Thermal technology is the development path of CTP in China

1. Popularization of CTP technology

CTP technology has developed rapidly in developed countries such as Europe, America, and Japan, and the development of various CTP technologies and equipment has been splendid. However, the popularization and promotion of CTP technology in China is still slow, and traditional plate making is still the basic way. The development speed of China's offset printing CTP is very different from the development speed of developed countries such as Europe, America and Japan, and it is far from the popularization speed predicted by people.

Why is the CTP technology applied slowly in China? There are two main reasons:

First, the cost of plate materials is relatively high. No matter what kind of CTP plate materials, each square meter should be 60 to 90 yuan, which is more than double the price of traditional PS plates. At present, the prices of CTP plates of the three international brands of Kodak, Fujifilm and Agfa are about 60 yuan per square meter for thermal plates, 80 yuan per square meter for violet laser plates, and CTP for domestic brands. The price of plate material is slightly lower than 5 yuan per square meter. Plates are consumables, and the high price is a heavy burden on the low-cost printing market.

Second, the equipment investment threshold is relatively high. The price of various imported CTP equipment is two or three million yuan. The newly launched CTP equipment that can use the ordinary PS version is not only expensive (over 250,000 euros), but also requires PS version performance. Higher. The relatively high technical threshold for imported CTP equipment and plate materials has kept CTP in the oligopolistic market stage for a long time, limiting its promotion and application in China.

At present, domestic small and medium-sized printing enterprises account for the vast majority. In the printing industry, low labor costs and low labor costs, high equipment investment thresholds and higher plate prices make their application of CTP prohibitive. However, the advantages of CTP technology will be fully demonstrated with the continuous reduction of equipment and plate costs and the continuous increase of labor costs, especially with the popularization of digital workflow. Although the promotion and application of CTP technology in China is slower than that in developed countries, it will continue to be promoted and applied with a solid pace and an irreversible development trend.

What kind of CTP technology can be developed to suit China's national conditions and speed up the application and popularization of CTP technology in China? Through technical analysis of the domestic printing market, we believe that thermal technology can become the vanguard of the popularization of CTP technology in China in the short term. The reasons are as follows:

1. Development advantages of thermal CTP plate

Domestic plate materials companies continue to enrich the variety of CTP plate materials. Lucky Two Glue has launched a full range of CTP plate materials such as thermal, violet laser, silver salt, etc. The thermal CTP plate is the main product in Sichuan Juguang Although its affiliated company, Xintu Company, was established only one year ago, it has not been underestimated in the plate market by virtue of its cost-effectiveness. Not only is it highly recognized in the domestic market, but plates are also exported to many countries and regions. In addition, Wenzhou Kangda's CTP plate has made an important contribution in the localization. The CTP plates that the above manufacturers have sold in the market are mainly thermal plates. The price problem of plate materials, which had seriously hindered the development of CTP in the past, has been alleviated by localized production and the increase in market entrants. A more classic formula is that if you use the PS version, even if you include the film fee, the cost is about 60 yuan / square meter. If the price of the CTP version material can be lower than this balance point, then the cost will no longer hinder its development. stumbling block. It can be said that the price of the plate material is infinitely close to the balance point will become the market acceptance of CTP.

Thermal CTP has many advantages that photosensitive CTP cannot replace. The convenience of use and the stability of quality make people bid farewell to darkroom operations, accurate image replication, avoid environmental pollution, high printing resistance, save paper and ink, and reduce labor intensity. . The reason why thermal CTP is widely accepted is inseparable from its own excellent characteristics and the high quality of its products.

At the annual meeting of the National PS Plate Industry Association in 2007, both Shanghai Dajin Photographic Materials Co., Ltd. and Beijing Normal University Applied Research Institute have launched independent research and development of heat-sensitive CTP photoresist. Try it in the market and be successful. At present, there are nearly one hundred PS plate production lines in China. The vast majority of PS plate manufacturers do not produce photoresist. These PS plate production lines are slightly improved and the process can be adjusted to produce thermal CTP plates. The market promotion of heat-sensitive CTP photoresist will greatly promote the production and popularization of heat-sensitive CTP plates. These plates can at least meet the needs of the domestic mid-range market. With the popularization of the production of thermal CTP plates in the next one or two years, the price of thermal CTP plates will drop significantly.

2. Development advantages of thermal CTP equipment

At the printing exhibition in recent years, we have seen CTP equipment launched by several domestic manufacturers. Hangzhou Kelei, Shenzhen Hanzu, Beijing Zhoujin Technology, Duoyuan and Tianrui Precision Instrument Equipment Manufacturing Co., Ltd. all exhibited their own CTP equipment. And most of these good performances in the exhibition are thermal CTP equipment. It should be said that the starting point of domestic CTP equipment manufacturing is not low. According to reports, Corey's technology originated from HighWater, which was acquired by Printware, while Han's technology is inextricably linked to Canada's Escher-Grad. The debut of the domestic thermal CTP plate-making machine caused a certain sensation.

In addition, according to reports, Lucky Second Rubber actively established partnerships with CTP equipment manufacturers, preparing to invest heavily in building aircraft carriers for CTP equipment production; and Tian Rui, which has been acquired by Bao Chi and specializes in the production of large-format CTP equipment Jingyi; Zhoujin Technology Co., Ltd. with thermal CTP equipment as the main product, which is about to cooperate with China Printing Science and Technology Research Institute and India Modern Company. These domestic CTPs have many things in common. In addition to the external claims that the product positioning is mainly aimed at small and medium-sized printing companies, as far as possible to remove some flashy functions, some reliable domestic suppliers are also used in the parts of equipment. The price of low CTP equipment, the current price of domestic CTP equipment is at the level of one million yuan, the overall quotation of a Lei Pa CTP external drum thermal plate direct plate-making system is only more than 500,000 yuan, which has a considerable price. Competitiveness. Even for imported CTP equipment, the overall price of thermal CTP equipment is much lower than that of photosensitive CTP equipment, showing the competitive advantage of thermal CTP technology.

It should be recognized that there is still a big gap between the domestic manufacturing level of CTP equipment and the international advanced level. At present, the domestic CTP equipment first needs to solve the problem of processing accuracy and stability of the equipment itself, and at the same time needs to solve the matching problems with software, consumables and auxiliary equipment. At the end of 2006, the reduction of import tariffs on CTP equipment related accessories brought an unprecedented opportunity for the development of domestic CTP equipment. Domestic CTP manufacturers will actively seize this rare development opportunity, increase investment, find their own product positioning, achieve mass production as soon as possible, and occupy the necessary market share.

2. Conclusion

At present, CTP technology is developing rapidly in the world, and various CTP systems have competed for debut. Among them, thermal CTP has developed faster. More than 60% of the total installed CTP is thermal plate-making machine. If CTP technology was a hot topic in the printing industry a few years ago, the development of thermal CTP technology has dominated today, especially in the commercial printing and packaging printing markets that require high quality and precision. Thermal technology is mainly used, and thermal direct It is an indisputable fact that plate-making technology has become mainstream.

In China, the thermal CTP technology has been widely recognized. Domestic thermal CTP equipment manufacturers and plate material manufacturers are also catching up, and in terms of product quality, especially in the quality of plate materials, domestic enterprises have not lost to some international famous companies in some varieties. Now, the threshold for the application of thermal CTP technology is getting lower and lower. Domestically produced thermal CTP equipment and plates will greatly promote the popularization of CTP technology in China. Thermal CTP technology will become the development path of CTP suitable for China's national conditions.

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