The Sweet Lowdown
"PDF is key," notes Johnson. "CTP will pay itself off in spades. The whole workflow industry has moved to PDF to standardize one file throughout the food chain. By going towards a PDF standard, you'll see increased efficiency right down to designers and advertisers. They can go as far as make last minute changes over the phone."
No stupid questions
But for printers and publishers who are unsure about why to invest in CTP, Citiplate (www.citiplate.com) provides an economical check-list.
Could business be more profitable by reducing the cost of getting content to press?
Could job productivity be improved if plates were made faster?
Could competitiveness increase if operating costs were cut?
Could business be enhanced by providing digital quality, fast turnaround and competitive prices?
"It's all about communication. You can't go into CTP without treating it as a partnership with the printer," Johnson says. By converting to digital printing, publishing clients are encouraged to revamp production workflow on the front end.
"It reduces make-ready time," explains Johnson. "Tweaking time on press is also reduced because plates are in register perfectly." He surmises that there isn't a large printer that hasn't adopted CTP. "And now, it's also becoming more affordable for smaller printers," he adds. "Half-size companies are starting to implement CTP. That's why now, the technology is filtering down to the masses and becoming cheaper."
Since then, companies like Global Graphics (www.globalgraphics.com), introduced Cirrus 2M, a manual version of its Cirrus 2 digital platesetter, aimed at the small offset market. According to the company, fast production of high-quality offset printing plates allow short make-ready times on press by imaging 24 plates an hour at 2540 dpi resolution or 37 plates at 1270 dpi. As a result, both short and long press times requiring frequent plate changes can be completed faster.