What Kodak is calling "a plate for demanding web applications" has been launched following trials at printers in Germany.
The violet Libra VP plate aims to meet newspaper demands and the quality needs of semicommercial print applications, using either conventional plate processing or a streamlined "easy-chem" setup.
In conventional processing, replacingdeveloper and replenisher with a single, low-pH clean-out finisher will simplify processing and reduce environmental impact. The same finisher can be part of an "easy-chem" setup which eliminates plate prewash and postrinse steps using a modified conventional processor or a dedicated clean-out unit.
Kodak says the Libra VP Digital Plate offers high stability and quality features, such as long run lengths and 150 lpi AM or 180 lpi hybrid (XM) screening capabilities. Newspaper run lengths of up to 350,000 impressions with conventional processing, or up to 300,000 impressions with "easy chem" are claimed.
The plate has been under test at Deister & Weserzeitung in Hameln - the German town famous for its Pied Piper - where six daily newspapers have runs of up to 25,000 and the circulation of three twice-weekly freesheets totals 100,000. Plate consumption is 800-1000 plates a day.
A switch from a 'chemistry free' plate to Libra Digital - imaged on two Krause LS Jet platesetters with attached plate processors - made use of "easy chem" with the processors' prewash and postrinse stations deactivated.
Director Carsten Wilkesmann - who spoke at a Kodak event during WPE Hamburg - says the impression is that it gives slightly sharper dots, in addition to the benefits of lower water consumption, eliminating wash steps and intensive processor cleaning.