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THERMAL VS. VIOLET

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  • THERMAL VS. VIOLET

    Looking for information - what plate is better, more cost efficient - more available.

  • #2
    Re: THERMAL VS. VIOLET

    Wendy:

    Based on your profile, it looks like you are a newspaper printer/publisher.

    Agfa has great success with violet in the
    newspaper segment - primarily photopolymer.

    And, with the announcement of our chem-free
    Azura V for existing platesetters like our Advantage
    line, this might sway many arguments toward violet
    for your application.

    Chem-Free violet will be phased-in gradually in
    the US market following manufacturing line
    upgrades at our NJ plate facility.

    Regards,
    Steve Musselman, Agfa Graphics - USA,
    Senior Corporate Account Executive

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    • #3
      Re: THERMAL VS. VIOLET

      Thermal vs Violet - what plate is better, more cost effective.........?
      What plate is better? That depends under what conditions you want to use it.

      If you are a newspaper company the chances are that photopolymer plate will give you the longest press life (funny thing is that both violet and thermal newspaper plates are photopolymer technology, the only difference being the wavelength that exposes them).

      What makes one system more cost effective than another? (I'll try to convert to $ and sq.ft for this.)

      In the first place if you are a small commercial printer, using maybe 9.000 sq.ft of plate per annum, you shouldn't be too worried about your plate price, chemistry price, water usage, and energy usage - because compared to all of your other costs any savings will be pretty insignificant. If you are a small plate consumer you will be willing to to pay a bit more, for example, for a processless plate, because you'll save on equipment and maintenance costs, and on the cost of chemistry & water.

      If you are a huge printing organisation, using maybe 4M sq.ft of plate per annum, then a 0,10$ cost difference per sq.ft means 400.000$; you might then be really interested in the finer differences! If you are a large plate consumer you are probably going to calculate that it will currently be more cost effective to stay with processed plates.

      For the same productivity, thermal systems need more laser power (this usually means more laser diodes) than violet systems. Plate sensitivity tells you this; thermal plates are in the range 120 - 300 mJ/cm2, whereas violet plates are in the range 50 - 120 microJ/cm2 (ie. 2000x difference in sensitvity). Thermal systems get their speed by using lots of lasers to scan a wide swathe, slowly (ie rotational speeds of below 1000 rpm); violet systems get their speed by using one (or two) lasers to scan a narrow swathe quickly (ie. 40-60.000 rpm, or 1/6 -1/4 of that number if using a 6 facet polygon spinner ).
      In addition to more laser channels, thermal systems need electronics to control each exposing simultaneously exposing channel, and need skew-correction to skew the bitmap straight (otherwise it would be skewed by the helical spiral nature of the output). These things tend to make thermal systems a bit more expensive to manufacture; whether they are more expensive to buy depends on commercial considerations market to market.

      Cost effectiveness is really a study of Life Cost Cycle of the whole solution under consideration, which includes a whole lot of things including, but by no means limited to, the plate.

      regards,
      Barry

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