The Pre-press Question


Chemistry-free might seem tempting but printing companies are increasingly seeing the benefits of low-chemistry options


In 2012 Xingraphics launched its low-chemistry, low-maintenance thermal plate solution with the introduction of FIT Primus+ with Arto developer and Replenisher, and we are seeing  a surge in global plate sales in all markets. This trend looks to continue. The main reason we are successful is that Xingraphics is the only China-based company focused on manufacturing CTP thermal plates. Our tightly net- worked team who continuously communicate with R&D and the manufacturing facilities allows Xingraphics to respond to market trends. Using feedback provided from customer communications and demands, Xingraphics teams assess this information to have a better understand-ing of products customers want or need.


Market Trends

The graphic arts market was further impacted in 2012 with a major player moving into Chapter 11. This caused many companies to review their long term strategy of which plate manufacturer they would use for their long term supply. Printers choices for a stable high-quality thermal plate supplier had now been narrowed in this limited market. This further opened the door for Xingraphics.


Why use Xingraphics low-chemistry solution?

Xingraphics’ low-chemical usage Arto D Developer and Arto R Replenisher products have been designed to allow end users to reduce the amount of chemistry needed while maintaining a clean developer bath throughout the chemistry life. Customers using the new chemistries have reported a chemical consumption reduction of up to 40%, and an increase in overall bath life. They have also reported lower maintenance requirements needed to complete a chemistry change.


Can I utilize equipment I already own?Xingraphics understands that the technology used to manage the amount of developer replenishment needed per plate varies. Processors need to be able to accurately manage replenishment to prevent developer from becoming too weak or too strong when  a multitude of sizes are used. In basic models of processors, the same amount of replenishment is put into the bath every time the input sensor is activated regardless of plate size. Therefore, in end users where the size of plate being processed varies, the developer bath is prone to getting too week or too strong due to inaccurate replenishment for the size of plates being processed.

In newer, more sophisticated processors, all the plate sizes used are entered into the software allowing the machine to measure the plates and replenish according to the size being processed, so the bath stability is maintained accurately.

Another consideration when choosing a processor is the design and accuracy of the replenishment pump used. Many older processors use very inaccurate oscillating type pumps that are good for adding large amounts of chemistry, and become less efficient as they get older. More accurate metering pumps should be used to accurately replenish small amounts of chemistry.


Chemistry-free CTP solutions

Xingraphics has seen the trend in global markets towards the so-called chemistry- free or process-less CTP thermal plates in selective markets, and we accept that in some instances this may be the best solution for some customers. However, we are also seeing the trend where customers prefer to use low-chemistry CTP thermal plate solutions. Many customers are even switching to our low-chemistry solution after using chemistry-free or process-less plates for a short period of time.

Paul Rudman, Xingraphics technical product manager, Europe says: “In the past three months alone, we have converted four printers who wereusing chemistry- free plates to our low-chemistry thermal solution. Our product gave them financial cost benefits and was welcomed with open arms by the pre-press and the printers.”

Many printers have voiced the concern about being locked into one technology that is only available from one supplier.



For example, they removed the existing plate processor that had always worked

well when processing thermal plates from a multitude of manufacturers over the years, in favor of plates that process on press or need a unique gumming unit. They then realize in the event of a supply problem, they do not have any alternative way of producing plates. The Xingraphics FIT Primus+ and Arto developer low-chemistry solution utilizes existing equipment widely used in the industry.


Existing chemistry-free and process-less technology

The current process-less option requires the plates to be developed on press. This technology is basically similar to the plate that needs a processor or a gumming unit, except the coating is removed on the press, which now serves as a very expensive plate processor. The coating is simply broken down into the ink or fount and is reported by the plate manufacturers to be carried out of the press on the printed sheets. Although the use of chemicals in the pre-press area has been removed, customers have stated that they have seen an increase in time needed for press maintenance and cleaning procedures.



Benefitsand Specs of FIT Primus+

·  FIT Primus+ utilizes a “Shallow Grain” technology that allow printers to run up to 10% less water, thus saving up to 10% on ink as well.

·  FIT Primus+ when used with our Arto Developer and Arto Replenisher produces our highest quality printing plates using low chemistry consumption.

·  FIT Primus+ plate can be imaged on all existing thermal 830nm CTP devices.

·   FIT Primus+ produces the highest imaging quality available, able to reproduce 1-99% @ 450lpi and 10 micron Staccato.

·  Utilizes most thermal CTP plate processors available today.

·  Exposure energy:110~130 mj/cm2

·  Can be ran up to 250,000+ impressions un-baked or 1,000,000+ impressions when post baked.

·  UV ink compatibility: Applicable with UV inks when post-baked




Share this: Print

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.

Latest News

  • Food for Thought
    Food for Thought
      Recycling the daily newspaper has, happily, become second nature for most people, as putting rinsed milk bottles out for the milkman was a regular evening task of yesteryear. Since…
  • The Pre-press Question
    The Pre-press Question
      Chemistry-free might seem tempting but printing companies are increasingly seeing the benefits of low-chemistry options   In 2012 Xingraphics launched its low-chemistry, low-maintenance thermal plate solution with the introduction…
  • Pragati Offset’s Royal Success
    Pragati Offset’s Royal Success
      At the most recent Asian Print Awards, Harsha Parachuri, Director of Pragati Offset, had his neck strung with multiple medals, plus a crystal trophy from CGS in his hands.…