Printing technology has witnessed some significant developments in the past few years. With these advancements, printing has become more affordable as well as accessible. In the era of virtual sharing of files and important documents, printing has still held its place. It continues to be an essential part of any business or institution.
Printing has a major role to play in our daily lives. Thus, its advancement in recent years has made it more useful for us. With the latest technologies, the printing quality has improved quite a lot. Printing speed is many times faster than it used to be. Many new types of printers have come to the market that is compact and easy to use.
In earlier days, printing machines used to be huge and needed especially skilled persons to run them. Modern machines are much easier to operate with digital screens. With all these improvements, the future of printing looks promising.
The Introduction Of The CTP Technology In the Printing Industry:
What Is CTP (Computer To Plate)?
Computer to plate is an imaging technology used in the printing industry. Using it, you can transfer a digital image created on your computer directly to a printing plate.
Before CTP, people used CTF technology. That is, computer to film technology. In computer to film, as the name suggests, the image from your computer would transfer to a photographic film. Then the printers used these films to make printouts.
In the new CTP system, the process of printing becomes direct. Thus, you can eliminate many steps in between. For this, the entire process becomes short and less time-consuming. Because you can abolish many laborious steps, you save labor and money. In a short period of time, you can now yield many prints.
The Construction of CTP
The construction of CTP is pretty simple. There are three main construction types of CTP technology-
- Internal drum
- External drum
- Flat-bed image setter
Two types of light sources-
- UV light lamps
- Laser diodes.
CTP or Computer To Plate technology has successfully bypassed the film exposure stage. It has saved a lot of time by reducing several complicated and slow-moving steps. Thus, CTP technology helped in saving time, labor as well as money.
Benefits of CTP Technology
The printing industry has benefitted from this technology in several areas, such as-
- The printed images are sharper than before using CTP plates.
- Direct Computer To Plate technology successfully eliminates the problems regarding defective plates.
- It reduced the cost of buying films. It not only saved money but also saved the environment.
- The speed of printing has increased significantly.
- You can store a used plate for several months. And after that time, you can reuse it without compromising on printing quality.
- You can make changes on the CTP plates
- You can reuse the used plates a few more times without any loss of quality.
The CTP system could only give eight plates an hour at the primary stages. But now it can give out more than sixty plates per hour. The plates used in CTP System are incredibly durable. Their reproduction rate is up to four lacs print runs. Opting for CTP technology has many advantages that have made it so popular in the printing industry.
Why Is CTP So Popular?
As you have learned the many advantages of CTP, the printers also love to work with this technology. The reduced manufacturing cost on time and materials and reduced labor in the printing process are two major reasons behind it.
Process-Less Plate Making
Process-less plate making is an environment-friendly method to produce CTP plates. It is quite popular in the newspaper industry. Not only kind to mother earth, but this plate-making process is also cost-saving.
No use of chemicals during production makes these plates truly environmentally conscious.
Types of Plates in the CTP System
There are three types of plates in the CTP system-
- Thermal sensitive aluminum plates
- Photopolymer plates
- Aluminum-based printing plates
Printing technology has significantly changed and developed in recent years. From the simple printing machine invented in 1440, printing technology has come a long way to offset printing plates. The journey has made it more accessible and reasonable to the user.