Computer-to-plate (CTP) technology is used on a daily basis in offset, screen-printing workshops, and flexography. As for pad printing business, computer to plate equipment – laser plate etching systems – have been introduced only recently. Nevertheless, with most recent developments, laser-based systems have the potential to conquer pad printing market place over the new couple of years.
CTP benefits: Laser systems enable the person to convert computer to plate making machine to a highest quality etched impression in only one to 5 minutes. Costs of movies, chemicals, consumables shipping, coverage units and removal of hazardous materials are removed, as are maintenance contracts on processing equipment and prices of outsourcing steel plate making. Double-sided laser etched plates can accommodate up to 4 images, which reduces plate usage.
You will find 4 steps to create a plate: import the graphic file into the device ‘s software, paint the halftone pattern on the image, establish the etch depth parameter in the laser ‘s operating program, and press start. Laser-imaged graphics are first generation so there’s no loss in resolution.
Etch depth and halftone pattern can be correctly fine-tuned to match up with the sort of image you would like to rheology, the viscosity, and print of the ink used, the pace of the printing machine, thus the durometer of the printing pads used. As specifications can certainly be kept on the computer, resulting photo quality is entirely repeatable.
Laser-based CTP programs can accommodate ctp machine laser diodes 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 metal plates.
Choosing a CTP system: Laser type. Today, 3 sorts of lasers have been used 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 features 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 don’t have any diode bar so they’ve absolutely no maintenance requirements for up to 70,000 hours of operation. Spot size – As the wavelength associated with a YAG laser (1.064 microns) is 10 times smaller compared to the CO2 wavelength (10.64 microns), the former has the ability to create more detailed pictures than CO2. Materials – YAG lasers are ideally suited for metals. A CO2 laser beam is somewhat better assimilated by organic substances – wood, textiles, glass, plastics, paper, and rubber.
Application. In order to ensure seamless integration into the workflow on the target company, laser application must be able to import are,ai (Adobe Illustrator),,dxf (CorelDRAW, AutoCad), and also,bmp (bitmaps, gradients, process color images) files. In order to attain halftone or dot pattern, the program should have the ability to use different hatches (or even separation anhubg the laser lines) to the image. For good line graphics a small hatch can be utilized, for bold graphics a greater hatch will prevent “scooping”. The energy and frequency of the laser beam has to be adjustable to finely tune the plate depth to offer likely the greatest printing plate for the ink type, production speed and substrate. The target depth of etch in the plate is,001″
System features. The cron ctp have a number of available options to consider: Size of system footprint – stand by itself 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 might appear like a little strange that Europe seems to be at the front side of this technology, one normally thinks of Japan or perhaps the Usa for originality but for once legislation may have been a help instead of a hindrance. Europe has enhanced it’s expectations of business meeting environmental needs in a way which is forcing changes in the workplace.
Traditional film making uses chemicals that are dangerous in use and hard to dispose of, perhaps this has improved the demand for earlier film goods to improve. Many litho printers (us included) will have used laser plates at one time or even another for easy short run one colour jobs, it is quick and easy, printed straight from the desktop computer. The difficulties are damping issues that make these plates difficult to run these days it’s feasible to cultivate good metal plates using inkjet film. Each year the report from DRUPA is the progress the printing industry is making in CTP.