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Is Basys CTcP a real alternative for CTP technology

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  • Is Basys CTcP a real alternative for CTP technology

    Hi everybody,

    Me and my family operate a print house in Turkey, Istanbul.

    We outsource prepress operations but they are a big issue for us. Both cost wise and time wise. CTP plates are expensive and prepress houses never deliver on time.
    We have decided to make the necessary investment and buy a CTP machine but we realized that basys CTcP machines operate with *conventional plates* which are obviously *cheaper* (cost of thermal plate to conventnl plate is 2:1) and *easier to acquire* (at the moment)

    We have some concerns *whether Basys CTcP is a wise choice or not.* I would highly appreciate if you can let me know your opinions:

    1 - Because *conventional plates* are old tech, will they *get more and more expensive every day?* Will they get hard to find on the market soon?
    Will thermal plates get cheaper to the extent of conventional plate prices? Approximately in how many years?

    2 - In my research on the web, I got the impression that *CTcP is more suitable for lower quality print ?* (newspapers, phonebooks etc.)
    Distributor of basys in Turkey does not share this idea.
    Is this true? why?

    3 - How about operating costs of CTP vs CTcP machines - are they comparable except from plate costs?

    I would really appreciate your input in anyways. Since there is not one single CTcP user in Istanbul, we could not get any feedback so far.

    thanks a lot,

    Moni Zavaro
    mob: 90 533 263 99 66

    Edited by: Moni Zavaro on Nov 22, 2007 6:56 AM

    Edited by: Moni Zavaro on Nov 22, 2007 7:02 AM

  • #2
    Re: Is Basys CTcP a real alternative for CTP technology

    For CTCP, besides Basys, there is another brand call luscher. Overall lucher will better than Basys in CTCP.


    • #3
      Re: Is Basys CTcP a real alternative for CTP technology

      in what sense?


      • #4
        Re: Is Basys CTcP a real alternative for CTP technology


        You might be suprised at the plate costs of CTP plates. We've just ordered a CTP system and the pricing on the plates is 11% cheaper than our current conventional plates. They're meant to be more expensive.

        Funnilly enough I was actually thinking the other day about in todays market how CTcP has lost it's advantage over CTP since there are more benefits now with chemistry-free, no-process etc.

        Personally I'd be extremely hesitant to use CTcP. Good luck with your endeavours!




        • #5
          Re: Is Basys CTcP a real alternative for CTP technology

          Well, this thread just shows how different each market is.
          I realize most U.S. customers are finding CTP plates to be equal or less cost than conventional UV ones.
          On the other hand, in most of South America there's still a significant price difference, with CTP between 70 and 100% more expensive. I hear than in Brazil the gap is even wider, about 150% ; so the CTP plate being 2.5x the price of the conventional UV one.

          I think in most cases it's not a "high price of CTP plates" issue, it's more of a "low price of conventional UV plates" one. A large portion of the market here uses conventional plates made in China, India or other asian countries. Quality is very good, and traditional players (Kodak, Agfa, etc) have to resort to manufacturing in China too in order to match the pricing. "Kodak made in China" conventional UV plates cost almost half as much as thermal Kodak plates.

          So the argument that Kodak and Agfa throw at prospective CTP customers, "we are closing or converting our conventional plate factories and price will increase as a result" does not sound very solid if you consider the conventional plate market is no longer dominated by them. Unless they buy and close all the dozens or maybe hundreds of Chinese, Taiwanese, Indian, Turkish, Czech, etc. conventional plate manufacturers, it's unlikely they will be able to drive pricing as they wish.
          And as long as all these asian manufacturers still fail to capture significant portions of the CTP plate market, there's no motivation for Agfa, Kodak, Fuji et al to reduce CTP plate prices. Why would they? an oligopoly is not a monopoly, but still shares some of it's traits.

          -- Roberto


          • #6
            Re: Is Basys CTcP a real alternative for CTP technology

            Hi Moni,
            It's an interesting question but my advice is WAIT SIX MONTHS! Why? Drupa in May is scheduled for Fuji to announce 'processless violet' plates which behave like normal silver plates on the press. These, so they predict, can be imaged on any existing violet platesetter.
            BasYs is impressive technology and they have succeeded in the VLF market (yes, books, directories etc) China is a big market for BasYs.
            For next 3 years I wouldn't worry about the price of conventional plates going up out of proportion to CTP plates as the majority (circa 65%) of plates are still made conventionally. Plate prices are governed by Aluminium and SIlver prices.
            My view has always been, choose the plate first. If you are happy with conventional plates and BasYs can provide after-sales service in Turkey (a BIG question if they have no installed units - there in only 1 here in Australia where I come from and no one else will buy one) - they talk to them.
            All thermal users I speak to are happy with thermal and the biggest non-newspaper printers here all use thermal, and some processless thermal with Agfa Azura winning accolades from printers running the plates.
            Violet seem on the increase though and - if and when - processless violet is available it could be a very good proposition for any printer, but it's still a promise not a reality.

            Wait till drupa.


            • #7
              Re: Is Basys CTcP a real alternative for CTP technology


              Thank you for the kind words about Azura.

              WRT processless violet, why wait to hear an announcement about futures at Drupa, when Agfa is in controlled sales, now, primarily in the newspaper market.


              At Ipex, both Fuji and Agfa announced (and demo'd)
              processless violet. Then, we were imaging on a 30 mW Advantage, at full rated speed, and on our violet Avalon.
              Fuji however (then) required high-powered lasers that
              had just become available for lab testing.

              It is interteresting to hear that Fuji has adjusted their
              approach, essentially to match Agfa's approach. (?)However, I doubt that Fuji's plate will image on "any" violet device, since the 1st generation circa Drupa 2000 were 5Mw lasers.

              As you suggest, an announcement is not a release. Agfa's solution is in the market now, and is ramping-up in a controlled course.

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


              • #8
                Re: Is Basys CTcP a real alternative for CTP technology

                Steve - Absolutely correct, how could I forget? I even had an non-disclosure demo on Agfa processless violet (see, I didn't disclose!). I put it down to the effects of fine Australian Shiraz and Andy Tribute's recent lead op-ed on whattheythink.

                So there's another arrow to your CTP quivver - Processless violet from Agfa. One thing I did not mention about BasYs UVsetter (and I never know where the caPs go!) is that it is owned by Punch Graphix who also own Xeikon. BasYs's future is very much tied to the financial health and future of Punch and I'm not saying they are not doing okay..they are, but Xeikon went under once before and left several Xeikon owners here in Australia stranded with no support. I am in no way criticising the owners of BasYs but you need to add this to the equation when making such an important decision.

                Again, my advice is wait till drupa and do the 'Show me' test!


                • #9
                  Re: Is Basys CTcP a real alternative for CTP technology

                  We have a Basys UV Setter, and have been using it for 2 years. I would say it is definately worth consideration. You can achieve high quality with the Basys. Plates, and chemistry are less expensive than either thermal or violet. Conventional plate processing is relatively simple, and chemistry is inexpensive. It is also not too bad for the environment.

                  Every situation is different, and every solution has its advantages and disadvantages, so I would analyze your needs carefully. What is your run length, how much speed do you need, what line screen do you need, what is the availability of service. It helped me immensely to set up a spread sheet to compare the solutions. The different vendors will try to structure their deals in ways that make them difficult to compare. The spread sheet helps to cut through the fog. Be sure to get commitments from them on the cost of service contracts as well as the cost per square foot of plates and chemistry. In some cases processing costs can be proportionally very high for low volume users. No process plates require a lot more energy, so you might need a different platesetter for those plates. Try to consider everything.

                  I concluded the UV Setter was the most cost effective solution, but I was still concerned about quality. Before we bought we did several tests, and they convinced me the quality was as good if not better than the others we tested. It was still a bit of a leap of faith since I was not going with the mainstream, and their were a lot of people (mostly other vendors) making all kinds of arguments against Basys. Many of these had no basis in fact, but they do instill a certain level of doubt.

                  Two years later, I am still happy with our decision. There have been a few bumps along the way, but I think it was a good decision for us. We are getting the quality that we need, and I believe it has kept our cost low.



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