What is CTP?

- Jan 21, 2019-

First of all, it is clear that the CTP system discussed here is a computer-to-plate. CTP is a digital printing plate imaging process from the computer directly to the printing plate. The CTP direct plate making machine is similar in principle to the phototypesetting machine. The plate making equipment is directly controlled by a computer, scanned by laser, and then developed and fixed to produce a printing plate that can be directly printed on the machine. Computer-to-plate is a digital process that directly changes text and images to digital and directly produces plates, eliminating the need for film materials, artificial imposition, semi-automatic or fully automatic printing processes.


CTP can handle a variety of printing methods, including business forms, clarification books, contacts, documents, finance, newspapers, labels and packaging. In addition, CTP is also suitable for printing sheetfed and brochures. It is especially suitable for closed-ended processes that closely combine the editing, authoring, and back-end production of the front end. Therefore, the CTP system is particularly suitable for printers that use digital format data, such as form printing, financial printing, packaging printing, and general commercial printing. For newspaper publishing, newspapers that use full digital editing processes, or purely classified ads, can be used for CTP.



2. Why use computer direct plate technology


Market demand: more and more short-lived, higher quality requirements, shorter delivery times, and increasingly competitive costs.


The need of Digital Workflow : In the traditional process, the quality of the consumer link is difficult to control, the traditional plate is adjusted more, and the printing machine is not efficient. There is no efficient, high-precision, fully automated prepress system that does not allow for digital workflows.


Compared with the traditional printing process, the CTP plate making process has been rapidly promoted for the following reasons:


1) The delivery time is greatly shortened: the process steps are reduced a lot, the time is not a problem, and various short-range hardware can handle it freely.


2) Stable and consistent high quality: the consumption link is reduced, the quality is easy to control, no outlets are expanded, the outlets are accurate and sharp, the printing density is extremely high, and the fine print is easily completed.


3) The efficiency of the printing press is fully exerted: the automatic registration of the printing plate is rarely adjusted, the CTP printing plate is quickly inked, the ink balance is easily achieved, the printing preparation time is greatly reduced, the printing paper, the ink is saved, and the waste is reduced. The efficiency of the printing press is greatly improved.


4) Labor saving: in film development, manual imposition, printing, revision, ink proofing.


5) Savings of consumable materials: The PS plate for film, developer and ink proofing is omitted, the process is simplified, the chance of error is reduced, and the waste of redo is stopped.


Of course, CTP currently has a lot of shortcomings, such as CTP system costs are relatively high, and most of the plates are currently required to be introduced. The digital process of computer-to-plate system is still not mature, especially digital proofing can not fully simulate printing.


Based on the advantages of many traditional techniques and CTP direct plate making, it is necessary to use computer direct plate making technology.





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