It Takes a Fleet
The print world has been moving to direct-to-plate for several years now and Fleet Graphics has been taking notice. The Dayton, OH-based prepress printing shop recently invested in a thermal CTP device for its prepress department—and for good reason.
"We have made a commitment to stay on the cutting edge of digital prepress technology and will continue in that effort," says Scott Waggoner, president of Fleet. "We already have a digital infrastructure in place." But the company has since combined its new CTP platesetter, a Screen PlateRite 8000, with RAID servers, 100 base-T and gigabit ethernet networks, DVD and DAT digital back-ups, DSL data line with an FTP site and an ICC-profiled digital proofing solution. Waggoner says the printing company has reaped the full advantage of a CTP workflow.
According to Waggoner, digitizing has eliminated the film stage of conventional plate processing, thus reducing the number of plate remakes due to dust, dirt and hot spots. All of the non-bake thermal plates at the company are imaged with first generation dots which are sharper and reduce dot gain to improve print quality. Waggoner and his staff estimated that more accurate registration on press would reduce makeready time and waste, allowing for quicker turnaround on shorter-run color work. They were right. Since adding the thermal CTP device to the workflow, Fleet has improved job processing overall—especially for color jobs.
"The TrueFlow system is not just a RIP that drives our direct-to-plate output," says Waggoner. "It's a powerful and intelligent RIP solution that gives us versatility to handle many different formats for input, output and file integrity for accurate proofing. It gives us automated job processing with customized job tickets. Imposition is critical and Trueflow gives us the option to add or replace data for any individual page within an imposition layout. We make changes and corrections to individual pages without having to re-RIP the entire imposition."