Me & My: Kodak Sonora X process-free plates

Kayyum Memon of Concord Printing Press, Vadodara, says, with Sonora X he has eliminated quality variations that come while processing plates

09 Aug 2018 | By PrintWeek India

Describe your company.
Started in 1968, Concord Printing Press is a second-generation print firm previously known as Pravin Printing Press and Concord Enterprise. Today, offset packaging forms more than 70% of our business. At Concord we believe in being ahead of the curve by investing in the latest technologies, be it implementing the first UV system from Air Motion Systems (AMS) in India or being early adopters of Heidelberg and RMGT printing presses in the region. This is one of the reasons why we started using the process-free printing plates Sonora X from Kodak along with the Kodak Trendsetter Q800 platesetter in April 2018.

What are the properties of the plates you like?
After spending almost 25 years in the industry, I believe in thermal technology because it provides unmatched quality, accurate reproduction of halftones and freshness of colours that can be brought to life. With Sonora X, we have achieved all this and more. Being completely process-free, Sonora X simplifies pre-press operations.

How are you benefiting?
We used to procure violet plates from a pre-press bureau for our printing needs. With an in-house process-free bundle of Kodak thermal CTP and Sonora X process-free plates, we now have complete control over quality, faster-to-market approach for quicker turnaround, increased productivity and huge savings on costs.

How much have these features helped you in your production?
It decreased steps in pre-press – it’s one single step on the CTP and then direct to press. This means no processing is needed, eliminating the requirement of any additional manpower. It’s cleaner, faster and economical.

For what applications are the plates used?
We use it for both packaging and commercial jobs.

Is there anything that you do not like in the product?Being the latest in process-free technology, it offers a greener pre-press environment. However, Sonora X has some limitations in repeatability. With the exception of that, it seems to surpass the performance of any processed plates for our printing needs.

What’s the quality like?
The quality of printing is top-notch, as is the norm with Kodak’s thermal plates. When using violet plates earlier, we used to discount 1% to 3% dots as we could never reproduce those in print. With the adoption of Sonora X, we can now achieve accurate reproduction of dots as fine as 1%. This has been a helpful revelation for us, especially when printing shadows and vignettes. With process-free technology, we can immediately eliminate the quality variations that come with processing such as chances of dot loss or any change in pre-press parameters.

How easy is it to use?
Sonora X process-free platemaking is easy and quick.

Would you say that it offers value for money?
Yes it is 100% value for money. We save on all parameters and costs of processing – cost of capex and maintenance for a processing equipment, cost of chemicals, water and electricity, time to process, variability from processing, manpower needed. Since we can completely eliminate all these costs unlike a processed or process less setup and make our pre-press fully process free and green in all ways, I would say it is a saviour not just in costs but also for the environment.

Who do you think the product is right for?
This is a great product for most of the printing environments, especially commercial and offset packaging printing.

Under what circumstances would you recommend it to others?
It is a superb product. It is bundled with the accuracy, reliability and robustness of the Kodak CTP system