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Direct-to-Plate System

(April 2007) posted on Tue Apr 03, 2007

Printex USA

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Pad printers who use a film-based prepress workflow know that making a high-quality cliche is a multi-step undertaking that requires them to effectively manage a host of variables, equipment, and chemicals. Care must be taken when making a film positive, exposing the cliche, and developing the cliche’s imaging area. Any inconsistency can lead to problems in production or yield dissatisfactory images.

Printex developed its G2-DTP laser plate-etching system, in partnership with Epilog Laser, to remove the roadblocks to quality commonly found in film-based cliche-making for pad printing. The system ensures consistent creation of high-quality cliches without the need for lots of equipment and chemicals and enables pad printers to produce cliches on-demand for both short-run and high-output jobs. It is based on Epilog’s Mini 24, a CO2 laser system and is designed for use with laser-engravable polymer plates.

According to Printex, the G2-DPT supports halftone-screen imaging that rivals conventional pad-printing plates and can deliver bold text and graphics from 3-point light text and 1/3-point lines to large solid areas. The system can hold plates up to 24 x 12 in. (610 x 305 mm) in size, and it can engrave at resolutions from 75-1200 dpi. Printex says time from computer to press-ready can be from as little as 30 seconds to 15 minutes and notes that laser-engraved polymer cliches are flat, doctor-clean, and compatible with open-well and closed-cup pad-printing machines.


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