly for small print companies, especially companies that have used direct plate technology for the first time. : Azura media can reproduce 2% -98% of the dots with a minimum dot size of 21 microns in a 200 line/inch screening condition.

5. Fuji Corporation

On the market for a long time it was rumored that Fujifilm has been used in production. This drupa, Fuji exhibited its own treatment-free technology. It is expected that Fujifilm will officially launch the market at Graph Expo 2004. In fact, Fuji has been trying to solve the three problems in the processing-free plate technology: 1. How to remove the ablation waste when using thermal ablation technology; 2. The lack of visible latent images on the plate after imaging; 3. The plate has low sensitivity and long imaging time.

Fujifilm-free processing media uses a barrier layer to accommodate ablation waste during imaging. After the plate is placed on the machine, the ablation waste is absorbed by the ink path on the press. This is Fujifilm-free processing media on the press. The last step is to handle the work. The ablation waste particles are very small and will not affect the print quality. Through the first few prints, all the ablation waste can be taken away during the test printing process.

This plate can be safely stored in daylight, and the image can be viewed visually as a latent image. In the Japanese market, Fujifilm-free processing plates with invisible latent images have existed for some time. Fujifilm did not push it to the international market. In addition, Fuji's free-handling plate will use a smart resin, which has a high exposure speed and can be imaged at full speed on various thermal platesetters.

With regard to price, product launch time, and performance, it is worth the attention of the industry.

6. Creo Corporation

Creo announces the launch of two CTP plates at Drupa 04: An anhydrous resin plate for direct imaging and a process-free aluminum plate, and demonstrates the direct plate making of the Clarus PL process-free plate at Trendsetter 800 Quantum. On-machine platemaking, which is a true plate-free handling, does not require post-processing procedures after applying protective glue, processing, or imaging. Its resistance to India is 50,000 impressions, which is the result of cooperation between Creo and a North American company.

Drupa 04, free to handle the starting point for CTP takeoff?

At drupa held last May, exemptions from CTP technology demonstrations, press releases, and product launches, and many other developments have clearly demonstrated that before the next drupa, there will be more free-handling media products on the market, and Technology is more complete and many companies will also be involved in this area. Through this drupa, we can see that the future direction of development is product diversification, higher resistance to India, better quality, greater sensitivity and so on. From this platemaking technology, the printing industry can feel the positive effects such as high production efficiency, cost savings, reduced platemaking process, and no environmental pollution.

(author/Wang Shouhong)

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