Pressroom Chemicals for CtP
Printers have been adopting fountain solutions, press washes, plate cleaners, for maximum performance in a constantly evolving graphic arts production system. World over, we find companies honing pressroom chemicals to enhance production efficiencies, reduce materials costs and consumption, minimise ecological impact, and leverage the benefits of new technologies like computer-to-plate (CtP) involving the use of stochastic screening.
The good news in India is : TechNova is laying tremendous stress on fountain solutions.
Fountain solutions remain a central focus of pressroom chemicals. TechNova has invested in a brand new R&D centre to facilitate its focused development of high end specialty fountain solution formulations.
TechNova has been developing products that are not environmentally abrasive and are concentrated to run at lower dosages.
With TotalRespect range, TechNova launched products that achieves alcohol free or very low alcohol printing, total calcium control, zero foaming and achieve enhanced ink drying for the sheet fed market. The product runs on a variety of plates, including CtP versions.
According to Abraham Kuruvilla, "TechNova's press chemistry revolves around working on solutions that optimise ink and water balance while ensuring total compatibility with the plates. This has become doubly important due to an important trend influencing pressroom chemistry : increased use of finer dots and stochastic screening."
As printers adopt stochastic screening, there is a higher demand for inks and fountain solutions to work together. TechNova has developed a solution that answers the need for getting the emulsion right so the printer is able to effectively control the dot gain, and can ensure a good release from the plate to the blanket to the paper.
As Kuruvilla states, "a first-class fountain solution will run a stochastically generated screen as well as an AM screen. Granted, you're dealing with small dot sizes, but that's not a significant limiting factor in our ability as fountain solution manufacturers to make that process work."
Kuruvilla feels, computer-to-plate is another focus area for chemical makers, in terms of fountain solutions, plate care products and washes. He adds, "The current trend and the biggest challenge in pressroom chemicals in India is the compatibility of the chemistry to unbaked CtP thermal plates and media used alternatively with conventional plates. This is because these plates are much more chemically sensitive than conventional plates."
The increased popularity of energy-curable UV or hybrid printing inks and coatings is also exerting influence on press chemical formulations. TechNova has introduced washes, which have been specially designed to clean inks efficiently without having any negative effect on plate coating. The range has been further enhanced with a range of UV washes manufactured in technical collaboration with Arets Graphics, Belgium. TechNova's fountain solution range includes products that will work in such applications.
Plate cleaners have been transformed by CtP. This is because plate cleaners for CtP must be effective and keep the plate clean and wet, without degrading the image. Many of the older plate cleaners won't work with CtP plates because the image is more susceptible to chemistry attack. As a result, printers need to know that a given plate cleaner may be reducing plate life.
Which is why, TechNova has begun to certify the products that work on their CtP plates.