Printing, if after deconstruction, print first, then brush, there is a printed brush, the media is used as the intermediary medium for printing, first transfer the graphic information to the plate, and then transfer the graphic information to the paper through the plate or Realize large-scale replication on other substrates. Plate material as the soul of printing, its contribution. As the main technology of printing—offset printing, the technological development in the field of plate printing has also promoted the progress of offset printing technology. Whether it is the laser photocopying technology that allows printing to completely usher in light and electricity, or from the PS era to the CTP era. With the dramatic increase in production efficiency, the media technology has become the driving force of printing. Now, the most important issue before printing is - environmental protection. This has become an issue that needs to be solved urgently in the field of printing media. In fact, ink is ranked first in the environmental pollution brought about by printing, but the follow-up dampening fluid, developing waste liquid, and waste materials of plates are all included in the edition. Material related.
Therefore, if you consider how to be environmentally friendly in the field of media, there are only two important directions: reduce or avoid the development of waste liquid in the process of plate making; reduce or avoid the use of fountain solution in the printing process, which is exactly At present, the three major environmental protection technologies in the field of CTP plate materials are: (chemical) plate processing, waterless printing plates, and inkjet CTP plates.
Free (chemical) processing of plates
In the past, it was necessary to print a PS Plate on the photo-composing machine to print on the machine. The film was a silver salt photosensitive material containing silver ions, and the fixed fixing solution after the fixing contained a large amount of silver ions. These substances directly entered the environment. , Heavy metal silver ions can pollute natural water and cause harm to the environment. At the same time, the film base is a polymer compound that is extremely difficult to degrade in the environment and contaminates the soil. The use of CTP technology has greatly reduced this environmental pollution, but it still cannot avoid the development of the development of waste liquid. Despite the fact that there has been the development of waste liquid purification and washing water recycling equipment, but the environmental effects are still limited. In addition, there is also a lack of regulations on the recycling of waste liquid from printing companies in China. Most printing companies waste liquids are discharged at random.
For this reason, the environmental protection plate that is used to reduce or avoid the production of the developer liquid in the plate making process, the exempt (chemical) processing plate, came into being. The so-called chemical-free processing of plates means that no chemicals are used in the development process, and water or non-toxic plate-type cleaning agents are generally used for the treatment so that the treatment liquid can be discharged without any pollution. The completely free processing of the plate requires no use of water or cleaning agents. It is directly printed on the plate making machine after plate making is completed, completely cutting off the contamination of the water in the plate making process.
In fact, there are already several media manufacturers that have introduced free (chemical) processing of media products, and most of them have entered the stage of marketing and use. Such as Agfa's Azura and Amigo non-chemical processing plates, Fuji's Brillia HD PRO series flush-free plates, Kodak's Thermal Direct negative thermal-free plates, FIT eCO completely free of plate processing. However, these products are still in the initial stage of promotion in the Chinese printing market. This has not resulted in a large-scale production of the products and the cost of the plates cannot be reduced. Printing companies are not willing to bear higher costs. On the other hand, it is also related to the low adaptability of the (chemical) processing plate to the existing printing conditions, or to the difficulty of plate making, the associated cost is greatly increased, or the use of plates is more problematic, and the plate is inferior to the traditional plate. Material, resulting in low customer enthusiasm related to use.
Waterless Printing Plate
If the free (chemical) treatment of the plate is to reduce or avoid the developer liquid waste during the plate making process, the waterless printing technique is to avoid the use of the fountain solution during the printing process, and the fountain solution is used as the second pollution source for printing. Not only does its waste contaminate water, but its VOCs also pollute the air. Waterless offset printing is a gravure printing technique that uses no water or traditional fountain solution during printing. Instead, it coats the printing plate with a non-printing area of silicon coating, removes the ink balance control, and eliminates the use of water as a medium. . It can be said that the emergence of waterless printing has greatly reduced the problem of pollution in the printing field.
As early as 1931, waterless printing technology patents had been obtained. In 1977, Japan Toray Corporation purchased patents and successfully launched a series of mature waterless printing plate products. Until now, Japan and the United States have There are more than 200 printing presses that use waterless printing technology for printing. As of 2005, more than 1,000 waterless offset printing companies have emerged in the world.
Compared to the (chemical) processing of plates in the environmental protection industry, the longboard has encountered the shortcomings of printing quality that is lower than that of traditional plates. In addition to environmental protection, water-free printing plates have improved printing efficiency and printing quality: Because there is no water participation, no ink emulsification, printing color saturation is high; the same dot diffusion does not occur, to ensure good dot reducibility; printing density is stable; printing rate is high; waterless reduces paper fiber expansion, register accuracy is high The VOC emissions are reduced by 60% to 80%, greatly improving the environmental performance; the water-free printing variable factors can be reduced, cross-regional management and standardization can be realized; as no need to deal with ink and water balance, only pay attention to register, can reduce the operator's skills requirement.
Although only Toray offers waterless printing solutions at present, the use in China is still very good. For example, Artron uses waterless printing for the art reproduction of thin paper such as rice paper, and Arthur uses it for 3D gratings. Printing, Gold Cup printing uses its color double-sided printing dictionary, and other companies to undertake overseas orders, higher requirements for environmental protection, will also use waterless printing technology.
Water-free printing plates also face problems that have not yet been applied on a large scale and require printing companies to bear higher plate costs, need to have dedicated plate processing equipment, and waterless printing have specific requirements for the printing press water cooling cycle system of printing plants. Color management is also different from traditional offset printing, which makes most printing companies daunting.
Inkjet CTP Plate
Inkjet CTP plates were initially developed as a special platemaking process. As early as 1978, HOECHST in Germany used inkjet devices to inject ink onto roughened and anodized aluminum-based bare plates. Heat curing is performed, and the blank portion of the printing plate is processed. The resin-type ink dispersed in water is ink-jet printed onto an ordinary PS plate, and then the plates are processed by printing and developing. However, due to the low resolution of the printer during this period, inkjet CTP has not been applied.
With the increase of the resolution of inkjet printers and the expansion of the printing format, inkjet CTP has undergone a large-scale technology development after nearly 20 years of slow technical development. At the same time, due to the emergence of CTP technology, inkjet printing has been performed on bare plates. Ink plate printing directly on the machine has become the technological development direction, due to abandon the water treatment completely, faster, more environmentally friendly, inkjet CTP plate is considered to be a new generation of green plate material technology.
The main reason for the development of inkjet CTP is that its number of screens has been greatly improved. At present, it can achieve 175 lines for high-grade prints, while the price of its platemaking machine (also an inkjet printer) is only ordinary CTP plate making. One-tenth of the machine, inkjet CTP plate material prices also have great advantages, only slightly higher than the average price of the PS plate, but comprehensive consideration of the need for printing, washing, development and other processes, the cost of its use of plate making has become Knowing that the CTP technology is the lowest, it was previously seen as the lower printing power of the inkjet CTP short board, which was only 20,000 to 50,000 printed. With the general shortening of printing jobs, it became the most suitable parameter for the market. Since inkjet CTP does not require a special platemaking machine and does not need to be processed, the overall investment is no more than 500,000 yuan. The printing quality can also meet the general commercial printing requirements. It is an entry product for small and medium-sized printing companies investing in environmental protection printing.
Although the inkjet CTP plate has a number of companies in overseas and domestic production R & D, but in the country there are some "untimely" in the large-scale application of CTP technology, inkjet CTP plate does not resolve the resolution Lower problems, and when the CTP market is becoming saturated and the market price drops sharply, the inkjet CTP technology will suffer the impact of digital printing. At present, the domestic market, in addition to the new Kneaker inkjet CTP solution is completely independent intellectual property rights (but the new Kona need to specifically purchase inkjet plate-making equipment), overseas suppliers, efi, EPSON is also actively promote the inkjet CTP solution Project, Chengdu Xintu New Material Co., Ltd. has also launched the FIT Nano inkjet CTP plate ... but how to solve the post-CTP era for the market acceptance of environmentally friendly media solutions, all manufacturers need to assist printing companies to answer.
In addition to the above three major environmental protection materials, there are companies that are actively researching and developing "upgrading" or "grafting" versions. For example, drupa 2012 put forward a waterless exemption-free plate material technology, and it is hoped to achieve true zero emissions. Neither developer, plate, or dampening solution is used on the machine; there are companies that are considering replacing aluminum plates that are more difficult to recycle, and use resin as the substrate for the plates... Of course, there is no need for landa, etc. Digital printing solutions for direct printing of plates to challenge the significance of environmental media. However, as a printing company of the "natural economy", no matter what kind of media is used, nothing but the cost, efficiency, and quality are the concern. This is also the question that all environmental printing media and all printing methods that need to be expanded need to be answered.
In addition, environmental protection cannot be completely relied on the invisible hand of the market for printing, and the government's policy promotion is necessary. For example, the use of chemical-free CTP plates and other environmental plates in Brazil is far more than traditional CTP plates. This is totally different from the Chinese printing market. Why is this happening? The government collects wastewater treatment fees from all enterprises. Printing companies must consider replacing the environmental protection plates in order to reduce the generation of wastewater. Because the market demand for environmentally friendly plates in Brazil has soared, the scale and cost advantages of large-scale production of environmentally friendly plates are reflected. Brazilian printing companies enjoy a cheaper environmental CTP plate than traditional CTP plates. Will this happen in China? let us wait and see!