CTP (Computer-To-Plate) technology, which is a digital printing process on a plate sheet for use on an offset printing machine. This process is done at the prepress stage or the print preparation process. CTP or also called “direct-to-plate” means the process of making printing plates for offset machines directly from the computer (file).
Currently the use of CTP technology is increasingly found in the printing industry. The use of computers in addition to economic problems, given the costly labor costs then aspects of computer usage flexibility that eliminates the process of reproduction into important considerations leading to changes in CTP.
CtP technology is relatively new in Indonesia, which is only around the 2000s. Compared with Computer to Film system.
In accordance with the term direct-to-plate, the process of making the plate without using the process of making photo reproduction film, image / text / media directly in Print on the sheet plate of computer files. Digital files do not need to be changed or modified to several different files because they are already programmed with the RIP system. The result of making the plates exactly the same, according to existing data on the file.
There are many types of CTP Printers with different Brands each offering different Features.
Printer Plate made using thermal plate type. The uniqueness of this plate is not sensitive to light but to the heat emitted by certain light waves. Because it is not sensitive to light, the thermal plate can be handled directly in an open room without having to use a safety light like any other plate type.
Another uniqueness is its emulsinya besifat binary, meaning new image will be formed after passing certain threshold value. Below threshold value specified image will not be formed. This means that the hermal plate does not recognize the term over exposed or under exposed. Currently the thermal plate is recognized as the best plate for reproducing images.
The existing CTP Plate Engine has been equipped with Color Proofing printed with Hi-Quality Color Plotter using Software such as GMG Color Proffing. Proof results will show the quality of the printed file, and can be your reference in printing with high accuracy so as to avoid any discrepancy between what is desired and what is printed.
For some types of work, such as printing books, magazines, tabloids, posters, calendars, and other prints that require only one-shot plates, the CTP plate is superior in many ways.
Another advantage of using CTP:
- Print durability with conventional ink up to 500,000 exp, UV ink up to 150,000 exp.
- It generates “First Generation Dot” -that from digital data directly to the plate does not pass through any other medium / film.
- Dot is sharper than conventional plates.
- There are no copy errors on the plate due to dust, film pieces left behind, and others.
- More flexible for a sudden job
- Raster print is more stable. Able to produce raster points from 1% to 99% so the color range becomes wider, so the detail on the highlight area and shadow becomes better.
- Environmentally friendly because there is no film