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  • new plate/platesetter direction

    Our Press team would love to go back to a grained plate (more grain than current plate). Here's our brief profile: medium to high quality (I know, that's subjective) sheetfed printer. The two main process color presses are a SpeedMaster 74 and a Shinohara 74VP. In addition are two perfecting Heidelburg MO, a Sakurai perfector 20 x 23, two GTOs, two QuickMasters. In our peak summer season, we are imaging 250 - 300 metal plates per day. Annually: 36,000 metal plates and 23,000 poly plates. For six years, prepress has been running two Presstek Dimension 400s and supplying press with the Presstek Anthem Pro plate and, just recently, the Presstek Aurora plate running on the Shin 74. An Esko (Purup) ImageMaker B2 images the poly plates for the SAK and the MOs.
    Metal plates: After brief testing, Press does not care for the Kodak Direct or the Fuji processless plates. As a result, Fuji is leaning heavily on press to consider the "chemistry dependent" PJ plate. Prepress views that as a step backward since we are already in an ablative imaging/water wash-only process. We are planning very soon to run and test the Agfa Azura for at least a month. (Prepress runs a Nexus/Odystar RIP workflow front end). Any advice or suggestions on platesetter/plate direction that would make press and prepress happy?:-)
    Thanks - Brian
    Prepress manager

  • #2
    Re: new plate/platesetter direction

    Brian,

    Contact me off-line for some pertinent info.

    John W

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: new plate/platesetter direction

      Why not share the info here?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: new plate/platesetter direction

        Did CitiPlate go Bye-Bye? They had a plate that looked suspiciously similar to the Azura.

        I ran the LH-PJ for a few years. Great plate. If you opt to go back to a chemically processed plate, it's a very good choice. I can see prepress' point, though.

        What did the pressroom dislike about the other plates you mentioned? Is it the on-press clean out, or something else?

        rich

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        • #5
          Re: new plate/platesetter direction

          Rich:
          I'm not familiar with Citiplate.

          Press doesn't like the on-press clean-out feature of the "processless" plates. They don't care for the "faint" image on the plate. They don't like the fact that they have to be careful about keeping the plates protected from white light before running on press. (One reason for this is that in our peak season, we do have 200 - 300 GTO plates staged at press according to spot color. They are clipped together face to face. All of our other plates sent to the other presses are placed in chipboard folders which don't protect from white light very well).

          I realize, of course, that these are the main complaints that one hears from the competition to these "processless" plates.

          Brian

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          • #6
            Re: new plate/platesetter direction

            Anyone out there using the Azura Plate? (Seems like I saw a thread on this once, can't find it at the moment).
            Anyone using an Agfa Avalon? Would like to know your thoughts on it.
            Anyone using any kind of Heidelberg platesetting equipment?
            brian

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            • #7
              Re: new plate/platesetter direction

              Cannoy help you with the Azura plate (we use the Kodak Thermal Direct), but we do use a Heidelberg Suprasetter A52 (same machine as the A74, just limited to 53 cm). This is a great, well-build machine.

              I compared it with the Kodak machines when we were first in the market for CTP, and the Heidelberg just looked and felt more robust.

              We have been using it for 4 months now, and it has not let us down once. Very reliable machine.
              The Suprasetter is a Thermal device with internal punch, and if you need automatic platefeeding that's possible too (optional).

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: new plate/platesetter direction



                Your press lineup is great! CTP needs work. I would recommend you look at ScreenUSA for metal and Mitsubishi for poly. Presswreck is going thru some issues or something called a BIP.


                [http://finance.yahoo.com/q/pr?s=prst]



                Screen makes great products and they deserve to be looked at by any printing company. Just type ScreenUSA in Google and you will be amazed at what this company has to offer.


                Mitsubishi has the best POLY plate setters. Plus they are not as proprietary as you know who.


                Good luck on your search

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: new plate/platesetter direction

                  Rich,
                  CitiPlate was sold to Southern Litho either last year or the year before. They were a manufacturer for various plate companies handling test products, pilot runs and low volume products the other plate companies did not want to produce. Their own brand never developed enough volume to support the companies efforts. Their plant was in Jackson, TN and although it had some unique aspects to the manufacturing process, their line was slow and antiquated.
                  Bob Hill
                  Mid-States Graphics

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: new plate/platesetter direction

                    I've been running a Heidelberg Prosetter74 for about 5 years. (Violet technology)
                    It's an excellent machine, very fast, unsurpassed quality and as reliable as you could ask for. It's a real work horse all-in-all.

                    We did have one service call, it was fixed and back in production in under 24 hours. <smile>
                    This makes me, my boss and our clients very happy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: new plate/platesetter direction

                      Been running the Azura plate here for close to three years (After suffering through a 9 month Presstek Dimension/Antem plate install and de-install) and absolutely love them.

                      Pressroom loves high image contrast, and the GRAIN. We will never again underestimate the value of a consistently grained plate and it's ability to hold a proper ink/water balance.

                      I, pre-press, love them because I have not had to clean a processor in over three years.

                      The Azura has a gum wash unit, somewhat akin to the Dimension, that is a self contained unit that recirculates a 20 litre gum solution. Cleaning is once a month, consists of filling a spent jug with warm water, attaching it to the unit, hit a button, come back in 15 minutes, put new jug of gum on. It takes me a fraction of the time it used to take to clean out my Dimension water rinse, and is a thousand times easier and cleaner.

                      If this forum allowed it, I'd show you a picture of our gum unit after three years of heavy commercial use. It looks brand new.

                      As far as plate performance, we run a 20 x 26 5 color Komori Lithrone doing a lot of high end color work (NYC AD Agency) and our clients have been extremely happy.

                      We are about 500 plates a month average and growing. Our average job run length is 500-50,000 sheets per form but just last week ran 65,000 Impressions w/turn on a set of 4 color plates, gummed em on press, let them sit overnight and than ran the remaining 65,000 impressions the next day, so it was 130,000 impressions and one overnight stay without any plate issues. Impression 1 looked just like impression 130,000.

                      We also run Nexus here and 175 Paragon Screening.

                      Our platesetter is the :Acento S which is a re-badged Screen Plate-rite also, knock on wood, a workhorse with no major issues over three years.

                      All in All it's a great system and one I would recommend for a spin.

                      Santa

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: new plate/platesetter direction

                        Santa:
                        Are we at liberty to discuss subjects like productivity on this forum? i.e. How many Azura plates per hour do you achieve in your particular environment with the Acento S?

                        brian

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                        • #13
                          Re: new plate/platesetter direction

                          Hi Brian:

                          Productivity is 12-13 plates per hour on my Asento S, it's a manual lode with a load ahead feature so we can image a plate and have the second one waiting. I believe that the Avalon is faster, but you would have to check with your dealer/rep/AGFA on the exact numbers.


                          The one important thing about the Asento compared to the Dimension is that there is little to no user maintenance on the unit. On the Dimension I used to spent 3 to 4 HOURS and probably 10 plates a week zone balancing.

                          That really started to add up in productivity lost, the actual cost of the wasted plates, and more importantly it made consistant printing from job to job very difficult.

                          On the Asento, (Knock on wood) we have run without a service contract for three years and have not had a service call yet.

                          Any other questions feel free to ask away or you can drop me a line @ johna@h-sgraphics.com if you have any off forum questions.

                          Best of luck Brian.

                          John "Santa"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: new plate/platesetter direction

                            Hello I am in the Fuji Technical Solutions and Support Group out of Southern CA the Fuji Pro-T plate is a process less plate but we also can use a wash off unit if the press room is opposed to the theory of on press development.

                            The Pro-T is also run at the same power and drum speed as our process LH-PJ thermal plate so the Acento S can image the 20 plates per hour stated in its literature.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: new plate/platesetter direction

                              So one could expect to image approx. 21 4-up Pro T plates /hr at 2400dpi on a Dart 4300 S?

                              Comment

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