What are Film output options using least-expensive/older CTP devices? CTP Film?

DuaneBryant

Well-known member
It has been a while since I looked into film output on affordable CTP units. When I last investigated, film options were limited to expensive thermal ablation laser units. Is that still the only option?

So, there really are two questions here:
1)What film is available to produce from any CTP device?
2)Are there any older/used CTP devices available that will make this film, that hardware can be found for under $10,000?

Details:
We have an Avantra 44 imagesetter that is doing the job. But we want to retire it and all the ongoing chemicals that it requires, when an affordable & viable option exists.

Our Requirements for the replacement:

High accuracy to true size (eliminates inkjet)
High repeatability
High resolution, smooth fine-lines (eliminates inkjet)
7mil film availability for greatest dimensional stability and low coefficient of expansion (as compared to 4mil)
Replacement hardware pricing, used, under $10,000
Must be able to make a film up to 30"x41.5" (with live exposed image area up to 29x40.5")

I realize that there are a lot of people who think that inkjet may be a viable alternative for my application. I do not, but remain open-minded. However, please respect my wishes to not discuss inkjet on this thread: I will post a separate thread, probably in another forum to discuss the viability of inkjet for critical film output.

With thanks,
Duane
 

bruceprint

Well-known member
If you are looking for a CTP device to replace an imagesetter, what is your solution for making the plates transparent to simulate film?
 

Macandy

Member
I investigated the same thing a year ago when somebody decided that our image setter was too expensive to run and could be replaced by inkjet printers, needless to say we still have the image setter. Our films are used for screen print and so far the only options in CTS have not been suitable as they are either too expensive, unreliable or not flexible enough for the range of screen sizes we use on a daily basis.
 

schenkadere

Well-known member
I investigated the same thing a year ago when somebody decided that our image setter was too expensive to run and could be replaced by inkjet printers, needless to say we still have the image setter. Our films are used for screen print and so far the only options in CTS have not been suitable as they are either too expensive, unreliable or not flexible enough for the range of screen sizes we use on a daily basis.

We're hanging onto ours too. I would love to replace it with an inkjet system as we only use it to produce dielines, but I haven't found an inkjet solution accurate enough...the sizing is never quite right and inconsistent.
 

DuaneBryant

Well-known member
I think I can answer "BrucePrint"s question with this:
CTP devices generally use different lasers (different colors/wavelengths, different power, hot-thermal/ablative), and therefore give options and opportunity to image a greater variety of materials. In past years, some manufacturer(s) were making clear film which could be imaged in CTP devices. My question in-part is: Is anyone still making clear film that can be imaged in a CTP device?
 

DuaneBryant

Well-known member
I am shocked that there has been no response to this thread by a Kodak representative. I JUST found out that they make and market their film product toward the Flexo/Flexographic market. The film is called KODAK DITR Film. Approx 7mil matte film. The film seems VERY delicate, easily scratched, and perhaps fades over time with exposure to normal room light. "This film is susceptible to fingerprinting and scratching more than traditional graphic arts conventional films. Care should be taken when handling."

"Unexposed KODAK DITR 4401 Film has some sensitivity to prolonged white light exposure. For best results, handle film under yellow or UV-modified fluorescent light. Protect exposed film the same as unexposed film." "Exposed film is best stored the same as unexposed film. "

KODAK DITR Film / 4401 / 6.5 mil / Matte is qualified for use on the following Kodak thermal imagers equipped with a debris removal system:

KODAK FLEXCEL NX Imager
KODAK TRENDSETTER SPECTRUM Thermal Imager
KODAK TRENDSETTER 400 and 800 Platesetters


KODAK DITR Film - Kodak Graphic Communications Group
 

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