Scratch The Film. Go Straight To Plate
CTP can substantially slash the amount of time, labor and money needed to complete an offset job.
by Mike Llewellyn
Michael George is a very busy man. Whether he's meeting with customers, flying to trade shows or solving any number of daily crises in the in-plant, he's always looking for a way to get a little more time.
George is director of Villanova University Graphics, a 13-employee shop tucked away on the second floor of Galberry Hall in a far corner of campus. Operating in what was once a house, the in-plant is its own storm of activity, and it's in a constant race against the clock.
A little over two years ago, George says the Philadelphia-area in-plant made a purchase designed to beat the clock—a Heidelberg Quicksetter 400 computer-to-plate (CTP) system. Picked up at Graph Expo 2000, the Quicksetter images both film and plates. It has helped Villanova's in-plant handle some major volume increases.
"The type of work that we're doing has stayed the same, but the volume has really increased," George says.
CTP has helped the shop keep up.
With some 30 percent of in-plants now using CTP systems, according to IPG research, the message seems to be getting out: CTP can substantially reduce the amount of time, labor and money necessary to complete an offset job. In-plants that use platesetters agree.
Back in October 2001, the Wal-Mart Printing and Mailing Distribution Center, in Bentonville, Ark., installed a CreoScitex (now Creo) Lotem B2 thermal platesetter. Replacing an older imagesetter, the Creo unit has cut up to 75 percent off the usual makeready time, according to Prepress Manager John Brouse.
"The auto-load system is very good for time," notes Brouse. "And it's also very reliable. It's only gone down hard twice. But those weren't really major problems."