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Panpa Bulletin : April 2007
PANPA Bulletin March 2007 25 production The benefits of this approach are: • The press operators receive plates that look, feel and behave as normal; • A quick visual check will show any errors (imposition etc) since the plate has a high-contrast, dark image on a standard aluminium substrate; and • Normal plate densitometers can be used without problems. The initial gumming units may not be as fast as the fastest traditional CtP plate processors today, that may also restrict initial chemistry-free applications to smaller, regional newspaper --- at least in the beginning. Summary of the key issues Violet is the future for newspaper chemis- try-free. This is a view supported by many manufacturers and is not an area in great dispute. The emergence of chemistry-free violet plate technology only increases the benefits to the printer. It is simpler, cleaner and greener --- saving time and money. Chemistry-free plates from the major suppliers will use traditional (and best) grained and anodised aluminium to ensure the highest level of press robustness. Backwards compatibility with existing violet platesetters is achievable. Ensure your choice of violet chemistry-free plate suppli- er won't burden you with a plate that needs new high-powered 200mW violet diodes. Such plates will be completely incompatible with existing platesetters and would be a backward step for the industry (because of the need to re-invest in a new platesetter). Successful violet chemistry-free plates will offer a good on-press performance similar to existing (wet-processed) violet photopolymer plates. More details will be available as suppliers gain experience of their new chemistry-free violet plate offerings, but suppliers will be keen to match or exceed current plate performance standards. In summary, chemistry-free plate tech- nology is likely to have the same significant impact in newspaper CtP as it did in com- mercial CtP. 2007 and 2008 will be important years in the roll-out of violet chemistry-free newspaper plate technology. For more information, contact Agfa Graphics Koni Neuhofer or Steve Marshall at Agfa Graphics (+613 8808 4000). the future The violet chemistry-free plates are coated on high quality grained and anodised aluminium. The coating is sensitised to Violet (405nm) light. 1 2 3 4 During exposure, the violet diode hardens the image area. The non-image area remains un-exposed. The exposed plate is gummed with industry standard plate gum. During this process the soft, unexposed non-image area is easily and cleanly removed by the gum (no chemical process a ects or alters the image in any way). The nished plate looks, feels and prints like a normal plate. The plate isn't sensitive to light, and can be stored prior to press if needed. Violet chemistry-free plate technology