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Heidelberg launches Saphira Thermoplate NA

Jun 29, 2006 12:00 AM

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Heidelberg USA (Kennesaw, GA) has launched its new Saphira Thermoplate NA printing plate designed especially for use with Heidelberg’s Suprasetter line of computer-to-plate (CTP) devices. The negative-working aluminum plate represents the third generation of Heidelberg’s existing thermal plate family, joining the Saphira Thermoplate PL and Saphira Chemfree (chemistry-free) thermal plates.

“With the Thermoplate NA technology, Heidelberg offers a next-generation plate that delivers the highest-quality press results while saving our customers valuable time and money,” says Rick Boggess, director of consumables for Heidelberg USA. “Heidelberg’s new Saphira Thermoplate NA is easy to use and boasts better on-press performance and lower processor maintenance. In addition to dramatic chemical cost reductions, customers can realize indirect cost savings from the reduction of high-volume water and waste associated with traditional thermal processes.”

Designed for a wide range of sheetfed commercial printing applications, Saphira Thermoplate NA uses a high-quality grained and anodized aluminum substrate suited to very low chemistry consumption processors. Because the Suprasetter’s 830nm thermal laser creates the physical image independent of processing conditions, the processor’s function is confined to background cleanup for the unexposed portion of the plate and the gum application.

Because the Thermoplate NA processor does not process plates in the manner of traditional thermal processors, temperature and replenishment rates are not critical. When using the Saphira Thermoplate NA, the replenishment rate for the cleanout solution reportedly is approximately two-and-a-half times less than traditional developer rates (30 to 50 ml/m2), and the processor maintenance cycle is five times longer (up to 5,000 m2). The use of the cleanout solution in place of a traditional developer maintains a clean bath, minimizing processor maintenance times with easy cleaning while enhancing stability, consistency and reliability.

"With Thermoplate NA, printers gain the longest bath life, lowest replenishment rates and widest exposure and processing latitudes of any thermal plate system on the market today,” Boggess says. “On press, the graining technology provides fast roll-up with excellent ink and water balance and reduced makeready times, as well as minimal paper waste and downtime.”

Available in six, eight and twelve gauges, Saphira Thermoplate NA is scratch-resistant and requires no special inks or fountain solutions. The new plate yields higher productivity, longer run lengths (up to 200,000 impressions, depending on press conditions) and improved compatibility with UV inks. The plate also can be post-baked when run lengths in excess of 200,000 impressions (up to 500,000 impressions) are required.