Computer-to-plate (CTP) technology is used on a daily basis in offset, flexography, and screen-printing workshops. As for pad printing industry, computer to plate equipment – laser plate etching systems – are introduced only recently. However, 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 end user to convert ctp machine in China to a top etched image in just 1 to five minutes. Costs of films, chemicals, consumables shipping, coverage units and removal of hazardous materials are eliminated, as are maintenance contracts on processing tools and expense of outsourcing steel plate making. Double-sided laser etched plates are able to accommodate up to 4 images, which decreases plate usage.
There are four steps to create a plate: import the graphic file into the device ‘s software, apply the halftone style on the image, specify the etch-depth parameter within the laser ‘s operating program, then press start. Laser-imaged graphics are first generation so there is no loss in resolution.
Etch depth and halftone pattern can be correctly fine tuned to complement the image type you desire to rheology, the viscosity, and print of the ink for the printer used, the speed of the printing machine, thus the durometer of the printing pads used. As specifications will be stored on the computer, resulting image quality is entirely repeatable.
Laser-based CTP systems can accommodate ctp machine plates 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. Nowadays, three 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 different materials.
Maintenance – The diode-pumped YAG carries a diode bar which heats up and can warp after aproximatelly 10,000 hours of use, requiring costly replacement. The Ytterbium fiber and CO2 lasers don’t have diode bar so they have absolutely no maintenance requirements for up to 70,000 hours of operation. Spot size – As the wavelength of any YAG laser (1.064 microns) is ten times smaller compared to the CO2 wavelength (10.64 microns), the former can generate a lot more detailed pictures than CO2. Materials – YAG lasers are ideally suited for metals. A CO2 laser beam is better absorbed by organic substances – wood, paper, plastics, glass, textiles, and rubber.
Application. To ensure seamless integration into the workflow on the target business, laser software program must have the ability to import are,ai (Adobe Illustrator),,dxf (CorelDRAW, AutoCad), and,bmp (bitmaps, gradients, process color images) files. to be able to achieve halftone or maybe dot design, the software should be able to apply many hatches (or even separation anhubg the laser lines) on the image. For fine line graphics a small hatch can be applied, for bold graphics a larger hatch will prevent “scooping”. The energy and frequency of the laser has to be adjustable to finely tune the plate depth to deliver likely the greatest printing plate for the kind of ink, production speed and substrate. The target degree of etch in the plate is,001″
System features. The ctcp machine have a number of available features to consider: Size of system footprint – stand by itself or perhaps 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 seem a little odd that Europe appears to be at the front side of this technology, one usually thinks of Japan or maybe the Usa for innovation but for as soon as legislation could have been a help instead of a hindrance. Europe has increased it’s expectations of industry meeting environmental requirements in a manner which is forcing changes in your office.
Traditional film making uses chemicals that are hazardous in use and tough to dispose of, perhaps 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 perhaps another for easy short run one colour jobs, it’s quick and easy, printed straight from the desktop computer. The difficulties are damping problems which make these plates tough to own but now it is feasible to cultivate constructive metal plates using inkjet film. Each year the report from DRUPA is the progress the printing business is making in CTP.