I Beg your Pardon? Saving 960 Bathtubs of Water and 90 Canisters of Chemicals?
The new "Saphira Thermal Plate Chemfree 101" makes the CtP
process not only safer, but also eco-friendlier. At 1,200 plates
per week in the 3B-format, the equivalent of 960 bathtubs of water
can be saved every year with this new thermal printing plate.
Non-chemical plates are catching up fast, because they
require far less resources than conventional offset plates: a
company that images roughly 1,200 plates a week in the 3B-format
can reduce its annual water consumption from nearly 132,000 to
almost zero liters. At the same time, it can go down to twenty-five
percent of its previous chemicals and waste and one third of its
original energy consumption. "With the Saphira Thermal Plate
Chemfree 101, which is more productive and safer to use than the
previous model, we want to make it far more attractive to switch to
eco-friendlier prepress processes," says Peter Tix, head of the
Heidelberg Consumables Division.
Safe Passage to the Print Image
Like the previous model, the Saphira Thermal Plate Chemfree
101 works on the basis of the proven ThermoFuse technology. The
print image is created by melting extremely small latex particles
in the printing areas of the plate by means of an infrared laser.
The non-imaged plate areas are then simply washed out with the
Saphira clean-out gum. Roughly 1,500 Heidelberg customers already
benefit from the advantages of the eco-friendly plate production.
They do not only save resources such as water and energy, but also
avoid the potential error sources bound up with chemical-based
production. Fluctuations of the temperature or the pH value of the
developer, for instance, cannot occur with non-chemical plates.
Checking the Print Image with the Naked Eye
The improved plate layer of the Saphira Thermal Plate
Chemfree 101 makes plate production even safer. The reason is that
the intense coloring leads to a higher contrast: the print image
becomes visible immediately after the plate has been imaged and
washed out in the cleaning station. The contents-e.g. illustrations
or text-can be checked with the naked eye. Moreover, the plate can
be measured with regular plate densitometers. All the printer needs
to do is to clamp the print-ready plate into the press and process
it like a conventional printing plate. "That is an enormous
advantage compared to process-free printing plates that produce
only a vague print image and first have to be washed out in the
press. That makes the process less safe and generates more paper
waste", emphasizes Tix.
More Plates per Hour
The Saphira Thermal Plate Chemfree 101 is also more
efficient. Since the layer is more sensitive, the Suprasetter or
other platesetters can be operated at maximum speed. "The new plate
generation can be imaged much faster. It can therefore perfectly be
used in the 3B-format, for example with a Speedmaster SM/CD 102,
which our customers inquire about most," reports Tix. Combined with
an Suprasetter A52/A75, the imaging process consumes roughly 550 W.
That is less than most hairdryers use.
More Power, Less Consumption
The Saphira Thermal Plate Chemfree 101 increases process
safety and reduces environmental pollution. A company that consumes
1,200 plates saves roughly 150 liters of chemicals per month-that
adds up to about 90 canisters per year that no longer have to be
purchased, stored, and disposed of. It also avoids indirect costs,
such as storage space or maintenance expenses for the processing
machine. "Printshops that produce print-runs of up to 100,000
sheets would be well advised to calculate whether it might be
worthwhile to purchase a Saphira Chemfree 101, considering their
carbon footprint and process costs," recommends Tix.
Advantages of the Saphira Chemfree 101
- Environmentally-friendly plate production without developer
- Processing time
- Optimum process stability
- High contrast
- No developing in the press
- The plate runs free
- Stable ink/water balance
- Short make-ready times
- Compatible with the Anicolor printing system by Heidelberg