Most modern CTP devices can be counted on to make plates reliably day after day, year after year, without much hassle or downtime. This basic functionality leads some printers to believe that all CTP devices are basically the same, different only because of options such as speed, size, and automation.
However, all CTP devices are NOT the same. The heart of any CTP device is its imaging technology, the technology that is actually "making" the plate that will go on press and print the final product. The thermal vs. violet technology conversation has been had many times before, and the consensus has been that thermal technology is the ideal choice for stability, high-quality print, and the only path to true process free plate making.
There are several different thermal imaging technologies though, and all of these are not equal. For over two decades, Kodak has provided the industry with technical documentation and graphics that showed why KODAK SQUARESPOT Imaging Technology, standard on KODAK TRENDSETTER, MAGNUS, and GENERATION NEWS Platesetters, is the most stable, accurate, and reliable imaging technology. Printers looking to buy a new CTP device can dive into the technical details around how SQUARESPOT Technology employs a 10,000 dpi laser swath, four times finer than a pixel. They can also read about the sharp, "square" profile of the imaging dot, enabling stability in the face of normal variability in the printing environment. And they can read about features such as Geometric Correction, Dynamic Autofocus, and Temperature Compensation, all contributing to the uniquely stable image produced by SQUARESPOT Technology.
Printers using KODAK Platesetters that have SQUARESPOT Technology sometimes take all of these features for granted. It's sometimes easy to forget that other CTP devices, ones that use a different imaging technology, aren't quite the same.
Now you can take a peek into what might happen in certain common situations if you have SQUARESPOT Technology, and if you don't. Kodak has put together a series of scenarios at www.kodak.com/go/squarespot-scenarios. Click the different tabs at the top of the page to see what happens in 4 different scenarios:
- Rising temperature in prepress
- Dying laser on an older CTP device
- Integrated automation across multiple CTP devices
- Aging chemistry in the processor
How would your CTP do in each of these situations?