Computer-to-plate (CTP) technology is used on a regular basis in offset, flexography, and screen-printing workshops. As for pad printing industry, computer to plate equipment – laser plate etching systems – have been introduced only recently. But, with most recent developments, laser based methods have the potential to master pad printing market over the new couple of years.
CTP benefits: Laser systems allow the user to turn computer to plate making machine to a best etched image in just one to 5 minutes. Costs of films, chemicals, consumables shipping, exposure units and removal of hazardous materials are removed, as are maintenance contracts on processing tools and costs of outsourcing steel plate making. Double-sided laser-etched plates are able to accommodate up to four images, which minimizes plate usage.
You will find 4 steps to make a plate: import the graphic file into the device ‘s software, paint the halftone pattern to the image, establish the etch depth parameter inside the laser ‘s operating program, and press start. Laser-imaged graphics are very first generation so there is no loss of resolution.
Etch depth plus halftone pattern could be accurately fine tuned to match up with the kind of image you want to rheology, the viscosity, and print of the ink for the printer used, the speed of the printing machine, so the durometer of the printing pads used. As specs can be stored on the computer, resulting image quality is entirely 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 metal plates.
Choosing a CTP system: Laser type. Today, three kinds of lasers have actually been used to create 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 various materials.
Maintenance – The diode pumped YAG incorporates a diode bar that heats up allowing it to warp after about 10,000 hours of use, requiring costly replacement. The Ytterbium fiber and CO2 lasers don’t have any diode bar so they have absolutely no maintenance requirements for up to 70,000 hours of operation. Spot size – As the wavelength of a YAG laser (1.064 microns) is 10 times smaller than the CO2 wavelength (10.64 microns), the former can create much more detailed pictures 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, and rubber.
Application. In order to ensure seamless integration into the workflow of the target business, laser program must have the ability to import are,ai (Adobe Illustrator),,dxf (CorelDRAW, AutoCad), and,bmp (bitmaps, gradients, process color images) files. To attain halftone or perhaps dot pattern, the software must have the ability to use various hatches (or even separation anhubg the laser lines) on the image. For fine line graphics a small hatch could be utilized, for bold graphics a larger hatch may prevent “scooping”. The energy and frequency of the optical maser has to be adjustable to finely tune the plate level to provide certainly the best printing plate for the ink type, production speed and substrate. The target range of etch in the plate is,001″
System features. The uv ctp plate making machine have a number of available features 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 can appear like somewhat strange that Europe appears to be at the front side of this technology, one normally thinks of Japan or maybe the Usa for innovation but for after legislation could have been a help as opposed to a hindrance. Europe has improved it’s expectations of business meeting environmental requirements in a way which is forcing changes in the workplace.
Traditional film making uses chemical substances which are hazardous in use and tough to dispose of, maybe this has increased the demand for earlier film appliances to enhance. Many litho printers (us included) would have made use of laser plates at one time or even another for easy short run one colour jobs, it is easy and quick, printed straight from the desktop. The issues are damping troubles that make these plates difficult to own but now it is accomplishable to cultivate positive metal plates utilizing inkjet film. Every year the report from DRUPA is the progress the printing industry is making in CTP.