3/25/01 - Thermal is the right route for computer to plate, argues Mick Smith, managing director of Abbey Press in Halstead after one year’s field tests working closely with a trade platemaking house. As a result the company has taken delivery of a Kodak 3043 inkjet proofer and a Heidelberg Trendsetter 3230 with Delta workflow, Signastion and Macs from Kodak Polychrome Graphics. It will use the well proven Electra, the UK’s most popular thermal plate.
"We have spent nearly 100 years trying to get out of the darkroom so why go back in with a visible light solution?" he asks. "Thermal gives great quality, a fantastic dot."
The company produces full colour work on presses up to B2 and five-colour configuration and needs to produce about 300 plates a week. Its sister repro house will continue to provide it with film services but the plates will be produced on site. The platesetting equipment represents an investment of £160,000.
"Because we have not had repro in-house before we opted to go for the Delta workflow rather than Prinergy because it is simpler to learn and use. Within a year we anticipate 70% of output being CtP. There are various degrees of know-how among our broad customer base from around the UK. Our investment is not a result of pressure from there but a tool to enable us to offer fast turnround by eliminating film stages and ensuring on press fit is fast and first rate and that production costs are contained."
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