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New addition to process free plate imaging system

Wednesday, 14 March 2012
By Print 21 Online Article

Kodak has extended its process free plate imaging offering with the release of its SONORA XP plate system, which the company claims will effectively eliminate all costs associated with processing equipment and chemistry.

Although already available in Europe and the Middle East, the SONORA XP Process Free Plate product will be officially launched at drupa in May and is the next development in Kodak’s process-free thermal plate imaging technology that began with its Thermal Direct System.

The company says that, after imaging, the plates can go straight to press, where a special coating allows them to be prepared for use during the normal start-up procedure of a lithographic press.

According to Andrew Langridge, systems manager at W.O. Jones in the UK, whose company beta tested the new plate technology, the plate’s on-demand imaging capabilities and fast turnaround result in higher productivity.

“SONORA XP Plates make just-in-time plate making a reality while providing ease of use, quick cleanup and critically enabling printers to maximize their press performance as the plate renders a very sharp dot and is hard wearing,” says Langridge.

The new plate system was designed for commercial printers, including large web operators, and makes use of non-ablative technology that Kodak claims increases imaging speed and latent image contrast over its Thermal Direct plates.

Kodak’s global product marketing of printing plates business director, Rich Rindo, believes that the company’s Thermal Direct plate imaging system will become more popular as the industry around the world is held to higher environmental standards.

“Increased awareness and tighter regulations around the world will make process free technology more widely embraced as print providers look to establish a more environmentally responsible presence,” he says.

While the SONORA XP product will be available in the local market in the latter half of this year.

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