There is now an advanced printing format known as computer to plate or CTP for short. It is the phase in the pre-press process and it incorporates the use of special pre press equipment known as the image-setter. This is the forerunner of the computer to film printing format or simply CTF. In the latter option, the graphics are accessed from a file in the computer and goes to the photographic film. The accessed image is then forwarded to the photographic plate where it is prepared for the printing process. The process that starts from the computer up to the plate process eliminates the mid range process and relays the created graphics and images in the desktop straight to the printing plate. With the elimination of the mid range procedures, the whole operation becomes more efficient and reduces the cost associated with the process.

The obvious concern at this time, is on the requirements for the conversion from computer to film format to computer to plate format. In general, the task will require for an upgraded infrastructure that comes with the overhaul of the current work flow. For the changes in the current work flow, the main focus should be in the elimination of potential bottlenecks within the work process. This and proper maintenance of the flow will ensure that it moves along smoothly. Another aspect of the conversion refers to the infrastructure. This is not expected to create any serious challenge as buying a new system is not going to be that financially heavy.

Today, you can buy a new desktop computer without having to raid your bank account as prices have significantly dropped. Thus, purchasing a new unit is a strong possibility for most of us in need of one. On top of this, because of the increased speed of the newer versions of desktop computers, the efficiency of the desktop aspect of the process will also be enhanced. In the long term, the investment on these new units of desktop computers will be recovered as you increase the output. The bottom line for the whole undertaking is that you are able to shift from a more efficient process and you are able to reduce cost that is associated with the task.

As soon as you are able to cover the cost and benefit concerns, you must go for a more detailed analysis of the effect of the new format on the work flow.

In doing this, you must have to consider the following major areas of concern.

The first one refers to task acceptance and the pre-flighting. This phase consists of the inspection of the files that you will work on, and of the graphics and fonts. It is important that these files are structured according to the specifications provided by the client.

The next aspect of the work flow analysis focuses on the pre-press activities. This phase consists of the work preparation to establish and validate the compatibility of the type of press.

The final phase involves the clean-up component of the process. This refers to the management of the databases and the files so that all the targets are met without any complications or hitches.

After considering all of these things, your work process should be fluent. A business that runs smoothly is more likely to see and maintain success no matter what field.

Chuck R. Stewart recently reviewed printing equipment and was impressed with the technology used today in prepress equipment. He reviewed printing equipment and was impressed with the technology used today in CTP or computer to

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