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Entering the CTP Market

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  • Entering the CTP Market

    Hi All!

    I've never been part of a forum before, but I'm overwhelmed at the amount of information out there about ctp devices and workflows, so I
    felt the urgent need to join and need some help!!

    We have decided to purchase a ctp device and the necessary workflow (we are a small shop doing about 150 plates/month, but spend too
    much time running around to pick up negs/ strip them up / burn and develop them and then back again if there are errors)

    I also spend too much time impositioning jobs and manually trapping files.

    I want to be able to impostion and trap and then use the same ripped file to output to an epson proofer and the ctp device.

    We have two options and I need some input as to which route to go....

    1. Brand new PlateRite4300S platesetter and Trueflow Rite from Fuji
    2. Used 2000 CreoScitex Lotem 400VA Platesetter and Brisque 4 /ScenicSoft Preps v4 Software

    I've been reading about Brisque and the "no support" that goes along with it, but I'm being told by others that this is a great workflow and will do everything I need and it's not worth spending the extra for a new system.

    Will option one work for me and get me through the next 5 years?
    Is it worth spending more now and not worrying about support etc....

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: Entering the CTP Market

    Well, as the self-appointed Apostle Of Trueflow, you probably can guess where I will come out.
    I had a Brisque from 1997 to 2004. Loved it. Love my TrueFlow even better.
    The support issue is big. Can a Brisque handle spot colors and transparencies? I cannot answer that.
    I do know that in 2004 (CS1 if I recall) we were starting to have issues with the above. Now that we are on CS3 I cannot imaginge that
    Brisque can handle that. However, I could be wrong - I mean, I am the guy that took a job running an Agfa Apology 3, so I do not know if I would trust
    me or not...
    Then, blessed be the day that they took that piece of crap out the door and put in my beloved Screen

    Edited by: Chris Prough on Mar 14, 2008 2:32 PM


    • #3
      Re: Entering the CTP Market

      Brisque is EOL, you will get no support from Kodak. The Screen devices are probably the best ctp devices on the market. I have an 8800 and run appx
      4000 40" plates through it a month and have yet to have a service call on the device. As far as feeding the platesetter, look at Rampage as it is totally open. They play nice with any output device out there and the support is second to none. Also support is only $1750 a year. Ask Kodak what their support is for Prinergy and you will have a heart attack.


      • #4
        Re: Entering the CTP Market

        My only caveat to what you are saying is this. If you go rampage you are not going apples to apples. You will have to make a 1 bit tiff.
        If you go Screen to Screen you avoid the 1 bit tiff.


        • #5
          Re: Entering the CTP Market


          What is wrong with making a 1 bit tiff? I have never heard of anyone say this is a bad thing.


          • #6
            Re: Entering the CTP Market

            Rampage talks directly to the screen device. No one bit tiffs at all.
            The only device that Rampage has to send a 1-bit tiff to is a Kodak/Creo device as they don't play nice with competitors.
            Just to clarify No one bit tiffs. It talks to the device in its native language.

            Edited by: macphenom on Mar 15, 2008 9:35 AM


            • #7
              Re: Entering the CTP Market

              In our experience, there is no difference in quality from direct connect to a CtP or sending a 1 bit tiff to a shooter. With direct connect, a bit map still has to be produced. We do offer MetaDimension with direct connect to some of our CtP systems and we also connectivity via 1 bit tiff to a Metashooter. We have found if a rip is direct connected to a CtP, it is usually govern by how many pph the CtP can output. By have a separate, offline MetaDimension Prep rip generating 1 bit tiffs, it is not governed by the CtP device. With this scenario, we have been able to generate up to 50 8 up flats per hour, The control of the CtP is handled by the Metashooter (our definition of shooter is different then Rampage, our shooter is an intelligent Tiff catcher that also control the CtP and automation but does not generate the screening). So for the highest degree of productivity, or driving more that one CtP, we would recommend a system generating an offline 1 bit tiff to a shooter via hot folder. If very high production is not needed, we can provide the direct connect. The MetaDimension direct connect can also be upgrade to be offline with a shooter if production needs increase.

              By the way, 1 bit tiff has become one of the secure standard output format. Many large publishers require supplied files to be a 1 bit tiff because they are secure.



              Edited by: marktonk on Mar 15, 2008 1:11 PM
              Mark Tonkovich
              Heidelberg USA


              • #8
                Re: Entering the CTP Market

                There is absolutely no reason to be corralled into a a workflow because of you choice of CTP. As stated, every CTP device can be setup to take a 1-bit TIFF from just about any workflow. Why pay for a software workflow that does not satisfy your production needs.
                That said, I would encourage you to look into the EskoArtwork workflow solutions. Our products are all about relieving your current "pain points" in your production environment, and adding more ease of productivity on top of that. There are some really cool options.

                Check it out at:

                If you have any questions let me know. Good Luck - peter
                "you never know how the past is going to turn out"


                • #9
                  Re: Entering the CTP Market

                  Find the workflow and front end that is going to meet your needs and budget, then shop for the output device. Just about any vendor is going to have an output device to meet your needs, but the workflow is what you will have to work with on a day to day basis.

                  Make a list of the products you want to demo and get as many demos in as possible, see if you can get into shops running those workflows and talk with their operators, find out what works and doesn't work for them.

                  We purchased our workflow about a year before we purchased our actual CTP unit.

                  Of your 2 choices I would take a hard look at the screen solution. Brisque is a dead product, no sense in investing money in that.


                  • #10
                    Re: Entering the CTP Market

                    I realize that Screen makes a 1 bit in the background. I also understand that 1 bit is accepted and there are no known problems.
                    My issue is one of integrity of the file.
                    Scenario that DID occur at our facility that cost us $10,000.
                    AGFA Apology - CMYK sent to 1 bit on Monday. Plated successfully. Wednesday, while on press at 9am we discover that it said 2006, not the year
                    20007. We fix in Quark, re-rip, and resend the black plate. Now, there are FIVE 1 bit tiffs on the platesetter. The person who sent the new black output the
                    correct black plate, we press check and run.
                    THEN, six hours later, a 2nd pressman comes in and finds a black plate 1 bit tiff. There are 200 files siting there and guess what? He outputs the wrong
                    black plate. We now look like idiots to the customer for having "caught" their error, fixed it, and then screwed it up all over again.
                    Riddle me this.
                    Why is it that 1 bit tiff catchers are not smart enough to know that I already have a black plate over there with the same name? Are they keeping it on
                    my tiff catcher just for fun?
                    Part 2 - Why would a front end unit (Heidelberg, Agfa, etc) allow a 1 bit tiff catcher to NOT overwrite the old file?
                    Old school time here - in 1990 if you had a piece of film that said 1990 on it instead of 1991, and it was caught at press, would you NOT throw that
                    piece of film in the trash? Why would you EVER need it again? You would not.
                    So, fast forward 18 years. My $3,000 Dell box that runs my platesetter has complete control over my Rip Once Output Many workflow. All of the hundreds of
                    thousands of dollars on front end equipment is worthless because of a 1 bit catcher that is stupid.
                    Just my two cents worth. I have been asking workflow retailers this same question for 4 years. Nothing has changed.....except that we got rid of ours and went to a
                    seamless 1 bit in the background.


                    • #11
                      Re: Entering the CTP Market


                      Surely, this problem is just lack of housekeeping at the catcher. We get numbering at the end of the files so the new black has an 01 while the original has an 00 so simply delete the 00 file and you protect the next operator from trouble. Just make it an SOP. Done!

                      John W


                      • #12
                        Re: Entering the CTP Market

                        I agree. However, in a real world, tell me WHY I need to do this? Why can't the tiff catcher do it for me?
                        It all comes back to the integrity of the file - and the issue that started this thread.
                        What "dummy proofs" my platesetter? Trueflow (and I guess Rampage because it avoids a 1 bit).
                        All I have ever said is this. I think that the front end should match the back end.
                        Ever try and call for help when there is mis-matching? Front end blames back end and vice versa.
                        If you get the same moniker on the front end as the back they have nowhere to run.
                        BTW, I do knot know how your CTP works, but in our old scenario, the 1 bit tiff catcher was 45 feet away.
                        The person who sent the 1 bit to it had to get up and walk over and then find and delete that file?
                        WHY - WHY WHY would you EVER want an old outdated file on the tiff catcher?


                        • #13
                          Re: Entering the CTP Market

                          We have to keep old files for exact reprints over and over to maintain integrity of the original ROOM workflow. But we change the dkt slug as a super onto the black plate (requiring a merge or double exposed plate). Our tif catcher is also 45 feet away from the originator but the plate guy knows to use the newest file (highest version file) &/or the rip operator deletes the old file directly over the network.
                          This has been life since the beginning of time whether it was film, artboards, ctf or ctp.
                          But I get your point just that there is no money in it for the vendor to rewrite the software and then have to patch up everyone (at least not in the opinion).
                          John W


                          • #14
                            Re: Entering the CTP Market

                            Our tiffs overwrite the old file, strange yours doesn't.


                            • #15
                              Re: Entering the CTP Market

                              Heidelberg Prinect Metadimension also overwrites older 1bit tiffs... Never had the problem you mentioned


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