A Survey of Print Copy Technology (3)

2 Computer Direct Plate Making Technology

In the traditional plate making process, the production of the printing plate undergoes two processes of laser filming and outputting the film and manual spelling and printing. With the maturation and application of the computer-to-plate version of the plate-to-plate technology, CTP technology has also become increasingly mature. Since Autoligic developed the first computer-to-plate making equipment in 1989, major companies in the world have worked closely with printing manufacturers to accelerate the pace of development of this technology research and gradually reach the level of maturity and industrialization. At the DRUPA95 printing exhibition, the display of the CTP system and the direct plate-making material became the hottest technical highlights at the conference. This shows that the research of the computer-to-platemaking technology has matured and entered the market.

The Department of Physics of Peking University in China began to research CTP platemaking machines in 1983. In 1985, it was listed by the Ministry of Electronics Industry as a key research project for the “Seventh Five-Year Plan”. In December 1995, the CTP system passed product stereotypes appraisal conducted by the Department of Electronics.

At the same time, many research results have also appeared in the CTP plate material research. In the early 1980s, Mitsubishi Paper Japan successfully developed the Silver Master CTP plate. After 1991, DuPont introduced the world's first commercial silver salt aluminum CTP plate. In 1997, China's Shanghai Institute of Printing Technology was commissioned by the State Planning Commission and the Press and Publications Bureau to begin research on "non-silver laser direct plate-making with high-sensitivity non-silver sensitized plates." In addition, Beijing Normal University and the Second Film Factory also conducted related media research and achieved gratifying results.

The application of CTP has been growing at a rate that is more than doubled each year. The computer-to-plate system once again promoted the progress of electronic typography. Faced with this new technology, people of insight in China's printing industry have paid close attention. Since 1997, the China Institute of Printing Science and Technology has held several seminars on direct plate making technology. At the Beijing International Electronic Publishing and Multimedia Exhibition in 1998, for the first time, foreign organizations have systematically exhibited various types of direct exhibitions. Plate-making equipment has played an active role in promoting the direct plate-making technology in China. Yangcheng Evening News introduced a direct plate-making system in May 1998 and became the first newspaper in China to use direct plate-making technology.

Subsequently, Heidelberg and Presstek co-developed on-machine lithography technology (Computer to Plate on Press), and in 1991 introduced GTO-DI, becoming the world's first equipment for plate making on printing presses. The so-called direct plate-to-plate printing technology refers to the technology that outputs the graphic and text information on the printing plate directly from the computer to the printing plate installed on the printing machine and completes the plate making and printing once.

In 1995, Heidelberg introduced the four-color offset press of the Quickmaster DI 46-4 direct imaging at the DRUPA 95 exhibition. In the machine direct plate printing technology has been applied in China, mainly used for printing color short live, plate is a special waterless offset printing plate.

3 Digital Printing Technology

In the 1990s, as high-tech computers such as computers, automatic controls, and lasers were used in the printing industry, digital presses were born. It is a highly integrated technology that covers printing, electronics, computers, networks, and communications. Technical field. In 1994, Xeikon, Indigo and Agfa (as original equipment suppliers to Xeikon) set off the trend of developing and introducing full-digital, four-color, on-demand high-speed printers. Since then, Scitex's Spontan, IBM's Info Cloor, Xerox's Docu Color and other company's products have joined the ranks of digital printing.

In 1999, Indigo and Xeikon introduced color digital printing machines for the first time at IPEX'93 International Printing Exhibition, which aroused great concern in the printing and publishing world. Indigo uses blankets and electronic inks to achieve 100% ink transfer. At the DRUPA95 International Printing Technology Expo, digital presses are recognized as the first star product, and its application is called yet another revolution in printing technology.

So far, one after another has launched its own digital press products: XeiKon's CSP320D sheet-fed digital press, Indigo's E-Print1000+ series of digital presses, MAN Roland's DICOWeb web digital press, Heidelberg The company's Nexpress2100 color digital presses and more.

The so-called digital printing means that electronic files are transmitted directly from the computer to the printing press, thereby eliminating steps such as color separation, imposition, plate making, and trial run. It brings printing into one of the most efficient processes: from input to output, the entire process can be controlled by one person to achieve a print. Such a small amount of printing is suitable for four-color proofing and multi-species printing at a reasonable price, and will also be welcomed in the book printing market. Digital printing realizes the concept of "distribution before printing."

The digital printing system is mainly composed of a prepress system and a digital printer. Some systems are also equipped with binding and cutting equipment. Digital printing has the following features: 1) The printing method is fully digital. Digital printing is a fully digital process from computer to print. Processes do not require film and printing plates in the middle, and there are no cumbersome procedures for traditional printing processes; 2) Variable information printing. The contents of digital prints can be changed at any time, that is, the contents of the front and back pages can be completely different; 3) The remote printing can be realized, and printing can be performed remotely through the Internet. Since digital printing has these characteristics, it has its unique advantages in the personalized on-demand printing market.

There is no doubt that the development of high-speed on-demand color printing technology will bring permanent changes to the entire printing industry, but what kind of changes will be controversial. Andrew Paparozzi of the National Printing Association and the Center for the Study of the Economy of Offset Printing: “It is sometimes a supplement to traditional printing, and sometimes it is a strong competitor to traditional offset printing.”

As Valenta of the Mann Rolland company put it: “The future of digital offset presses should be able to utilize and operate the current performance of various offset presses. This is what customers need. However, new technological reforms cannot be in a vacuum. This will inevitably involve many issues in many aspects, but also take into account the needs of the market." A recent survey and research report showed that by 2005, the market share of offset printing in the field of publishing and printing will account for about 80%. Other media (including the Internet) will also affect the dynamic changes in the market.

In any case, in the next 10 years, offset printing will still be a very active process. Surch insists: “The paperless society will not exist at all. Science and technology are changing the traditional offset and offset technologies, but the major premise of embossing ink onto substrate materials will not change.”

4 Cross-media publishing

With the advancement and changes in technology, the term "Pre-press" has been accepted as an alternative to "Pattern Making." In recent years, "Pre-media" has emerged, and the tentative translation is "Pre-Press". Refers to the addition of traditional media, as well as other optical, electronic, magnetic multimedia and Internet, etc. With the digital processing technology of image information, it can not only serve for traditional media publishing but also serve for other new media publishing, that is, cross-media. The production of "pre-treatment."

Since CD-ROM publications were first exhibited at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 1985, as a transitional medium for publishing to the Internet, CD-ROMs have played an important role in the field of electronic publishing. The publication of computer CDs is particularly useful for reference books, dictionaries, statistics, and educational books and publications that need to be searched. At present, there are general editing software for processing text, pictures, sounds, and images to support the production of electronic publications.

With the development of network technology, the advantages of wide network coverage and strong real-time information dissemination have attracted the attention of the newspaper industry and publishers. Cross-media publishing has started in newspapers and publishing houses in China. From the appearance of the first online newspaper of the China Trade Daily on October 20, 1995, almost all major newspapers have been published online. The main technical issue posted online is how to solve the differences in the format of printed and published data and online publishing data. Because we have standardized the XML as the normalized data standard for manuscripts of the editing process system, and the XML data is embedded into the layout through the soft plug-in of the typesetting software, the interface between the XML data and the printing is realized, and the XML is developed through the self-developed electronic newspaper system. The data is converted to HTML, which enables the publication of news data online. At present, there are more than 30 large newspaper companies in China that use this cross-media press release solution. Under the influence of e-Book technology, Chinese publishing houses have also begun planning to publish the contents of the publishing house on the Internet in the form of e-Book in the past two years.

In short, cross-media publishing has expanded the connotation of the study of printing and copying technology and is a new research direction worthy of attention.

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