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Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

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  • Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

    Hello All,

    We are a small printer in Australia and we have the Magnus 400 CTP system and use Kodak Thermal Direct plates. We make around 50 plates per day - across 4 different plate sizes.

    I was wondering if anyone is having problems with the Thermal Direct Plates - specifically that plates not inking up at all, plates breaking up on first pull off press, image picking off, plates not lasting even 1000 runs and generally running through batches and batches of faulty plates.

    Our plates are stored in our darkroom, so they are not exposed to light before processing, all plates are within their used-by date.... We are at a bit of a loss as to what is going on or what could be the possible cause of these issues??

    Any comments are appreciated - especially from printers located outside of the US where the plates have been shipped/air freighted. (We are thinking perhaps the plate coating is compromised on transit from US to Australia??).


  • #2
    Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

    are the plates provcessed on the printingt machine??


    • #3
      Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

      Yes, they are process-less plates, where the coating is removed on press.


      • #4
        Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

        Hi There... I can't help you with your problem, but what strikes me is that almost everyone that has problems with this plate uses a Magnus 400 platesetter. Seems weird since they are both Kodak products.

        I have heard of several problems here in Holland, and ALL of them had a Magnus. We use the Kodak Thermal Direct also, and have no problems at all. We use a Heidelberg Suprasetter.

        I can't back this up in any way, It just seems odd to me.

        Sorry I can't help you more, but you might want to talk to Kodak about this...


        • #5
          Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

          Thank you.

          That is very interesting indeed.

          Kodak has suggested to us that, yes, there are problems with particular batches of plates and that if not combined with the right ink / fountain solution the ink tack will pick the image off the plate.

          I am concerned that this is just passing off a problem with the plates as an ink problem. They suggested using only vegetable oil based inks or soy oil based inks, not silica based.

          Can I ask, what kind of ink you use with your Thermal Direct plates?

          - Amanda.


          • #6
            Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

            I'm not a printer myself (I do the prepress), so I'm not sure on what base our inks are.
            We are currently switching from Sicpa inks to K&E inks so right now we are using both brands side-by-side.
            No problems with either of them.

            If you want I can get you more detailed info on the inks tomorrow when I'm at work. (it's 1 am over here).


            • #7
              Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

              Thank you,
              Yes, that would be great if you could find out for me.
              I really appreciate all your help!
              Now you should get some sleep ready for work



              • #8
                Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

                No problem... You will hear from me tomorrow.


                • #9
                  Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

                  Hi Amanda,

                  I have asked our printer about the Ink issue, and he never had any problems with any of the inks we use and the Kodak Thermal Direct plates. We tried to find out on what base the inks are, but we couldn't find the exact specs.
                  All we know for sure is they are not 'eco' inks (soy or vegetable based).

                  I noted the exact inks we use:

                  K+E Novavit F100 series
                  K+E Novaboard series
                  SICPA / Siegwerk inks

                  We also printed Metallic and Fluorescent inks with the plate without any problems. Our printer suggested that the additive to the water could be the problem. Have you tried a different additive?

                  We print Alcohol-free on a Speedmaster 52 (cooled version) and use reversed osmose water and Anchor Emerald Premium 3560 as additive. Maybe this helps. If you want more info please let me now.


                  • #10
                    Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

                    Thank you again. This is all very helpfull.

                    I will have a talk with the press operator on Monday morning and see what he thinks.

                    Our problems tend to center around our Komori 26 - 560x670 plates.
                    But each machine has had it's own issues from time to time, with everything to run-length, picking and screens wearing out after like 150 runs!

                    I still believe it is faulty batches of plates that have problems in the plate coating.
                    Not sure how i can prove or test my theory though.


                    • #11
                      Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

                      I think this ink thing is a red herring. They wouldn't or couldn't release a product that had such marginal coating adhesion to the aluminum. They would fall apart after a press stop or if the plate dried up. If it's related to the tack of the ink, it doesn't matter whether it's eco ink or not, it's the tack of the ink. Are they implying that the vegetable oil based low
                      VOC inks soften the plate coating? That would be another variable that offset printing doesn't need. Not the first time we have heard about these plates haveing problems on this forum.
                      John Lind
                      Cranberry Township, PA


                      • #12
                        Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

                        Looks like you may have an exposure issue. On this plate it's tricky to set the right laser intensity.
                        I suggest you to raise this issue with Kodak support.


                        • #13
                          Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

                          I can tell you that the laser intensity on our Suprasetter is set to 100 watts (or is it mW?). Maybe you can check the settings on your Magnus. I do remember the Heidelberg technicians telling me that this plate needed a more powerfull laser than other plates.


                          • #14
                            Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

                            Any easy fix would be to contact Anocoil corp and try out their fine plates. Happy to answer any questions.


                            • #15
                              Re: Kodak Thermal Direct Plates in Australia

                              These plates have been withdrawn from certain types of printers in the UK as not suitable - one of the problems that I have heard from anaother printer who moved over to (Agfa I think) is that unless you print the plate vwithin 48 hours it is not stable.


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