Computer-to-plate (CTP) technology is used on a daily basis in offset, flexography, and screen-printing workshops. As for pad printing industry, computer to plate equipment – laser plate-etching systems – are created only recently. However, with most recent developments, laser-based methods have the potential to overcome pad printing market over the next couple of years.
CTP benefits: Laser systems enable the end user to turn computer to plate making machine to a highest quality etched impression in just one to five minutes. Costs of movies, chemicals, consumables shipping, coverage units and removal of hazardous materials are removed, as are maintenance contracts on processing equipment and expense of outsourcing steel plate making. Double-sided laser etched plates are able to accommodate up to four images, which decreases plate usage.
You’ll find four steps to create a plate: import the graphic file into the system ‘s software, apply the halftone style to the image, establish the etch depth parameter inside the laser ‘s operating software, and then press start. Laser-imaged graphics are first generation so there is no decrease of resolution.
Etch depth and halftone pattern could be correctly fine-tuned to complement the kind of image you wish to print, the viscosity and rheology of the ink used, the pace of the printing machine, thus the durometer of the printing pads used. As specs will be stored on the computer, resulting photo quality is completely repeatable.
Laser-based CTP systems can accommodate ctp machine laser diodes for fine, combination fine/bold, and bold graphics. Laser-engraved plates have a straight-walled etching and more precise inkwell than polymer cliches and thick or thin steel plates.
Choosing a CTP system: Laser type. These days, 3 kinds of lasers have been utilized to make pad printing plates: diode pumped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG), Ytterbium fiber laser (YAG wavelength), and CO2. The primary differences between these units are maintenance, spot size, and power to etch different materials.
Maintenance – The diode pumped YAG features a diode bar which heats up and can warp after about 10,000 hours of use, requiring expensive replacement. The Ytterbium fiber and CO2 lasers don’t have diode bar so they have absolutely no maintenance requirements for as much as 70,000 hours of operation. Spot size – Since the wavelength of any YAG laser (1.064 microns) is 10 times smaller compared to the CO2 wavelength (10.64 microns), the former has the ability to generate a lot more detailed graphics than CO2. Materials – YAG lasers are ideally suited for metals. A CO2 laser beam is substantially better assimilated by organic materials – wood, paper, plastics, glass, textiles, and even rubber.
Application. In order to ensure seamless integration into the workflow of the target business, laser software program should have the ability to import are,ai (Adobe Illustrator),,dxf (CorelDRAW, AutoCad), and also,bmp (bitmaps, gradients, process color images) files. In order to attain halftone or maybe dot pattern, the application must have the ability to use different hatches (or separation anhubg the laser lines) to the image. For fine line graphics a tiny hatch can be utilized, for bold graphics a larger hatch can prevent “scooping”. The energy and frequency of the optical maser must be adjustable to finely tune the plate depth to deliver certainly the best printing plate for the type of ink, production speed and substrate. The target degree of etch in the plate is,001″
System features. The used CTP machine have a number of available options to consider: Size of system footprint – stand alone or maybe benchtop system. Vector-tracing software. Micro-adjust focal distance. Plate registration systems. Particulate evacuation systems. Pre-etch laser pointer. Availability of auto-load.
It can look like a little strange that Europe seems to be at the front side of this technology, one usually thinks of Japan or the Usa for originality but for as soon as legislation may were a help instead of a hindrance. Europe has increased it’s expectations of business meeting environmental needs in a manner which is forcing changes in office use.
Traditional film making uses chemical substances which are dangerous in use and tough to dispose of, perhaps this has improved the demand for earlier film products to enhance. Many litho printers (us included) will have used laser plates at once or perhaps another for easy short run one colour jobs, it’s easy and quick, printed straight from the computer. The difficulties are damping difficulties that make these plates difficult to own but now it is a possibility to develop good metal plates using inkjet film. Each and every year the report from DRUPA is the progress the printing business is making in CTP.