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Kodak Thermal Direct is saving water in Victoria

Monday, 13 August 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

As the long dry continues, printers are turning to Kodak Thermal Direct printing plates as a means of conserving water, as well as lowering costs – but they are finding the benefits don’t stop there. BD Graphics in Mulgrave, is one go-ahead company, which is convinced it made the right decision In moving to a processless, chemistry-free plate.

According to John Hayes, general manager, the jump from film straight to processless CTP proved fairly straight forward. “It didn’t take our guys long. We were pumping out the first plates within three days. It’s been fantastic and we’ve now passed the twelve thousand mark. Last month we pumped through two thousand.”

BD Graphics likes to be socially responsible in its environmental practices and John Hayes is very pleased at the lack of water and chemistry. “We were the third installation in the country and we went fully automatic with onllne punching and a stacker. We save a massive amount of time and no staff.

“The quality change was obvious, we got comments from our customers.”

BD Graphics operate two half-size Komori presses, a four- and a five-colour as well as “the obligatory single colour GTO,” laughs John.

Thermal Direct – a true processless plate

Kodak’s new non process plate shortens the platemaking cycle, reduces time to press, and increases production throughput possibilities by eliminating traditional plate processing.
The Thermal Direct plate features a traditional grained and anodized aluminum substrate, creating a true “drop in” plate product with the familiar look and feel of a pre-sensitized aluminum plate. Based on fourth generation thermal technology, Thermal Direct non process plate completely eliminates the need for a processor and chemistry, which saves time and produces more consistent results. In addition, the plates are compatible with all popular thermal computer to plate (CTP) imagers and a wide range of inks and fountain solutions.
Thermal Direct applications include short and medium press runs, eight page and smaller sheetfed, narrow forms web and high resolution printing. Apart from playing its part in conserving water, the plate is particularly well suited for locations with strict environmental disposal regulations, printers with limited physical space for processor and chemistry storage, and locations where processor plumbing cannot be installed.
Capable of producing run lengths of up to 100,000 impressions under standard press conditions, Thermal Direct plates can hold one percent to 98 percent dots at 200 lines per inch. The plate features a proprietary, thermally sensitive coating compatible with all popular thermal imagers without the need to install special debris removal attachments. A unique polymer resin in the non imaging area permits the ultra thin coating—which is 70 percent thinner than photopolymer violet plates and 35 percent thinner than typical processed thermal plates—to be quickly and completely carried out of the press, via the ink tack and blankets, onto the makeready sheets.

Along with the ultra thin coating, Thermal Direct features reduced colorant, which eliminates the potential for ink contamination while still producing an image of sufficient visibility to determine press cylinder placement. Plates go directly from the platesetter to the press, and can be handled for up to one hour in white light and four hours in yellow light.

This article was brought to you by Kodak

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