Making CTP A Reality
Calvano: Computer-to-plate has allowed us to move from 150 to 175 line screen due to its ability to regenerate the dots onto the paper more faithfully than with film.
BTM: Does it save time and money?
Calvano: The digital proofing process costs us less because it eliminates the cost of film. True, I'm paying approximately the same price for a digital proof as for a Matchprint; however, the cost of film has been eliminated. And we see an improved turnaround time on proofs, as well as more efficient makereadies on press.
Though there are increased costs for managing files that did not exist before, costs that offset some engraving savings, it's overall still a savings. Whatever I save at the engraver, I may spend up to half that on increased file management and processing.
BTM: How significant is the issue of finding and maintaining trained staff?
Calvano: The training level needs to be increased for everyone involved in the process. For example, where you had a safety net at your engraver in the past to correct the ills of the designer on his or her desktop files, much of that is going away--that safety net--and more onus is being placed on the designer to make files correct from the beginning.
BTM: Training seems to be a challenge industry-wide. From my vantage point, having interviewed many manufacturing executives at publishing companies over several years, Time seems to excel at hiring, training and keeping staff. If a production manager works for a book publisher that does not work so hard at that, or for some other reason has high turnover--is CTP impossible for that company?
Calvano: No. It's not impossible for anybody. It takes a mindset and a commitment from the top--from management. It's a decision--"We're going to do this because it's going to be better for us"--and that credo must transcend every level of employment within that company. Approach it pragmatically and it will be successful--and ultimately, easier with the bonus of better quality.