- DTP 24: Epson SureColor T3200 with 61 cm printable width, or
- DTP 36: Epson SureColor T5200 with 90 cm printable width
- positioning system with 2 sensors and 3 solenoids (on the front tray),
- exposure system (in the upper drawer with UV LEDs),
- drawer for plates (lower drawer),
- exposure and plate processing controller with LCD display.
- vertical washing tank (the plate is washed before and after processing),
- vertical processing tank,
- recirculation pump,
- replenishment pump,
- electrovalve for the running water,
- dryer (4 kW, cross flow fan),
- Stainless steel frame for handling the plate in the processor.
- medium performance configuration for RIP server (dual core or higher, 500 GB HDD, 4 GB RAM),
- StudioRIP 4.0 Inkjet Edition 24/UW (incl. proofing license),
- no monitor, mouse, keyboard, the system being controlled by the StudioRIP Client application through the network.
- transport and installation at the customer site (depending on the distance),
- second controller + display for the plate processor unit, in case it isn’t installed beside the CTP unit (200€).
StudioRIP DTP 24/36 is a CTP (Computer to Plate) system that uses an inkjet printer for producing offset plates. Unlike most inkjet CTP systems, the plates produced by the DTP system are conventional UV plates that look and behave in the same way as any film masked conventional plate does, but its costs are much smaller (similar to thermal CTP costs). Similarly, the cost of the new, warranty covered equipment is a fraction of a laser CTP’s price. Although the DTP plates are conventional, they have an additional inkjet coating (similar to what photo papers have) applied in the factory over the photosensitive layer. The DTP plates are available for sale from local StudioRIP dealers, from StudioRIP SRL, or for dealers directly from StudioRIP’s Chinese representative.
The production process is as follows:
- Obtain the conventional plates with inkjet coating from your local dealer (or from StudioRIP SRL). The plates come in sealed boxes from the factory.
- Align the plate on the front tray to the 3 positioning pins which are automatically activated by the sensors when the plate has the proper position, then let the printer load the plate.
- The printer writes the image with black ink in about 7 minutes for a 510 × 400 mm plate (larger plates print in proportionally more time).
- The printed plate is exposed by the UV LEDs in the upper drawer, the exposure time being controlled by the system.
- Place the plate into the vertical washing tank of the plate processor using the plate holder frame. The ink and the coating are washed off by the running water. The plates can also be washed in a conventional plate washer under a jet of water.
- Move the washed plate into the developer tank, where the chemicals are recirculated.
- Move the processed plate into the washing tank again.
- Finally move the plate into the drying slot. All processing stages are controlled by the system.
- The plate can be used by the printing press. It will behave like any other conventional plate.
The advantages of StudioRIP DTP compared to a laser CTP:
- The system price is a fraction of a laser system (about 3–10× cheaper than a second hand, and about 10–30x cheaper than a new system).
- The only laser system with cheaper consumables is the CTCP (Computer to Conventional Plate), even the thermal plates are slightly more expensive. Violet and silver based plates are significantly more expensive. Note that CTCP and thermal CTP systems use the laser diodes as consumables (one single laser costs almost as much as a printer, and there are 16–128 of them in a system).
- The reliability is better due to the fact that it is a very simple system.
- The operation is very simple (similar to using a desktop printer), no traning is necessary for the operator.
- The maintenance is little and simple (basically the print head needs a regular check and cleaning if necessary, and the plate processor needs cleaning).
- The typical problems of laser systems (the optical parts get dirty, the focus isn’t uniform on the plate, the laser power decreases etc.) are non-issues with StudioRIP DTP: the print head doesn’t change its characteristics in time or spatially (the image quality is uniform across the plate).
- The system is compact, fits into a pre-press office corner.
- The system can be used as a proofer (calibrated with spectrophotometer, the proofer license included in the price).
- The system can be used as a generic color printer (banners, posters etc.)
- The system can be used as an imagesetter (films for screen printing, flexography, tampography etc.).
|Resolution||2880 × 2880 dpi|
|Line screen||133, 150 and 175 lpi (recommended line screen: 175 lpi)|
|Speed||Approx. 8–10 A3 plates per hour (the printing time increases with the printed area)|
|Printable area||DTP 24: 61 × 100 cm (plates longer than 61 cm are recommended though to be printed by DTP 36 due to non-printable area and registration issues)|
|DTP 36: 90 × 150 cm|
|Relative registration precision|
|maximum||0,1 mm for 430 × 550 mm plates|
|maximum||0,2 mm for 430 × 550 mm plates|
|Absolute registration precision|
|maximum||0,5 mm (assuming proper plate loading)|
|Color precision after calibration|
|Typical||±1.5% (e.g. 50% measures between 48,5–51,5%)|
|Text quality||Very difficult to distinguish from laser plates.|
|similar or even better quality than plates made with film.|
|Halftone quality||Very difficult to distinguish from laser plates.|
|similar or even better quality than plates made with film.|
|Other quality related phenomenons||the smallest halftone dot is of 35–40 microns (therefore shades under 5% use hybrid screening); these dots are very difficult to see with naked eye, but offer better printing stability.|
|the uniformity of the dots isn’t perfect (similar to plates made with film, under the microscope a slight size and shape variation can be seen), causing slightly «noisier» halftones; on the final print this is almost impossible to distinguish from prints made with laser plates though.|
|certain unfortunate combinations of printer, plate thickness, shade and lpi might produce a slight banding; in case the banding can be seen on the final print, a smaller line screen should solve the problem (e.g. 150 lpi instead of 175 lpi).|