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 – have been introduced only recently. But, with latest developments, laser-based systems have the potential to overcome pad printing industry over the new couple of years.
CTP benefits: Laser systems allow the end user to convert ctp machine in China to a top etched impression in only 1 to five minutes. Costs of films, chemicals, consumables shipping, exposure units and removal of hazardous substances are eliminated, as are maintenance contracts on processing tools and costs of outsourcing steel plate making. Double-sided laser etched plates can accommodate up to 4 images, which minimizes plate usage.
You’ll find four steps to make a plate: import the graphic file into the unit ‘s software, paint the halftone design on the image, establish the etch depth parameter inside the laser ‘s operating software, and then press start. Laser-imaged graphics are very first generation so there’s no decrease of resolution.
Etch depth plus halftone pattern could be correctly fine tuned to match the kind of image you plan to print, the viscosity and rheology of the printer ink used, the speed of the printing machine, so the durometer of the printing pads used. As specs can certainly be kept on the computer, resulting picture quality is totally repeatable.
Laser-based CTP programs are able to accommodate uv ctp lasers for fine, bold graphics, and combination fine/bold. Laser-engraved plates have a straight-walled etching and more highly accurate inkwell than polymer cliches and thin or thick steel plates.
Choosing a CTP system: Laser type. These days, 3 sorts of lasers have been utilized to create pad printing plates: diode pumped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG), Ytterbium fiber laser (YAG wavelength), and CO2. The main differences between these devices are maintenance, spot size, and ability to etch various materials.
Maintenance – The diode pumped YAG carries a diode bar which heats up and can warp after about 10,000 hours of use, requiring costly replacement. The Ytterbium fiber and CO2 lasers haven’t any diode bar so they’ve virtually no maintenance requirements for up to 70,000 hours of operation. Spot size – Because the wavelength associated with a YAG laser (1.064 microns) is ten times smaller than the CO2 wavelength (10.64 microns), the former can generate more detailed graphics than CO2. Materials – YAG lasers are ideally suited for metals. A CO2 laser beam is quite a bit better absorbed by organic materials – wood, textiles, glass, plastics, paper, as well as rubber.
Application. In order to ensure seamless integration into the workflow of the target company, laser program must have the ability to import are,ai (Adobe Illustrator),,dxf (CorelDRAW, AutoCad), as well as,bmp (bitmaps, gradients, process-color images) files. In order to achieve halftone or dot design, the software program should have the ability to apply many hatches (or separation anhubg the laser lines) to the picture. For fine line graphics a tiny hatch could be applied, for bold graphics a larger hatch will prevent “scooping”. The energy and frequency of the laser beam has to be variable to finely tune the plate level to offer likely the greatest printing plate for the sort of ink, production speed and substrate. The target degree of etch in the plate is,001″
System features. The uv ctp plate making machine have several available features to consider: Size of system footprint – stand by itself or 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 appear like somewhat strange that Europe seems to be at the front side of this technology, one normally thinks of Japan or perhaps the Usa for innovation but for once legislation could have been a help instead of a hindrance. Europe has improved it’s expectations of industry meeting environmental requirements in a manner that is forcing changes in the workplace.
Traditional film making uses chemical compounds which are dangerous in use and tough to dispose of, perhaps this has enhanced the demand for earlier film appliances to enhance. Many litho printers (us included) will have made use of laser plates at one time or another for easy short run one colour jobs, it is easy and quick, printed directly from the desktop computer. The issues are damping issues that make these plates difficult to run these days it is achievable to formulate constructive metal plates making use of inkjet film. Each and every year the report from DRUPA would be the progress the printing business is making in CTP.