Chemistry-free CTP: Madison Gas and Electric
As the demand for four-color work increased at Madison Gas and Electric’s in-plant, so did the Wisconsin shop’s need to upgrade its platemaking process.
“We had two-color Ryobis, but about 80 percent of our work was four color,” reports Graphics Services Supervisor Chris Hrubes. He targeted chemistry-free CTP as the ideal solution for the facility’s workload requirements and environmental standards.
Hrubes began researching the technology about five years ago. By late 2006, he was looking seriously at a couple of metal plate systems. One was a violet system that the supplier claimed would be chemistry-free in the future. The other was a Presstek Dimension 225, a thermal system that was already chemistry-free.
“We tried both of them out on press,” Hrubes states. “The Presstek plates ran very well and the fact that it was already chemistry-free made our decision that much easier.”
The utility purchased the Presstek Dimension Excel in December 2007 and, according to Hrubes, the shop has reaped cost-savings rewards.
“Although the cost per plate is a little higher, the savings in chemistry and press preparation have been significant,” he declares. “For example, we no longer have to pay for waste removal.”
Reduced turnaround time has been another perk.
“Producing plates for a normal four-color job that used to take two hours through chemistry processes, now takes half an hour,” he points out. “We are also printing first-generation plates. When the plates are mounted on the press, everything usually registers perfectly, with minimal tweaking. As a result of the labor savings, we are able to bring more jobs in-house that may have otherwise been done by another vendor, and we have been able to do more graphic design/prepress work.”
The shop uses Presstek Anthem Pro plates, which require only water.