Process-free plates are hitting new sales milestone

A combination of factors like wastage cost, space constraints, and reduced run lengths are driving the adoption of process-free CTP plates

26 Dec 2022 | By Noel D'Cunha

Two companies engaged in providing process-free CTP plates in the Indian market have announced increased sales volumes over the previous year.

Kodak has announced that its Sonora process-free plates India sales volume have seen an increase of about 24% over 2021, helped by the combined efforts of Kodak's direct sales and its channel partners in India.

Meanwhile, TechNova has informed PrintWeek that its Kratos TZP has seen a growth of over 100% in volume compared to last year.  

Sonora process-free plates

According to our estimation, the digital plates market is approximately 40-lakh 40-lakh sqm per month in India, split into 79.5% (31.5-lakh sqm) convention plates, 17.5 (7-lakh sqm) chemistry-free plates and 3% (1.5-lakh sqm) is processless plates.

Whichever way one sees it, the growth of process-free and chemistry-free plate technology has seen a rise.

Kodak has informed PrintWeek that there are 6,000 users worldwide, and approximately a hundred users in India have joined Kodak’s Sonora club.

“There are many good reasons why the print industry in India is using the Sonora process-free plates,” said Bhalchandra Nikumb, print solutions sales director for Kodak India. Sonora plates simplify and streamline the platemaking process and improve the sustainability performance of print businesses.”

TechNova introduced chemistry-free Viogreen plates in 2008, which are currently serving 70% of the newspaper market. In 2019, TechNova launched its process-free plates, Kratos TZP.

Kratos TZP

According to Amit Khurana, chief operating officer for digital and offset print solutions at TechNova, the Kratos TZP is a double-layer negative thermal process-free plate which provides the advantage of eliminating processor and processing chemistry and developing the plate directly on the press. “We started in 2019, and since then have a market share of 40% in the process-free plates segment,” said Khurana.

Explaining the process, Khurana said, the chemistry-free plates as the name suggests are providing our customers with the benefit of eliminating the use of chemicals. “Three key benefits to the customer are: it’s simpler because it eliminates pre-heat, pre-wash, developing and rinsing; it's cleaner because it eliminates the need for effluent disposal; and greener because it eliminates the use of water and chemicals and reduces energy consumption, benefiting the environment.”

Khurana added, “Lean theory suggests you save money, time and effort as you eliminate processes. Kratos TZP, the process-free plate takes this convenience to the next level by completely eliminating the processor and the chemistry involved.”

Nikumb of Kodak, said, “It completely eliminates electricity, water, developer, replenisher and gumming solution, and clean-out finisher associated with conventional plate processing. Since there isn’t any chemistry used and no plate processor in need of cleaning and maintenance, there are also no waste chemicals or contaminated residual liquids to be disposed of and Sonora plates help reduce waste on press.”

Newspaper industry's contribution to the environment when using TechNova's Viogreen plates