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True Cost Of CTP Plate Making Revealed In New White Paper

Press release from the issuing company

Charlottetown, PEI, Canada - December 15, 2003 -- J Zarwan Partners today announced the availability of a white paper entitled CTP Plate Making: Understanding the Real Costs. Based on in-depth research with users of computer-to-plate (CTP) technologies, this groundbreaking research looks beyond the cost of equipment and plates to gain a true understanding of the total process costs associated with operation of a CTP solution. The white paper, which can be accessed at www.johnzarwan.com , examines costs of plates and processing from leading CTP vendors including Agfa, Fuji, KPG, Presstek and Western/Lastra. The move to CTP has increased the productivity and efficiency of printers by simplifying the production process and streamlining workflow. Yet despite the cost savings achieved by moving from traditional film-based plate making to CTP, there are still in most cases significant costs incurred in getting the plate from the platesetter to the press. Most printers accept these as unavoidable costs of doing business, and therefore do not track these costs very carefully. As the pressure on printers to increase efficiency and speed continues to grow, understanding these costs and their implications becomes increasingly important. This white paper identifies and highlights some of these often neglected costs and summarizes the experiences of printers using different types of digital plates. "This is the first published research that has taken an in-depth look at the total cost of operation, across vendors and processes, in the CTP environment," said John Zarwan, founder of J Zarwan Partners. "Reviewing this information will assist printers in developing a clear picture of the costs they actually incur during the plate making process, enabling them to make better business decisions about not only equipment acquisition and operation, but customer pricing models." In conducting this research, J Zarwan partners spoke with 63 printers of various sizes who employ products from all of the major manufacturers and process types, including both thermal (both bake and no-bake) and violet. The study gathered detailed information about their plate and chemistry use and costs. As prices can vary substantially with plate volume, the firm spoke with printers of all sizes to gain a more accurate cost picture. Key findings of the research reflect that chemistry can account for as much as 30% of the price of the plate, and that there are additional hidden costs that can bring the total cost of plate making even higher. This represents a significant financial element that many printers are not adequately taking into account as they structure their business models. "The typical printer can spend $40,000 to $100,000 per year on chemistry and related items," said Zarwan. "Our research revealed that many, if not most, printers tend to underestimate the total cost of chemistry, processing, and maintenance. We believe it is critical that printers have a clear understanding of the full range of costs as they consider the implementation of CTP technologies." The white paper also explores the emergence in the marketplace of chemistry-free CTP solutions which offer the printer both the ability to migrate to CTP solutions without the cost burdens of conventional chemistry-based CTP and a more environmentally-friendly printing operation. According to Zarwan, "Only one vendor offers these chemistry-free solutions today, but we expect to see other manufacturers bring chemistry-free solutions to the market in the future." The white paper can be accessed by visiting www.johnzarwan.com