A digital file is sent directly to the press which through its on board computer produces the printing plates using laser technology.
By Product: Nothing... but the high quality print, with no impact on the environment.
A digital file is sent directly to the computer-to-plate (CTP) device which produces and develops the printing plates used on the press.
By Product: The chemicals used to develop the printing plates contain elevated levels of biological oxygen demand (BOD), phosphorous, total suspended solids (TSS), and nitrogen. This hazardous waste is stored on-site and then later disposed.
Dampening solution used in printing to keep the unexposed areas of the plate from holding ink. This solution is a combination of water and a chemical additive.
By Product: Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and waste solvent/water. This hazardous waste is store on-site and then later disposed off.
Conventional offset printing requires water for plate processing and for the press dampening system. DI printing does not use water. The chemically tainted wastewater from traditional offset printing is eliminated. The August 2006 United Nations Water Thematic Issues report, Coping with the Scarcity of Water, speaks to the importance of maintaining and preserving our water supply.
Plates are imaged via a thermal process; the heat from the lasers removes the top layers of the plate material, exposing the ink receptive layer. The laser and digital plate comprise an optimized system that eliminates the use of chemistry in the platemaking process. Direct imaging also significantly reduces the need to store and dispose of chemistry. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 31 million gallons of chemistry are used in imaging printing plates every year.
Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions have been linked to the breakdown of the earth’s ozone layer, contributing to global warming. The DI’s waterless press design eliminates what is typically the largest portion of a printer’s VOC output solvent based press and blanket wash solutions. These benefits reduce VOC output by up to 90 percent.