Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Wayback View – SP Plateless Offset Technology in 2000

Recently, J P Imaging, with their experimental Miracle Plate* technology, has demonstrated a unique concept – that of switching an uncoated litho ‘blank’ uncoated plate from hydrophobic to hydrophilic. The benefits of this technology, if it becomes a product, is the potential elimination of all chemicals in plate coating, organic solvents from the coating process, as well as all requirements for processing equipment and associated chemistry. It would also have major environmental benefits by drastically reducing the demand for aluminum within the printing industry.

The announcement has renewed interest in alternative ways to image plates for offset lithography. One such alternative was demonstrated as a proof of concept at GraphExpo in 2000. The CreoScitex "SP Plateless Technology" was a plate imaging system where a plate could be imaged, and reimaged, by spraying an ink receptive coating (Agfa Lightspeed) on it while the plate was mounted on press. Rather than manufacturing, cutting, and shipping plates that could be used only once - printers would just purchase the ink receptive liquid coating.

Please press the play arrows to view the video. Note that they may stop for a moment while the video buffers in the background.

This 1 minute video uses animation to explain how the direct on press ("DOP") SP Plateless Technology works.

This 11 minute video is the live demonstration presented by Doug Richardson (now CEO of General Fusion Inc.) of the CreoScitex SP Plateless Technology using a Shinohara press at GraphExpo in 2000.

The Haida mask images were my small contribution to this project.

*More info on the Miracle Plate technology is available HERE

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