In the 21st century, there are two main topics in the lithographic printing industry: one is CTP (computer-to-plate) without plate printing; the other is to extend the CTP capability to the printing press and directly form the image print on the plate making cylinder. That is, the plate-making machine and the printing machine are integrated. Some people predict that after 20 years there will be no CTP but only DI machines, that is, when the old generation of offset presses gradually fades, CTP imaging technology will no longer be used. Why make plates on an offset press? There is the following rational support:
1. The conditions for making plates in the bright room.
2. There is no need to change the plates, which reduces time and plate costs, and is more environmentally friendly:
3. The imaging unit price is more reasonable, and the burden is not increased due to multiple sets of printing units.
4. The information of printed pattern distribution can automatically open the ink key opening technology.
5. Strong network acceptance.
6. Standardized print file format.
7. It is better to have variable printing inkjet or other technology connection tracking to produce larger additional functions.
At present, CTP is produced offline. A CTP plate-making machine can be used by multiple printing machines, and traditional offset printing machines can work with CTP plates. In the DI era, the original printing presses were equipped with imaging plate-making systems and network file processing capabilities. In the future, printing press operators must also have plate-making capabilities!
The rapid development of CTP and DI
The two technologies of CTP computer direct printing plate output and DI plate making are based on digital printing technology, and both skip the negative film and directly make the print on the printing plate. The different CTP is Offline offline plate making, DI is the relative position of Online on the printing press. CTP can use the plate-making mode of DI, that is, plate-making in the bright room without darkroom equipment, plates without development (a small number of DIs need to be developed), etc. Conversely, CTP can also use visible light to image in an enclosed space, and there can be development Methods such as development after preheating.
The CTP technology was published in 1990, and the DI technology was published in Chicago Print in 1991. By 2001, CTP had grown rapidly. 65% of European plate factories used CTP. Agfa CTPâ€”an annual growth rate of 85%, is an explosive growth. At the same time, DI printers were also launched by Heidelberg, KBA, Ryobi, Screen, Sakurai, Adast, Manroland, Komori, Presstek and many other printing press manufacturers, especially Heidelberg has QM46DI,-sold more than 1600 units, SM The 74D1 machine sold more than 600 printing units in three years, showing good results. KBA's 74Karat has four or fifty sales with different technologies, and the screen is based on different technologies. It also has more than 100 units in Japan and is sold to all parts of the world.
CTP summarizes pre-press digital operations and respects the original printing press
CTP must rely on two conditions, one is the digital workflow, and the other is the digital color proofing. Only when these two conditions are fully mature can the CTP plate output be accepted, and then signed and printed for printing.
CTP is as small as A3 five boot, using polyester plate silver plate, as large as 1600mm Big VLF four pieces of chrysanthemum CTP, can supply printing plates, DI needs fixed printing size, fixed machine uses DI to make printing plates There is no way to make a plate for others to use. After the CTP printing plate is output, it is suitable for a wide range of objects. A printing plate produced by a CTP device can supply two, three, and five printing machines. There are no suitable and unsuitable external conditions. If you want to use the CTP version, or do not want to use the CTP version, you can use the PS version instead. All have the flexibility to use. In general, CTP printing plates are not the same as the original traditional PS plate except that the silver salt plate can not be baked. Most offset printing machines can print, with no exceptions, that is, "summary digital Before printing, you can output the printing plate in one step, and at the same time respect all the original offset printing machines without changing or buying new ones. "
DI emphasizes the combination of prepress and printing
DI printing machine is basically a combination of CTP plate making and printing functions, that is, investors must buy a new DI printing machine from the printing machine manufacturer in order to have a way to do on-board plate making. Except for the TrueScreen of the Screen, Manroland DICOWeb, Heidelberg SM74DI and Komori ProjectD, all DI machines use waterless offset printing technology, while both SM-74DI and ProjectD are CTP machine-made plates and foreign printing plates can be used. In addition, the remaining models can only use DI in the mechanical version, that is, when RIP does not come out or DI has any problems, it is impossible to get external printing plate support.
The DI machine is developing in the direction of simple operation. Water-free offset printing is used to avoid water-ink balance. Just use the Anilox micro-hole ink supply roller without ink slot key. If there is water printing, use an induction device to detect the water distribution. If using ink The key uses the CIP3 or 4 type to obtain the imprint distribution digitally and automatically convert it into the ink key opening information.
The expensive price of most DI machines lies in the multiple sets of plate imaging devices at a time, which cost a lot for one color. Another more headache problem is that the DI plate materials are concentrated in a company's patented product. A3 costs $ 10 per sheet, which is more expensive than the CTPA version, which is four times larger than the full sheet of $ 8. So Truepress of Screen uses cheaper SDP, polyester plate silver salt plate, but an imaging system also takes a long time, and it also takes time to develop on-board. Now more DI uses moist water or special ink development methods.
The DI machine emphasizes the network reception capability. The machine has the advantages of getting pre-press equipment support, but the shortcomings must also be considered.
Manroland's DICoWeb has different ideas
DI plate-making printing machine, except for a few thin roll printing plates, DI plates using aluminum substrates also need to have a plate replacement action, which generally takes four or five minutes to replace. In order to avoid these replacements, Manroland â€™s DICOWeb uses a sleeve-type plate that can be reused. After imaging, baking, and printing, the print can be wiped off with a solvent, just like the cleaning method and time of the blanket. The benefit is that there is no consumption of plate materials, and no delay in the withdrawal of plates and the installation of new plates. In contrast, the efficiency of DI printing machines can be effectively improved. Change three workpieces while reducing the consumption of aluminum plates. This kind of plate using moist water and aluminum alloy sleeves can be reused between 200 and 500 times, creating different production and thinking directions, and simultaneously drying and cooling. And origami and binding projects, bring-the benefits of continuous production, and make the production capacity of commercial rotary machines a big step forward. In addition to-receiving information until the production is completed, short-term printing capacity and any Both leaf and rotary machines can match, but the investment in new technology is also significant.
CTP will become universal values â€‹â€‹DI is not necessarily
Some people use inkjet imaging CTP, ordinary PSI version to use the negative version of the UV imaging photosensitive platform, do not need to use special expensive CTP plate material CTP plate-making method, I believe there are-Sky CTP plate-making technology will have a 95% penetration rate Universal value process.
DI has a large investment amount (tens of millions of yuan, hundreds of millions of yuan), and the scope of work, the use of plates, etc. are limited. Unless there is a specific job within this range, it can operate smoothly. DI must be made very general. The chemical production method is still very difficult in the currently visible technical range.
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