Going from Film to CTP

We are about to take the jump from Film to CTP.

We have Ryobi 3302 Two Color Presses. (12.5ish x 17.25 max image area)
May be getting a true 4color down the line.

Any feedback on new CTP systems & workflows would be great!!

My boss wants to go with RamPage workflow because you can tie it into just about any system.
Is this true??
Anyone with RamPage exp. would be great. Pro's vs Con's, etc.

Thanks!
Sean
 

rich apollo

Well-known member
You can pair pretty much any workflow with any CTP device, so that shouldn't be a big concern. Figure out what workflow fits your needs. Rampage, Artworks, and Agfa will bring a demo to you. Screen and Kodak have demo centers where you can go "kick the tires".

You might think about going to the print show in Chicago and checking everybody out there.
 

carlossc_73

Well-known member
Before you go to the platesetter area, you have to consider the size of the plate and how many plates you use a month cause even though that you will save money with a ctp cause you wont use any more film and the chemestry, you have to think that in some cases a 2 or 4 up ctp will cost nearly the same as a 8up CTp. so first look for that, then you have to think on which technology you will use Therma, Violet, UV, because all are not the same so consider this before you buy anything.
 

DonBlock

Well-known member
Rich is correct. Most CTP devices are feed from a 1 bit TIFF catcher, so you really should be looking at what you need / want in a RIP or Workflow. RICH mentioned all the big names, but left out one of the most widely used RIP in the market, the Harlequin. It too can be purchased as a stand alone RIP or as a Workflow. (By the way, if I'm not mistaken, the Rampage is a Harlequin based RIP at the core...)

You do need to consider your plate usage and the different technologies that are available. If the boss is open to ideas, you may even want to look at Poly plates for your device. If you are doing mostly 2 color short run, under 50k, this could be an option. I know that some are dead set against Poly and nothing will change their mind, but just a thought....

If you are going to stay in the 2 to 4 up market with the new 4 color, you should consider the Mako CTP series from ECRM. They are very good and reliable machines and sound like they could be a perfect fit.

Oh yea, The cost for a 2/4 up CTP compared an 8 up CTP is more than (nearly the same).....
 

rich apollo

Well-known member
Don, sorry for the omission. I was speaking of groups whose demo capabilities I knew. Can Harlequin bring a "road show" on-site, or is there a demo center somewhere?
 

DonBlock

Well-known member
Xitron has their facility in Ann Arbor MI. They will also do a WebX demo with the customer provided files. We have used this resource many times with great results.
 

Mike Bishop

Active member
A vote for Rampage.

A vote for Rampage.

I am a current Rampage user and have been using Rampage (not exclusively) for the past 8 years. I say not exclusively because in the past 8 or 9 years I have also used Harlequin, Scitex Dolev and Crosfield RIPs. In addition, I have used Agfa and other smaller stand alone RIPs prior to my first usage of Rampage.

I prefer Rampage to any of the other RIPs I have used, form both a functional and a monetary standpoint.

See the "Recommendations for Prepress Workflow for Medium Sized Printing Company" discussion on this site which is a great debate on this topic, and see my comments in the thread for more Rampage thoughts.
 

Internal_R&D_Analyst

Well-known member
Printware Platestream and ECRM Mako both have nice 2-up violet systems for your Ryobi. The Platestream uses a curved drum while the Mako is a flatbed. The Platestream is chemistry free ready if that is of any interest.
 
We just made the switch to CTP from film this year also. We've been using Rampage and Preps for several years. I really, really like both applications. Highly recommended.

As far as the CTP, we looked at Kodak, Screen, Fuji (which sells a Screen machine and then rebrands it), Agfa and Heidelberg. Heidelberg, in my opinion, had the best and most user-friendly system. But you're paying for the Heidelberg name, too. Agfa was the most costly system. We wound up going with Fuji. Wish we'd gone with the Heidelberg.

We installed a Javelin 8300E and are using Fuji's LH-PJ plates. We've had it installed for almost 7 months. Ever since install we've been getting a mysterious, light line imaged into the plates. It's not a scratch, it's actually burned into the plate. And it happens infrequently, but just frequently enough to be a nightmare. Techs have been out here countless times and have replaced so many parts on this thing it's practically been rebuilt, to no avail. Fuji has offered to replace the plates that we can't use but refuse to compensate us for press time or paper spoilage (you can't see the line until the plate gets inked up), saying it's out own in-house "quality control issue." My response is we're having a "quality control issue" because of their own lack of quality control.

We're still negotiating with them on a satisfactory resolution, but I will tell you the same thing I've told our Fuji and Screen rep...if they make us swallow the losses on our time and spoilage, it'll be the last piece of Fuji or Screen equipment that I EVER buy.

Having said that, even with all of the headaches, switching to CTP has been GREAT, we just wish we'd gone with a different manufacturer. The cost savings in Prepress have been incredible and the presses love the time savings in setups and dot quality.

One thing about the Heidelberg system. You MUST purchase their front end system. Since we already had Preps and Rampage we were still going to use that and then send it into Heidelberg's 1-Bit Tiff capturing system. Just thought I'd mention that.

Best of luck with your research and purchase.
 
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Prepress RSC

New member
CTP --Heidelberg has some pretty aggressive pricing on the entry level thermal Suprasetter. The workflow is pretty good - I haven't used preps in many years - but HB Signa is easy --and I'd stay away from the printready system --it is great for larger shops for you just getting into it I'd say no. We currently have the prosetter it is Violet and trust me the amount of maintenance goes way up as you make more plates. I'd also really look at the contract they will push a supplies contract --check the numbers we found it to be cheaper to just finance the machine and buy plates direct.
 

DonBlock

Well-known member
To suggest that you go thermal would be a mistake for a small shop with small short run presses. The user maintenance on the processor for Violet is not bad at all with the Kodak plates as long as you do what is recommended.

"Chemistry Free" Violet is going to be coming soon as well, so the Green future is there for everyone. ECRM now installs a 120mw laser in all the new Mako CTP's so they are ready for the newer plates when they are available with only a minor change in the neutral density filter...
 

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