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Computer-to-Plate or “CtP” imaging refers to direct transfer of digital content onto the aluminum plates used in offset printing. This involves exposing meter-scale flexible aluminum substrates to high-intensity near-infrared laser light in order to thermally modify the surface. High laser power levels are required: up to 80W on a single GLV device and power densities of 10kW/cm2. Resolution and throughput are key attributes for these systems. CtP image content is characterized binary and halftone (dot) images up to 4000dpi (6.4um features), and SCREEN plate-setters can process up to 67 B1 format plates per hour. The high-speed, high power handling, and precise intensity and timing control of the GLV make it an ideal modulator for this application. SCREEN began incorporating GLV technology into its plate-setters in 2003 and has steadily grown the business and become the world’s largest supplier of CtP plate-setters. Today, thousands of GLV-based plate-setters are in use around the globe.

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