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  • Digital WF - CTP

    hello,
    I am a serior student Graphic and digital media in Belgium, and i have a few questions concerning digital workflows and CTP..

    - What does a new ctp-machine generally cost for a small printing company ?
    - How long does it generally take for such a machine to become fully operative?
    -> from the moment the machine is bought
    -> from the moment the machine arrives

    - What does it cost for a small printing company to implement a basic digital workflow?
    - How long does it generally take for such a system to become operative?
    -> how many days / hours will the company be unable to work normally

    I know these are quite specific questions but if i can get a general idea of these subjects, i would be a very happy senior sudent!

    thx
    Stevish

  • #2
    Re: Digital WF - CTP

    Hi Steven,

    Lesson number 1 in the business world - it's the people.

    Case in point, is likely very different from most shops. I came here w/ a lot of digital experience, and the shop had none.
    We bought our Creo3244 for around ~$65k USD (w/ workflow, proofing, etc.), from a used equipment dealer. It took 1.5 days for him to install it, I was making production plates the second half of that day.
    0 Learning curve, as the operator in question, was experienced. The shop had to catch up to digital, not the other way around.
    I'm not tooting my horn, I'm illustrating the point - any talented individual w/ the right mix of skill and talent, could have achieved the same goal. I did nothing special.
    If you're asking from a company start-up standpoint, I'd only need a day to order what I need... Some of this kind of kit takes week's to install (new vs. used matters, too, not just on cost). Used equipment can be installed in days, if you're willing to pay. New kit is typically 6-8 weeks, depending on manufacturer. Startup time for devices themselves I'd say varies as well - My used machine was running 8 hours after it came off the truck (took half a day to calibrate). New machines typically take 3-4 days to install (but those guys do a far, far better job than my man from Cinci.)

    - Mac

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    • #3
      Re: Digital WF - CTP

      Hi Steven.

      For me, the CTP question is a fairly easy one to answer since we just recently had our system installed. I'd say our company would classify as a "small printing company" with around $3 million in sales annually.

      The CTP device was purchased brand new. We signed the purchase agreement in mid-January and installation began the last week of February. Installation began on a Monday morning and the last of the trainers left that Friday afternoon. We actually began producing test plates on Wednesday, but Friday was the first day of full production.

      Your "basic digital workflow" question is a little tougher to answer, simply because what may be considered "basic" to me might be considered "over the top" to the next person. Also, as Mac points out, personnel and their understanding of the operation can have a huge effect on this. Also, the number of workstations effect the price.

      We have what I consider to be a fairly basic digital workflow. We use Preps and Rampage, with Mac workstations. Fairly basic and straight forward. To be "up and running" with this system completely installed can be done in less than a day. Training is a huge variable. But it's a real nice, basic, user-friendly system. I think to get started with Rampage you're looking at $10,000-$15,000 (box, software, training) and then I think it's an additional $3,000-$5,000 per workstation. I think those figures are in the ballpark.

      Hope this helps. Best of luck to you.

      Mark

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