CTP options for small presses

Discussion in 'Platemaking' started by psugit, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. psugit

    psugit New Member

    Nov 2019
    Pittsburg, Kansas
    I need a new system for making plates for two Heidelberg QM presses. I am in an educational environment and make less than 200 plates a year with everything being short run less than 5000. I have been getting film made at a local company then stripping the film to burn traditional subtractive metal plates. But the company went out of business. I've also had an old Xante Platemaker 3 for poly plates, but it died. I've also had a Kimosetter for poly plates but it has issues. So, I am scrambling to find a new way to make plates.

    The options I have found are:
    1. Xante EnPress with Platemaker 8 for poly plates for about $9000
    2. Epson Inkjet with oven from Mark Andy for about $10,000 (This is the Presstek JT Direct Plates)
    3. Mitsubishi Thermal Film and Plate Imaging System for about $20,000
    4. Glunz & Jensen metal ctp for about $20,000

    The Xante would be good for price and able to do envelopes but its just ok for poly plates.
    The Epson can do poly or metal plates at higher line screens and its a color printer than can serve other applications.
    The Mitsubshi can do good density film or poly plates but pricey and not the best plates.
    The G&J does the best plates but consumables would kill me.

    Anyone have experience or thoughts on any of these units?
    Afro254 likes this.
  2. Travis Young

    Travis Young Member

    Oct 2019
    Victoria Australia
    Could you use an inkjet printer to make positive film and run positive plates instead?
    Seems to be quite common practice for smaller shops. For the sake of roughly four plates a week, it would reduce the need to spend thousands on equipment.
    I can't really say for sure if you will achieve the image quality you desire though. We're still feeling our way through the process.