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 – are created only recently. But, with latest developments, laser-based methods have the potential to master pad printing industry over the new couple of years.
CTP benefits: Laser systems allow the person to convert computer to plate making machine to a best etched image in just one to five minutes. Costs of films, chemicals, consumables shipping, exposure units and removal of hazardous substances are removed, as are maintenance contracts on processing tools and expense of outsourcing steel plate making. Double-sided laser-etched plates can accommodate up to four images, which reduces plate usage.
There are 4 steps to make a plate: import the graphic file into the system ‘s software, apply the halftone design to the image, specify the etch depth parameter inside the laser ‘s operating software, then press start. Laser-imaged graphics are first generation so there’s no loss of resolution.
Etch depth and halftone pattern could be accurately fine tuned to complement the type of image you plan to rheology, the viscosity, and print of the ink used, the pace of the printing machine, so the durometer of the printing pads used. As specifications can certainly be kept on the computer, resulting picture quality is completely 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 thick or thin steel plates.
Choosing a CTP system: Laser type. Today, 3 types of lasers are already used to create 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 a variety of materials.
Maintenance – The diode-pumped YAG incorporates a diode bar which heats up which enables it to warp after aproximatelly 10,000 hours of use, requiring costly replacement. The Ytterbium fiber and CO2 lasers do not have a diode bar so they have no maintenance requirements for as much as 70,000 hours of operation. Spot size – As the wavelength associated with a YAG laser (1.064 microns) is ten times smaller than the CO2 wavelength (10.64 microns), the former is able to generate more detailed graphics than CO2. Materials – YAG lasers are ideally suited for metals. A CO2 laser beam is somewhat better assimilated by organic materials – wood, paper, plastics, glass, textiles, as well as rubber.
Application. In order to ensure seamless integration into the workflow of the target business, laser software should have the ability to import are,ai (Adobe Illustrator),,dxf (CorelDRAW, AutoCad), and also,bmp (bitmaps, gradients, process-color images) files. To achieve halftone or perhaps dot pattern, the application should have the ability to use various hatches (or even separation anhubg the laser lines) on the picture. For fine line graphics a tiny hatch can be utilized, for bold graphics a larger hatch will prevent “scooping”. The energy and frequency of the optical maser must be adjustable to finely tune the plate level to offer likely the greatest printing plate for the ink type, production speed and substrate. The target range of etch in the plate is,001″
System features. The used CTP machine have several available options 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 side of the technology, one usually thinks of Japan or perhaps the Usa for innovation but for once legislation may have been a help as opposed to a hindrance. Europe has enhanced it’s expectations of industry meeting environmental needs in a way that is forcing improvements in office use.
Traditional film making uses chemical substances that are dangerous in use and hard to dispose of, maybe this has improved the demand for earlier film goods to enhance. Many litho printers (us included) will have used laser plates at once or perhaps another for simple short run one colour jobs, it is easy and quick, printed directly from the desktop. The issues are damping problems which make these plates tough to operate these days it is feasible to cultivate positive metal plates making use of inkjet film. Each and every year the report from DRUPA is the progress the printing industry is making in CTP.