New CTP Gets Idle Press Back In Action
An inactive press is an unproductive press. Unfortunately, the University of North Carolina-Wilmington’s in-plant learned that costly lesson with its two-color Shinohara.
The university’s Printing Services department had an imagesetter to make poly plates for its ABDick presses, but got away from metal platemaking several years ago, recalls Production Manager Steven Barrett. In order to use the Shinohara press, the shop had to rely on an outside vendor to secure metal plates, which Barrett didn’t find to be a dependable option. All along, the in-plant was buying and disposing of chemicals associated with making poly plates.
“We started to look at chemical-free platemakers because we wanted to get the Shinohara back online,” Barrett notes.
That search ended with the installation of a new Presstek Vector 52 chemical-free computer-to-plate (CTP) device with Momentum Rip 8.0 software for the shop’s prepress department.
“Now we have a platemaker that can produce variable-sized plates to satisfy the needs of the ABDick and Shinohara presses,” Barrett proclaims. “Yes, the per-plate cost is a little more expensive, but we don’t have the downtime waiting for an outside vendor to burn us a plate, and we are keeping our staff busy.”
Additionally, the in-plant does not need to purchase chemicals or worry about disposing of them. This allows the in-plant to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, a big selling point to the university when it was time to justify the purchase.
“We were starting to run into an issue of disposing of the silver from the poly plates,” Barrett admits. “That was becoming an expense that we didn’t want, and getting rid of that helped balance out the additional costs of running metal plates.”
Putting the Shinohara press back into service has allowed the in-plant and its 13 employees to keep more work in-house, including longer-run magazines that were being outsourced.