CTP (Computer-To-Plate)

When the print-ready files are finally generated and approved, we move to the last step of pre-press - to create printing plates.
CTP stands for "Computer-To-Plate". It is a technology to directly transfer digital files to a printing plate, skipping the traditional steps of creating film or other intermediary materials. The process is to send the digital file to CTP device. This device uses laser technology or thermal imaging to expose a printing plate with the image from the digital file. Then, the exposed plate is developed using chemicals. The areas exposed to the laser or thermal imaging process become chemically treated, while the unexposed areas are removed, leaving behind the image to be printed.
In the phase of press, the finished printing plate will be mounted onto a printing cylinder on the printing press for actual printing.
(Mounting a printing plate onto a printing cylinder on the offset press)
(CTP device)
(A printing plate)