07 Aug 2017
WORLDWIDE, commercial printers are actively responding to the need for a ‘green’ and efficient production process, starting with platemaking.
Reducing the use of chemistry and water when processing plates and minimising maintenance requirements is the ideal for any printing enterprise adopting a ‘clean’ manufacturing model and, with Fujifilm low-chemistry LH-PJE and LH-PLE plates and the award-winning Fujifilm intelligent ZAC processing system, print service providers are meeting these benchmarks with relative ease.
Distributed exclusively in South Africa by Kemtek Imaging Stems, the award-winning Fujifilm FLH-Z series of plate processors is designed for use with Fujifilm’s low chemistry range of thermal CTP plates, and each processor in the range incorporates Fujifilm’s unique intelligent ‘ZAC’ microprocessor control system that helps achieve consistent, high-quality plate production with minimal chemistry usage and maintenance.
The Fujifilm ZAC system provides optimised processing quality by using intelligent developer replenishment, which results in a significant reduction in the volume of chemistry and water used — helping to reduce environmental footprint.
What’s more, the Fujifilm ZAC processor can achieve up to 80% reductions in chemistry by identifying only the areas on the plate that actually need processing, and by constantly measuring the bath conductivity. The intelligence of the ZAC system means that there is hardly any need for operator intervention. Plates are produced consistently, without effort and quality is maintained. In short, the ZAC/Fujifilm plate combination is the closest to processless chemistry reduction with the benefit of a processed plate.
Maintenance requirements are minimised almost entirely thanks to the intelligent replenishment system that monitors developing conditions and accurately calculates the required volume of replenisher. With the Fujifilm ZAC system, bath life can be extended up to four months or 15 000m2, maintaining dot structure and stability. This means maintenance is reduced to less than half the time of many other processors, and may only need to be carried out four times a year. This is a massive saving in labour and wasted time for businesses trying to achieve more with fewer staff.
In early December last year, after consultation with Kemtek Imaging Systems’ technical experts and account representative, Lucien Augustus, the prepress team at Roodepoort-based Northern Keoagile Printers replaced its existing plate range with Fujifilm LH-PJE plates, plus installed a special ZAC Retrofit Kit to assist in producing a more streamlined and cost-effective platemaking process. In just four months, the results have been more than impressive! ‘Previous to purchasing the ZAC Retrofit kit we were using a top-up 201 developer, which was lasting less than six weeks,’ comments Donovan Cannon, DTP manager for Northern Keoagile Printers. ‘However, since replacing the 201 with a UNI814 developer we only had to change the chemical bath in March. This equated to ten litres overall use per month, instead of our usual 80 litres per month. Now that we don’t have to drop the bath every four weeks, we can make more than 2 000 plates without any downtime, plus we’re realising a much cleaner process and significant cost reductions. Furthermore, Kemtek Imaging Systems’ technical service team continues to provide its full support and expertise in ensuring everything runs smoothly on a daily basis.’
Just around the corner from Northern Printers, the team at Blesston Printers (part of the Bidvest group of companies) are also realising a significant improvement in prepress productivity since adopting Fujifilm plates. ‘When we changed over to Fujifilm last year, Kemtek partnered with us to ensure we had the most efficient platemaking process. This included a comprehensive clean-up of our existing Screen Platerite 8600s CtP system that was extremely run down – some of the pipes showed chemistry that had solidified. Our rollers were also in a poor condition before they received a fresh set-up by Kemtek’s fully-qualified technical team,’ remarks prepress manager, Anthony Britto. ‘Since implementing our new system we have experienced very little downtime, allowing us to improve our platemaking productivity by 75%. And, with the Lo-Chem Fujifilm technology, we’re saving litres of water per month, which is significantly reducing our costs!’
Kemtek Imaging Systems provides a portfolio of plates to suit printers’ needs in thermal or violet, processless or processed. In addition to the ZAC system is the complete range of Fujifilm’s new Superia thermal and violet CtP plate technologies, which includes the LP-NV2 processed plate technology, the Pro-V low-chemistry option, which uses only a finishing solution instead of the traditional developer or replenisher for violet systems, and the Fujifilm processless thermal Superia ZP.