Computer-to-plate (CTP) technology is used on a regular basis in offset, screen-printing workshops, and flexography. As for pad printing industry, computer to plate equipment – laser plate-etching systems – have been created only recently. Nevertheless, with most recent developments, laser-based systems have the potential to overcome pad printing market place over the new couple of years.
CTP benefits: Laser systems enable the user to transform ctp machine to a highest quality etched image in only one to five minutes. Costs of movies, chemicals, consumables shipping, exposure units and removal of hazardous materials are eliminated, as are maintenance contracts on processing tools and expense of outsourcing steel plate making. Double-sided laser-etched plates are able to accommodate up to 4 images, which decreases plate usage.
You’ll find four steps to make a plate: import the graphic file into the system ‘s software, paint the halftone style to the image, establish the etch-depth parameter within the laser ‘s operating software, and then press start. Laser-imaged graphics are first generation so there is no loss of resolution.
Etch depth plus halftone pattern can be accurately fine-tuned to match the sort of image you want to print, the viscosity and rheology of the printer ink used, the pace of the printing machine, and the durometer of the printing pads used. As specs can certainly be stored on the computer, resulting picture quality is totally repeatable.
Laser-based CTP programs are able to accommodate uv ctp lasers for fine, combination fine/bold, and bold graphics. Laser-engraved plates have a straight walled etching and more accurate inkwell than polymer cliches and thin or thick steel plates.
Choosing a CTP system: Laser type. Today, 3 sorts of lasers have been utilized to make pad-printing plates: diode pumped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG), Ytterbium fiber laser (YAG wavelength), and CO2. The main differences between these products are maintenance, spot size, and ability to etch various materials.
Maintenance – The diode pumped YAG has a diode bar that heats up allowing it to warp after aproximatelly 10,000 hours of use, requiring expensive replacement. The Ytterbium fiber and CO2 lasers do not have any diode bar so they have virtually no maintenance needs for as much as 70,000 hours of operation. Spot size – As the wavelength of any YAG laser (1.064 microns) is 10 times smaller compared to the CO2 wavelength (10.64 microns), the former is able to produce a lot more detailed pictures than CO2. Materials – YAG lasers are ideally suited for metals. A CO2 laser beam is quite a bit better assimilated by organic materials – wood, textiles, glass, plastics, paper, and rubber.
Application. To ensure seamless integration into the workflow on the target company, laser software program should have the ability to import are,ai (Adobe Illustrator),,dxf (CorelDRAW, AutoCad), as well as,bmp (bitmaps, gradients, process-color images) files. To achieve halftone or maybe dot pattern, the software program must have the ability to use many hatches (or separation anhubg the laser lines) to the picture. For good line graphics a small hatch can be utilized, for bold graphics a larger hatch may prevent “scooping”. The power and frequency of the laser beam must be variable to finely tune the plate depth to offer the best printing plate for the ink type, production speed and substrate. The target level of etch in the plate is,001″
System features. The ctcp machine have several available features to consider: Size of system footprint – stand alone or benchtop system. Vector-tracing software. Micro-adjust focal distance. Plate registration systems. Particulate evacuation systems. Pre-etch laser pointer. Availability of auto-load.
It might look like slightly strange that Europe appears to be at the front of this technology, one typically thinks of Japan or maybe the Usa for originality but for after legislation may have been a help as opposed to a hindrance. Europe has increased it’s expectations of industry meeting environmental requirements in a way that is forcing improvements in your office.
Traditional film making uses chemical substances that are dangerous in use and difficult to dispose of, perhaps this has enhanced the demand for earlier film goods to enhance. Many litho printers (us included) would have used laser plates at once or even another for easy short run one colour jobs, it’s easy and quick, printed straight from the desktop. The issues are damping difficulties that make these plates tough to own but now it is possible to develop positive metal plates utilizing inkjet film. Every year the report from DRUPA would be the progress the printing industry is making in CTP.