a. The new trend of development in prepress industry
1. Conventional plate production featured by imagesetter, film and PS plate will not be able to keep its teading position in prepress industry in the twenty first century at present, the sales turnover of computer-to-plate machines and its related products such as CopyDot film scanners are experiencing tremendous growth.
2. CTP technology greatly improves the efficiency of plate production. The entire production circle of printing is drastically shortened and printing quality is much improved. Both prepress and printing industries place much focus on the development of CTP. According to American GATF rating statistics, CTP has been rated as No. 1 advanced printing technology for 4 consecutive years since 1997. Internationally renowned prepress supplier and plate manufacturer such as Purup-Eskofot, Agfa, Dai Nippon Screen, Scitex, Heidelberg, Kodak, Fuji, ECRM have all developed full line of CTP products.
3. Because of ther CTP technology is widely accepted, the market of the traditional plate making equipment and the consumable materials are greatly shrinking. The throughput of following equipment is slowing down or half-stopped its production. Such as the imagesetters, film processors, plate processors, plate exposure systems. According to some experts, in 2005, the laser imagesetter will gradually stop production. And in 2010, the film production technique will no longer exist.
4. In May 2000, the Drupa 2000 was held in Germany. There are more than 90 CTP system and consumable material manufactures displayed almost 100 products. These are a lot of changes in the CTP technology and the technology is gradually matured. The CTP technology and the world-wide prepress technology advanced forward one big step, and formed its basic structure.
5. For the development of the printing industry, every revolution of the prepress technology always brings the printing industry one big development. At the same time, the advance of the printing industry can not be independent of the improvement of the prepress technology. Now we can say that in the next decade the development of the printing industry will depend on the development of the prepress industry. The focus of the prepress is the improvement and popularization of the Computer-to-Plate technology.
6. The CTP and digital printing have been the key problem in the developing system. It will implement the total digital workflow and improve the efficiency greatly.
7. The digital technology has almost replaced the traditional technology. The design and pictures can be transferred by network or through electronic medium. The corporation of the pan-region, pan-country, pan-continent will be a common thing. We can communicate with each other through the internet. We can offer the need, exchange information, remote proofing, and production tracking etc. The product can be designed in somewhere of the world, and printed in another place of the world.
8. Along with the technology progress and competition, the enterprises require more on the automation of the prepress industry. And the CTP is one of the most important factors that can improve the automation of the printing industry. From the view of this, we can see the significance.
b. The obstacle of the Computer-to-Plate technology's popularization and the opportunity of the technical development
As long as we see the constant development of the CTP technology, we should also see the difficulties and problems in the developing of the CTP technology. For example, the sub-technology of the CTP, the operation habit of the printing enterprises, the stuff diathesis, the daily consumable materials ect. For the time being, the key obstacle for the popularization of the CTP is the and chemicals. Now the price of the consumables that the CTP used is double that of the common consumable materials. Many newspaper and printing factory think about the long-term cost. So they are not very vigorous on the popularization of CTP. Somebody said that the development of the printing and prepress technology would come to one end. That is to cancel the prepress concept, and to achieve the direct printing from the computer direct to printing press. Maybe after ten or twenty years, we can see some ideas of this trend.
The development course and speed of the printing technology always out of our expectation. It constantly fulfills our need and wakens our imagination, and challenges us and gives us opportunity to realize our dream. In the totally new age, we together will expect and welcome the opportunities along with the development of the printing technology.