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Special Magazine Cover Demonstrates Output Quality of Kodak's Non-Process Plate Technology

Press release from the issuing company

Rochester, N.Y. November 11--In response to growing industry interest in non-process plate technology, Graphic Arts Monthly (GAM) printed its October cover with KODAK THERMAL DIRECT Non Process Printing Plates to demonstrate the technology's output capability to its readers. GAM Editor-in-Chief Bill Esler said he decided to create the special cover after noticing significant interest in non-process plates at PRINT 05 among small- to medium-sized commercial printers. "We view our magazine as a lab that makes objective presentations, and given the emerging demand for non-process plates, we wanted to let our readers compare true non-process plate performance side-by-side with conventional thermal plates," said Esler. "The timing for the test was perfect because the KODAK THERMAL DIRECT plate just earned Must See `Em honors at PRINT 05 and we'd heard the technology category was generating great interest." The KODAK THERMAL DIRECT plate is the industry's only non-process plate featuring a traditional grained and anodized aluminum substrate, creating a true "drop in" plate product with the familiar look and feel of a pre-sensitized aluminum plate. Based on fourth generation thermal technology, the new plate doesn't require the use of a processor, or modifications to imaging devices or the press. In addition, THERMAL DIRECT plates are compatible with all popular thermal CtP imagers and a wide range of inks and fountain solutions. "Processless plates deserve attention because they save time and money for printers, and they're environmentally friendly," said Esler. "The output quality of non-process plate technology has greatly improved to the point where printers need to give it serious consideration." "Collaborating with GAM on this cover project is an excellent vehicle for demonstrating the printing capability of KODAK THERMAL DIRECT plates," said Doug Edwards, General Manager and Vice President, Prepress Consumables, Kodak's Graphic Communications Group. "We hope that as a result of seeing the quality of printing from a THERMAL DIRECT plate firsthand, printers will seriously consider growing their businesses with non-process technology." THERMAL DIRECT plate applications include short and medium run presswork, eight-page and smaller sheetfed, narrow forms Web and high resolution printing. The plate is particularly well-suited for locations with strict environmental disposal regulations, printers with limited physical space for processor and chemistry storage, and for locations where processor plumbing cannot be installed. Fry Communications in Mechanicsburg, Pa., printed the cover for GAM. "The quality of printing produced with the THERMAL DIRECT plates looked just as good as the work done with the plates our shop normally uses, KODAK THERMAL GOLD printing plates," said Rick Fesler, Prepress Manager, Fry Communications. "We were up to color quickly and the plates easily handled our print run of 78,000." Capable of producing run lengths of up to 100,000 impressions under optimal press conditions, THERMAL DIRECT plates can hold 1 percent to 98 percent dots at 200 lines per inch. The plate features a proprietary, thermally-sensitive coating compatible with all popular thermal imagers without the need to install special debris removal attachments. A unique polymer resin permits the ultra thin coating--which is 70 percent thinner than photopolymer violet plates and 38 percent thinner than typical processed thermal plates--to be dissolved by the press fountain solution and completely carried out of the press by the make-ready sheets. Kodak also reduced the coating colorant on THERMAL DIRECT plates. This virtually eliminates the potential for ink roller glazing but still produces an image of sufficient visibility to determine press cylinder placement for the plates. THERMAL DIRECT plates boast one hour white light handling and four hour yellow light handling.