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DIGITAL PLATES

VIOLET

Violet Print
digital plates

Customer Information Manual

Version 1
European Technical Applications Group
May 2006

Table of Contents
Introduction

Storage, Handling and Loading into Platesetters

Prepress Working Environment

Chemistry

Health & Safety

Processing

Processor Care

Baking Parameters

10

Platesetter Exposure and Linearisation Set-Up

10

Press

12

Troubleshooting Plate/Platesetter/Processor

13

Troubleshooting Press

17

Kodak Violet Print digital plates


CIM/ETAG May 2006

Introduction
This document has been issued by the European Technical Applications Group for all Kodak customers using
Kodak Violet Print digital plates. The document is designed to enable the Violet Print plate customer to obtain
optimum performance through recommended guidelines and best practice operational procedures.
This Customer Information Manual for Violet Print plates is functional for all markets supplied by the European
region of Kodak. This includes Europe, Africa and the Middle East Region (EAMER) and the Greater Asia Region
(GCR and INSEAN).
Compared to conventional workow, Computer-To-Plate (CTP) workow requires a higher level of control,
maintenance and cleanliness to maintain a consistent and reliable prepress and print process.
Kodak does not accept any liability for the misuse of their products.

Storage, Handling and Loading into Platesetters


Storage
Unopened packs of plates must be stored at on a secure level surface, away from excessive cold, heat, humidity
and direct sunlight.
The ideal storage conditions are 15C 25C and 40 70% humidity.
For manual loading platesetters, the plates should be stored at in their packets with plates removed from one
open end of the packet.
The shelf life of Violet Print plates is 12 months under recommended storage conditions. See expiration date on
packet.

Plates must be stored at on a secure


level surface, away from excessive cold,
heat, humidity and direct sunlight.

Storing the packet of plates against a


wall will create a bend in the plate and
may prevent it from being loaded into
the platesetter.

Storing plates vertically in their cardboard


outer casing could allow the plate packet
inside to become unattached to the outer
casing and drop, thereby causing damage to
plate edges and corners.

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Page 1

Stacking Plate Pallets


Single packs:
Max. 2 pallets,
same size

Bulk boxes:
Max. 2 pallets,
same size

Container:
Max. 4 pallets,
same size

Handling
When plates are being carried in either their outer casings or paper packaging, the plates must be carried
vertically to avoid bending or kinking. The outer packaging can look undamaged, but the plates inside can become
kinked if proper handling procedures are not carried out.

Plates must be carried


vertically when in their
packaging.

Plates carried with any kind


of bend may distort the
plates and aect the loading
and punching of the plate in
the platesetter.

Picking up and carrying plates with the strapping will also bend
and kink the plates. The strapping may also incur edge damage on
the plates.

Kodak Violet Print digital plates


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Loading into Platesetters


The punching and loading of plates in any platesetter is a critical process. Damage to the plate edges, and
introducing edge wave by poor handling of the product, will incur platesetter errors in loading, registration and
imaging of the plate. In most cases this will cause the plate to be rejected by the platesetter. Additionally, out of
focus situations can be caused by dirt, debris or any foreign body on the platesetter drum or on the back of a plate.

When loading plates of sizes 1030 mm and larger, two people should carry the
plates from the packaging to the platesetter cassette, (Fig 1).

Fig. 1
Correct loading of the cassette

It is not possible for one person to load a full packet of plates and keep the
plates at due to the weight, (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2
Incorrect loading of the cassette

If only one person is available, split the pack and load a few plates at a time to maintain atness and prevent
kinking.

Prepress Working Environment


Use Violet Print plates in a controlled environment of 21C - 24C. Plate speed is aected outside these limits.
When taking a pack of plates from a storeroom, allow sucient time for the plates to equilibrate in the platesetter
room.
40% - 60% relative humidity (RH) is required. Plate speed and latent image stability are aected above these
limits. Low RH can aect the de-interleaving performance in autoloading platesetters.
For manual operations, Kodak Violet Print plates must be handled under EncapSulite G10 safelights with lighting
levels between 100 lux and 200 lux. Tolerance to G10 safelight is 1500 lux min (e.g. 15 minutes at 100 lux). Kodak
Violet Print plates have no tolerance to white light. The maximum time allowed between completion of exposure
and processing is 10-15 minutes under the specied platemaking room conditions.
Opened plate packs should be stored horizontally in their packaging, ensuring that the pack is light-proof. Store
re-sealed packs between 21C - 24C and 40% - 60% relative humidity, and use the remaining plates as quickly
as possible within 2 - 4 weeks.

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Chemistry
Recommended storage conditions for un-opened developer and replenisher containers are 5C to 27C. Store in
a dry area away from bright sunlight.
The shelf life of un-opened developer and replenisher is 24 months.
When in use, an opened container of replenisher will start to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the
pH will fall. Replace with a fresh container after 2 weeks in use.
When lling the developer tank of the processor, it is likely that a part-used container of developer will be left. If
the part-used container is less than 1/3rd full, discard as waste. If the part-used container is more than 1/3rd full,
re-seal the container for later use.

Accredited Kodak Chemistry


Violet Print digital plates
Developer

Kodak Violet 500 developer and Violet 550R replenisher

Finisher

Kodak 850S plate nisher


Kodak deletion uid 231 (EAMER, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia)

Deletions

Kodak deletion pen C41 / C42 (EAMER, Australia)


Kodak deletion pen C61 / C62 (This deletion pen gives better results
if the imaged plate has been left some time before going to press.)

Additions

Kodak addition pen P21 / P22 (EAMER, Australia)

Plate cleaner

Kodak Tone-Up cleaner (EAMER), or other mild plate cleaners, can be


used sparingly.
Kodak Universal plate cleaner (Greater Asia Region)

Health & Safety


When handling Kodak products, read the Material Safety Data Sheet for health hazard data, precautionary
information and suggested rst aid.
Contact your Kodak representative for MSDS copies, or click on the Service tab on the Kodak web site
(www.graphics.kodak.com) to nd relevant environmental and MSDS information.

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Processing
Quick Set-Up Checklist
Before the installation, ensure that all chemistry and equipment is accredited for use with the Kodak Violet Print
digital plate.
a) Ensure that the brush and roller pressures are correct and are appropriate for the plate gauges being used.
It is important to set the brushes in the developer section correctly to give even development and smooth
transport. The same brush pressure settings should be used for all gauges of plate being used.
See Additional Notes.
b) Set transport speed to give the correct developer dip-to-nip time of 19 to 21 seconds. Check the dip-to-nip
time to be certain of the correct developer time.
c) Set the correct preheat temperature to give the target Thermax strip reading of 110C - 116C.
(Thermax strip readings of 104C - 116C are allowed on processors where the preheat
uniformity is not good, but this may give a little more variability in high screen ruling at tints).
Check the preheat for each gauge of plate used. Processors with hot-air preheat should be
able to give correct plate temperatures for each gauge at the same panel setting. For those
processors with IR ceramic tiles, dierent settings will be required for each gauge. With IR
ceramic tiles allow 10 to 15 minutes when changing gauges for the preheat to re-equilibrate.
See Additional Notes.
d) Make sure that the chiller system is functioning properly.
e) Set the developer temperature to 23C.

Illustration of Thermax
strip reading 110C

f) Set the developer system replenishment regime which is appropriate for the processor
being used. Check the replenisher pump calibration. The recommended procedure to
set the calibration is to measure the volume of replenisher that is delivered into a graduated vessel.
g) It is important that the pH of the developer is maintained to 0.3 pH units relative to
fresh developer. See Additional Notes.
h) Ensure the drains and plumbing are congured correctly. Any discharges to drain must comply with local
regulations.
i) If necessary, correctly position all spray bars.
j) Ensure that all other processing parameters have been set correctly.

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Additional Notes
Setting Brush Pressures
Several methods are available for determining optimum brush pressures in the prewash, developer and rinse
sections of the processor. Set the prewash and rinse brushes to medium pressure. Set the developer brushes to
a medium to hard brush pressure evenly across the width of the plate. Do not over-tighten the brushes as this will
damage the brushes and provide no benet. Over-tightening the brushes can result in plate bending or crashing.
It should be possible to achieve uniform development for dierent plate gauges at one setting of developer brush
pressure.

Preheat Setting
The preheat value on the processor has to be set to give the required preheat plate temperature. Adhesive
temperature step wedges are used. The recommended temperature strips are Thermax B 10-level strips having
10 values from 77C to 127C.
Thermax strips are used to set the preheat temperature on the processor. These strips comprise steps of
increasing temperature sensitivity. When the plate reaches a certain temperature, the step will change from white
to grey/black. The highest step on the strip to become grey/black is the preheat temperature. Several strips
should be applied to the back of a plate, at the leading edge, centre and trailing edge and aligned in the direction of
processing. The plate should be fresh, do not use a plate which has been processed, the coating can aect plate
temperature. After applying strips to the back of the plate, process the plate as normal. Read the temperature
from the strips. Adjust the preheat setting on the processor if necessary and re-check the plate temperature with
a new plate.

Check the Developer pH


Use a good quality pH meter and calibrated electrode to measure the pH of the developer in the processor tank.
ETAG recommends the HANNA HI 991000 pH /Temperature meter, and the WinLab Data Line pH-Meter with
the WinLab Elektrode pH/T30.
pH electrodes need careful storage and calibration to give an accurate reading. Calibrate the pH electrode with
pH 7 and pH 10 buers. Do not keep the electrode in the developer solution for long periods as damage to the
glass membrane can occur. Rinse the electrodes with water after use and store in water or pH 7 buer.
Large errors are possible at the high pH values of Violet 500 developer. High pH solutions will damage the glass
membrane on a pH electrode after prolonged immersion in the developer. To minimise errors, it is recommended
that the pH of fresh developer is measured. Then measure the pH of the developer in the processor. Compare the
two results. The advised operating range for pH is 0.3 pH units vs. fresh developer. Change the replenishment
rates if the pH goes outside the limits. Increase the anti-oxidation replenishment to increase the pH, and decrease
the anti-oxidation replenishment to decrease the pH.

Kodak Violet Print digital plates


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General Processor Settings for Violet Print plates


Parameter

Setting

Transport speed

Set to give a dip-to-nip time in the developer of 19 to 21 seconds.

Preheat

Set to give Thermax strip reading on the back of the plate of 110C
- 116C. 104C - 116C is allowed on processors where the preheat
uniformity is not good, but this may give a little more variability in
high screen ruling at tints.
Background fogging may occur at a Thermax strip temperature of
121C or higher.

Prewash

Water at ambient temperature


1. Fresh water: this is the recommended conguration.

Prewash options

2. Recirculated water: choose a high setting for the water


replenishment rate

Prewash brush type

1 Bristle brush

Prewash brush speed

Choose a high brush speed

Prewash brush nip pressure

Medium pressure

Prewash lter (if applicable)

50 micron cotton woven disposable lters are recommended if there


is an option

Developer

Fill the developer tank with Violet 500 developer

Developer temperature

23C 1C
A chiller unit will be required for the processor

Developer pH

12.2

Developer pH limits in the


processor

0.3 pH units versus fresh developer


Whichever comes sooner:

Developer life

An upper limit on plate throughput of:


1000 sq metres for a 20 litre developer tank volume
2000 sq metres for a 40 litre developer tank volume
3000 sq metres for a 60 litre developer tank volume
Up to 8 weeks

Developer top-up

Not required

Replenisher

Insert the replenisher pipe into a container of Violet 550R replenisher

Replenisher pH

13.0

(Continued on next page)

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Parameter

Setting
For plate throughput = 80 mls/m2
For O and Standby anti-oxidation
= 40 ml/hr for 850 mm and smaller width processors
= 80 ml/hr for greater than 850 mm processors

Replenishment rates

Note: a higher anti-oxidation rate may be required if the processor does


not have an anti-oxidation cover protecting the developer.
For 1250 mm and wider processors, the anti-oxidation rate may need
to be set higher.
Fine tuning of the replenishment rates may be required to maintain
the developer pH within the specied range of 0.3 pH units versus
fresh developer, depending on the plate throughput prole.

Number and type of developer


brushes

2 Bristle brushes (hard brushes, if there is an option)

Developer section brush speed

Choose a high brush rotation speed.

Developer section brush nip


pressure

Medium to hard pressure

Developer lter section

50 micron cotton woven disposable lters are recommended

Rinse

Water at ambient temperature


1. Fresh water: this is the recommended conguration.

Rinse options

2. Recirculated water: choose a high setting for the water


replenishment rate.

Rinse brush type

1 Bristle brush, if applicable

Rinse brush speed

Choose a high brush speed, if applicable.

Rinse brush nip pressure

Medium pressure, if applicable

Rinse lter (if applicable)

50 micron cotton woven disposable lters are recommended


if there is an option

Finisher life

Typically 1 to 4 weeks

Plate drying temperature

50C

Prewash and rinse bath life

Processor cleaning regime

Fresh water drain and clean weekly


Recirculation drain daily, clean weekly
Rinse thoroughly with water, and avoid exposing the developer section to white light for prolonged periods.
See Processor Care section.

Waste disposal

Comply with local regulations.

Compatibility with competitors


chemistry

Always use Kodak developer, replenisher and nishing gum.


Compatibility is not guaranteed with competitors chemistry.

Contact your local Kodak technical support if you need set-up information for a specic processor.

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Processor Care
A regular maintenance and cleaning regime will produce a more consistent plate, minimising both downtime and
remakes.
During any maintenance of the processor and the handling of chemicals, suitable safety glasses and chemicalresistant gloves should be worn. Always refer to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

Processor care checklist


Daily/shift change

1. Check that guards and interlocks are in position.


2. Check volumes in replenisher, nisher and overow containers.
3. Check that developer temperatures are correct and the processor is in
Ready State to accept a plate.
4. Check for developer and nisher circulation.
5. Check for correct water ow.
6. Check that plates are exiting the processor dry.
7. Check all spray bars are working correctly. If not, clear blockages and/or
change lters.
8. On water recirculation processors, drain and rell prewash and rinse water
tanks.

Weekly

1. Remove and clean prewash roller.


2. Check for leaks.
3. Lower the developer temperature set point by 2C to check that the chiller
is working properly.
4. Drain and clean the prewash and rinse water tanks. Check and clean the
lters, if applicable.
5. Check the condition of the gum. Replace if necessary.

Every developer change

1. Isolate the processor and empty all the tanks.


2. Clean the developer section under safelight, or subdued white light. Strong
white light could harden any coating deposits left in the developer section. It should be possible to clean the developer section without removing
brushes or rollers. Remove the developer lters, and using a wash down
hose, thoroughly clean developer tank, rollers and brushes. Avoid the use
of acidic processor cleaners as residues could lower the developer pH considerably. Ensure that the wash water is completely drained from the tank.
3. Thoroughly clean the prewash and rinse sections with a wash down hose.
Cleaning should be possible without removing the brushes.
4. Clean the gum section with a wash down hose.
5. If the processor is very dirty, remove all the rollers and brushes and clean
the tanks thoroughly with water. Wash the brushes and rollers with water.
If the rollers are heavily contaminated it is possible to clean them with a UV
wash (e.g. Varn UV Wash). Rinse the rollers thoroughly with water after
using any chemical washes.
6. If the brushes and rollers have been removed, make sure that the brush
pressures are correctly reset when re-installing the brushes and make sure
that all rollers are replaced in their original positions.
7. Install a new set of lters.
8. Rell the developer section with fresh Violet 500 developer.
9. Change gum barrel with fresh, working-strength 850S nisher.
10. Rell prewash and rinse tanks, if appropriate. Add Kodak 150 additive K,
as directed on the container, to the prewash and rinse section if bacterial
fouling is a problem.

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Baking Parameters

Exposure for baking

Normal exposure

Baked plate nisher

Kodak 850S plate nisher

Baking solutions

Kodak Ultratherm baking solution


Kodak 804 baking solution (EAMER)

Baked plate cleaner

Kodak 550 plate cleaner

Conveyor oven

220C at 1.0 m/minute1

Static oven

200C for 8 minutes1

Colour of baked plate

Unchanged from non-baked plate

Parameters are for guidance only.

Platesetter Exposure and Linearisation Set-Up


General
The operating exposure for the plate is dened as the exposure needed to give good image resolution and run
length. Violet Print plates are negative working. The recommended operating exposure, as expressed by the
Stouer or UGRA step wedge reading, is chosen to give good run length without excessive dot gain or loss of line
resolution. Violet Print plates will show better line resolution and require less linearisation if the exposure is below
the operating exposure, but the run length capability of the plate will fall.
The dot gain for Violet Print plates is non-linear at the operating exposure, with the degree of non-linearity
becoming greater as the screen frequency increases. Non-linearity also depends on the exposure; it is higher
at over-exposures and lower at under-exposures. For optimum tonal resolution at the operating exposure,
linearisation is required.
The type of platesetter will inuence the resolution delivered by the plates. For internal drum platesetters up to
2% - 98% at 200 lpi can be achieved, although generally 175 lpi is recommended. For atbed platesetters up to
2% - 98% at 175 lpi can be achieved, although generally 150 lpi is recommended.
With the processor set up and ready to go, the platesetter can now be set up for exposure and linearisation.

Equipment
Step Wedge
In this document, we refer to UGRA and Stouer step wedges. Specically, by UGRA we mean the UGRA Plate
Control Wedge 1982, and by Stouer we mean the Stouer 21 Step step wedge. These step wedges are in
intervals of 0.15 density units. For the UGRA step wedge, step 1 = 0.15 neutral density units, and for the Stouer
step wedge, step 2 = 0.15 neutral density units. UGRA step 1 = Stouer step 2, UGRA step 2 = Stouer step 3,
etc.
Plate Reading Device
For linearisation of the tonal range you will need to use a standard densitometer or plate reader. For
densitometers, such as the Gretag D19C, the Yule-Nielsen value is 1.07. Plate readers such as the Gretag IC Plate
II can also be used and these do not require a Yule-Nielsen factor to be applied.

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Using Step Wedges to Set Platesetter Exposure


The step wedge is taped onto the coating (emulsion) surface. This is done by attaching small pieces of tape to the
top and bottom of the step wedge, ensuring that the step wedge is rmly fastened to the plate. Avoid covering the
scales on the step wedge when taping the top and bottom. Be sure to place the step wedge parallel to the gripper
edge. The plate area covered by the step wedge is given a solid exposure on the platesetter. After exposure,
remove the step wedge and process the plate as normal.
The image of the step wedge on the plate may show weak tail steps, depending on the processing conditions.
The tail steps can be removed by gently rubbing the step wedge image with a cloth or wipe dampened with
water. They become more dicult to remove as the processed plate ages. Do not use developer to rub away the
step wedge image.
Evaluate the step wedge readings either visually, or with a densitometer or spectrodensitometer. Visual
assessment of the step wedge image can give rise to problems of interpretation. An alternative method is to
measure the density of each step with a densitometer or spectrodensitometer. If you are using a Gretag D19C
densitometer, use the Plate Measurement function and take the solid readings at each step on the step wedge.
For other plate readers, make the readings with the device set on cyan.
Adjust the platesetter exposure power to give the required step wedge readings. Note, this may have to be by
trial and error since the exposure units on the platesetter are not always linear. However, as a guide, to increase
the step wedge reading by 1 step, increase the exposure by 1.4 times (e.g. 100 increased to 100x1.4 = 140); to
decrease the step wedge by 1 step, decrease the exposure by 0.7 times (e.g. 100 reduced to 100x0.7 = 70).
Aim to get step wedge readings as illustrated in the pictures and charts below. These step wedge readings are for
guidance only. Lower step solids may give shorter press run lengths but better line resolution and less dot gain.
Higher step wedge readings may not give improved press performance.
Note: Step wedges become damaged and worn or discoloured with use.
Replace with a new step wedge occasionally. Step wedges that have accidentally
gone through the processor cannot be used again and must be discarded.

UGRA and Stouer


step wedge image,
after cleaning with
water-damp cloth

Exposure for Violet Print plates


UGRA
solid 2, clear 4/5 after cleaning a fresh plate with a water-damp cloth.
Stouer
solid 3, clear 5/6 after cleaning a fresh plate with a water-damp cloth.
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Page 11

Using Dot Gain Measurements to Set Exposure


It may be the case that a step wedge cannot be used, for example if the platesetter and processor are in-line
and it is impossible to recover the step wedge from the plate before it enters the processor. Mid-tone dot gains
can be used in these situations. However, platesetters will have varying degrees of dot gain depending on the
architecture of the platesetter (internal drum or at bed), the design of the optics and the screen ruling and dot
shape being used.
Check with your local Kodak technical representative if you need information for a specic platesetter.

Linearising the Platesetter


Expose a plate to a digital tonal range at the operating exposure determined using a step wedge or other method.
Measure the tonal values with a reliable densitometer or plate reader. Input the measured values to the calibration
manager available in the platesetter RIP. Make another plate. The tonal range on the plate should now be linear,
typically to within 1% of the nominal dot percentage. Press calibration can be applied to the linearised tonal
settings if required.

Note: it may be necessary to linearise each plate gauge.


Although the plate speed as measured with a step wedge may be the same,
dierences in the platesetter and in the plate processing can introduce dierences in the dot gain curves.

Press
As with all CTP plate products, Violet Print plates require compatible fount solutions and press chemicals to
obtain optimum press performance.
Please contact your local Kodak technical representative to advise on compatible pressroom products.

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Page 12

Troubleshooting Plate / Platesetter / Processor problems


Dot loss on the plate
Room conditions

Must be used in a controlled environment of 21C - 24C and


40% - 60% relative humidity. High humidity will lead to dot loss and
weak solid images.

Plate left too long between


exposing and processing latent image stability

Process within 10 minutes after exposure.


Check the age and the pH of the developer.
Check the preheat and developer brush pressures.

Processor related

Read the label on chemistry containers before adding chemistry to the


processor. It is important that developer and replenisher are used as
instructed. You cannot substitute one for the other.

Storage conditions of the plates

Ensure that the packs of plates are stored correctly.

Change in plate speed

Check plate speed with a step wedge. Increase the platesetter power
and re-linearise.

Drift in laser power

Reset exposure, contact platesetter manufacturer.

Dot gain on the plate


Room conditions

Must be used in a controlled environment of 21C - 24C and


40% - 60% relative humidity. High temperature will lead to an
increase in plate speed and therefore dot gain.

Plate fogged before or after


exposure

Check safelight integrity; ensure the plate is not left more than 15
minutes under the recommended safelight. Violet Print plates have no
tolerance to white light.
Check the age and the pH of the developer.
Check the preheat and developer brush pressures.

Processor related

Read the label on chemistry containers before adding chemistry to the


processor. It is important that developer and replenisher are used as
instructed. You cannot substitute one for the other.

Storage conditions of the plates

Ensure that the packs of plates are stored correctly.

Change in plate speed

Check plate speed with a step wedge. Decrease the platesetter power
and re-linearise.

Drift in laser power

Reset exposure, contact platesetter manufacturer.

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Page 13

Unevenness in tints around the plate


Developer brush pressure

Check the pressure is set correct and that it is even from side to side.

Platesetter related

For example, dirty optics, incorrectly aligned optical path, out-of-focus.


Contact the platesetter manufacturer for technical support.

Uneven plate coating /


sensitivity (e.g. edge fogging,
broken external wrapping)

Try new batch or pack of plates.

Uneven coating weight of either


the photo-layer or top-layer

Try a new plate batch.

Out-of-focus condition on
platesetter - plate not suciently
in contact with the platesetter
drum or on the platesetter
atbed

Check contact between plate and platesetter bed. Check that the
platesetter bed is clean. Look for plate edge burr, coil set.

Periodic banding seen in the background, especially in the halftones


Developer brush pressure. On
some processors getting the
correct brush pressure can be
dicult, especially for multiple
gauge users and at high screen
rulings. This leads to processor
banding parallel to the developer
brushes.

Optimise the developer brush pressures. Change the developer more


frequently than recommended in the set-up procedure.

Exhausted developer

See above. Check that the developer usage rate is within


recommended limits.

Over-exposure

It might be the case that light leakage or are during exposure is


making the background more dicult to develop. Check that the
exposure is correct for the application.

Platesetter related

For example, dirty optics, incorrectly aligned optical path, out-of-focus.


Contact the platesetter manufacturer for technical support.

Loss of detail in text or linework, relief text lling in


Plate has been given too much
exposure

Re-check that the operating exposure is correct.

Development brush pressure

See comments in the box above.

Platesetter related

For example, dirty optics, incorrectly aligned optical path, out-of-focus.


Contact the platesetter manufacturer for technical support.

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Weak image on the plate


Room conditions

Humidity too high, leading to slow plate speed and weak image.

Storage conditions of the plates

Ensure that the packs of plates are stored correctly.

Change in plate speed

Check plate speed with a step wedge. Increase exposure if necessary.


Check the pH of the developer in the processor.

pH of the developer in the


processor is too high

Read the label on chemistry containers before adding chemistry to the


processor. It is important that developer and replenisher are used as
instructed. You cannot substitute one for the other.
Check that the replenishment rates are set correctly. If necessary, ne
tune (reduce) the anti-oxidation rate to maintain pH during the life of
the developer.

Developer temperature too high

Check processor settings are correct and the developer chiller is


working. Use a hand-held thermometer to check the developer
temperature.

Processor throughput speed


too slow

Check that the processor settings are correct. Measure dip-to-nip


time in the developer.

Lack of developer circulation

May be due to blocked lters or closed taps.

Preheat temperature too low

Check the preheat temperature by using a Thermax strip on the plate


back.

Platesetter related

For example, dirty optics, loss of laser power, out-of-focus. Contact


the platesetter manufacturer for technical support.

Background stain on the plate


Preheat temperature too high

Check the preheat temperature by using a Thermax strip on the plate


back.

Plate fogged

Ensure that the plate has not been exposed to white light, or left out in
safelight for too long.

pH of the developer in the


processor is too low

Check the pH of the developer in the processor. Ensure that


replenisher and not developer is being used to replenish. Check that
the replenishment rates are set correctly. If necessary, ne tune
(increase) the anti-oxidation rate to maintain pH during the life of the
developer.

Developer temperature too low

Check processor settings and that the developer heater is working.


Use a hand-held thermometer to check the developer temperature.

Developer exhausted

Change developer.

Processor speed too fast

Check that the processor settings are correct. Measure dip-to-nip


time in the developer.

Brushes in the developer section


- pressure set too low.

Check and adjust brush pressure. Renew if necessary.

Worn-out or damaged brushes

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Page 15

Thinner gauge plates are not fully developing, but thicker gauge plates are correct
Developer brush pressure not
set correctly

The developer brush pressure should be set to the thinnest gauge plate
to give a slight resistance as a piece of plate is passed between the
brush and the developer bed.

De-interleaving problems paper dicult to remove


Room humidity is low

Maintain the specied relative humidity of 40% to 60%.

Interleaving is stuck to the plate


surface

Damage during transportation, storage or use.

Platesetter related

Mechanical problems. Contact the platesetter manufacturer for


technical support.

Plate transport, or punching problems


Plates are bent or kinked due to
mishandling

Use correct storage, handling and loading procedures.

Plates have excessive coil-set

Contact the local Kodak technical support.

Equipment fault

Contact the Platesetter / Equipment Engineer.

Scratch or scu marks in the image


Brushes in the developer section
- pressure too high

Check and adjust brush pressure.

Debris in the processor

Clean the processor.

Unacceptable variability in the image quality


Reduce the screen ruling being used.
Screen ruling being used is
outside the system capability

For internal drum platesetters the recommended screen ruling is


175 lpi (upper limit 200 lpi).
For atbed platesetters the recommended screen ruling is 150 lpi
(upper limit 175 lpi).

Condition of the plate batches

Check batch age. Check storage conditions.

Room conditions

Check variability in room temperature and humidity over the shift


period.

Platesetter related

For example, dirty optics, variable laser power, incorrectly aligned


optical path. Contact the platesetter manufacturer for technical
support.

Kodak Violet Print digital plates


CIM/ETAG May 2006

Page 16

Troubleshooting Press
Scumming at start up or early into the press run
Scum is visible on the plate and cannot be removed with water. (Coating still present in non-image areas of plate). To
test for background scum, use a negative deletion pen on the area. If the plates no longer take ink, it is a scumming
condition. If the deleted area continues to take ink, then it is a tinting problem.
Over-exposed plate

Ensure that the platesetter is set at the correct operating exposure


setting.

Plate was processed at excessive


speed or a too low developer
temperature

Set processor to correct settings.

Plate developer exhausted or


contaminated

Change to fresh developer when the maximum plate throughput or


developer life has been reached.
Ensure rinse water does not feedback into the developer section of the
processor.

Insucient processor
brush action

Check the condition of the developer, prewash and rinse section


brushes. Adjust or replace if necessary.

Plate nisher is exhausted

Change to fresh nisher when the maximum plate throughput has


been reached.

Insucient desensitisation by
plate nisher

Check the condition of the nisher application rollers. Adjust or replace


if necessary.

Dampening system
contaminated with ink and/or
wash up chemicals

Wash the dampening roller sleeves regularly. With older conventional


dampening systems, the roller sleeves require replacing more often
than with newer systems.
Clean rollers with solvent cleaner and desensitise chrome rollers.
Check fountain solution dosage.

Too much ink being run

Re-adjust ink/water balance for minimum ink and fountain solution


feed.

Insucient dampening

Ensure sucient alcohol or alcohol replacement is being used for


the type of dampening system used. Do not mix one step fountain
solutions to less than the manufacturers minimum recommended
concentrations.

Excessive roller and/or plate to


blanket pressures

Reset the rollers to the correct roller stripe width.


Correct the plate and/or blanket packing to the minimum needed for
good ink transfer.

Kodak Violet Print digital plates


CIM/ETAG May 2006

Page 17

Scumming after a clean start up and several thousand impressions into a run
Scum is visible on the plate and cannot be wiped o with water. (Coating still present in non-image areas of plate).
To test for background scum, use a negative deletion pen on the area. If the plates no longer take ink, it is a scumming
condition. If the deleted area continues to take ink, then it is a tinting problem.
Fountain solution is too weak

Increase the fountain solution concentration, but do not exceed the


manufacturers recommended amount.

Fountain solution is too warm

Check fountain solution chillers are maintaining a correct and constant


temperature of the fountain solution during the press run.

Insucient amount of alcohol


in fountain solution, if alcohol is
used

Replenish alcohol to maintain a constant level during a press run.


Ensure automatic alcohol level controllers are functioning correctly.

The non-image area of the plate


is worn excessively
Fountain solution contaminated
from ink and / or paper
feedback, resulting in too high
a pH with unbuered fountain
solution

To prevent excessive non-image wear, wash blankets more often


during the print run.
Check plates, blanket and forme roller pressures.
Drain fountain solution and replace with a fresh batch. To reduce
excessive contamination, change fountain solution more frequently or
use a solution with better buering.

Tinting
Emulsied ink suspended in the fountain solution appears on the printed sheet, but is easily wiped o the plate with
water. To test for tinting, use a negative deletion pen on the area. If the plate continues to take ink, then it is a tinting
problem. If the deleted area no longer takes ink, it is a scumming condition.
Ink pigments bleed into the
fountain solution

Reduce the amount of alcohol or change to an alcohol replacement,


which is compatible with Violet Print plates.

Excessive roller and printing


pressures

Check and adjust roller pressures and plate to blanket pressures to the
minimum needed for good ink transfer.

Fountain solution is too acidic,


breaking down the ink

Adjust the pH to a higher value. Consult with the fountain solution


manufacturer for a solution more compatible with the water used.

Substrate attack

The plate substrate can be damaged if the pH of the developer in


the processor is too high. Check if the pH of the developer in the
processor is within 0.3 pH units of fresh developer. If necessary,
change the developer in the processor. Check that the replenishment
rates are set correctly. If necessary, ne tune (reduce) the antioxidation rate to maintain pH during the life of the developer.

Kodak Violet Print digital plates


CIM/ETAG May 2006

Page 18

Ink and water balance


Frequent water feed adjustments have to be made to maintain print quality.
Excessive amount of fountain
solution is being run

Reduce water feed. If that results in sensitivity well into the press run,
the fountain solution may be too weak. Increase the concentration of
fountain solution.

Dampening rollers
improperly set

Reset the rollers.

Ink rollers improperly set

Reset the inking rollers to the press manufacturers specications.

Image blinding at start up


Image will not accept ink or is slow to roll up.
Too much nisher on plate

Wash the plate with water. Check nisher section of processor for
correct roller and settings and appropriate ow.

Plate cleaners have dried on the


plate

Thoroughly rinse the plate and never allow plate cleaners to dry on the
image areas. Sometimes wiping over the plate with the same cleaner
used initially and following immediately with a water rinse can revive
a plate. Image can be lost at the start of a re-run if an unsuitable plate
cleaner has been used to wash the plate at the end of the previous run.

Glazed rollers or blanket

Clean and deglaze or replace rollers and blanket.

Ink is too short and / or too high


in tack

Consult the ink manufacturer.

Ink is too water-resistant or


taking up too much fountain
solution

Reduce fountain solution feed. If problem persists, consult the ink


manufacturer.

Fountain solution contaminated


with paper sizing

Drain and replace the fountain solution with a fresh batch. If


the problem persists, try a dierent paper or consult the paper
manufacturer.

Weak image

See comments in Troubleshooting - Plate /Platesetter /Processing


Problems on page 15 under weak image.

Image blinding after several thousand impressions.


Image sharpens, or loss of image in isolated areas.
Ink, fountain solution, paper,
plate incompatibility

Chemicals from inks and paper can react with the fountain solution
and the plate surface to form insoluble, water receptive compounds on
plate image and non-image areas. Consult consumable manufacturers.

Alcohol free concentrates and


/ or alcohol replacements are
mixed incorrectly

After excess amounts of alcohol replacements are used, the ink will
lose tack and will also loose its ability to be transferred in the ink train.
Consult with the fountain solution manufacturer.

Kodak Violet Print digital plates


CIM/ETAG May 2006

Page 19

Plate image wear

Abrasive ink and /or paper

Use a less abrasive ink. Some white inks, or opaque inks mixed with
white, can be very abrasive. Kodak Violet Print plates should be baked
when printing with UV inks. Plates can also be baked for additional run
length for abrasive press conditions.

Paper bres, coating or llers


piling on image areas of blanket

Change to a paper with better pick resistance, change to an ink with


less tack, reduce press speed or wash blanket more frequently during
the run.

Plate and / or blanket packed


too high

Reduce packing to a minimum pressure needed for sucient ink


transfer. Refer to press manufacturer specications.

Rollers set too tightly to the


plate. (Wear is more pronounced on

Reset rollers to manufacturers specications.

the lead edge of the plate)

Insucient bearer pressure


(Wear is evenly spaced streaks parallel
with the plate cylinder)

Increase bearer pressure so that the cylinders are not riding


on the gears. Refer to press manufacturer specications.

Press chemicals cause blanket or


rollers to swell

Use chemicals which are compatible with the blanket or rollers.

Press chemicals are not


compatible with the plate
coating

Test the chemicals by placing on a solid area of a processed plate for


approximately 5 minutes. Wash o with water and check for damage
to the coating.

Plate cleaners are not


compatible with the plate
coating

Test cleaners as above.

Fountain solution is too acidic or


alkaline

Check pH of the fountain solution. If the pH is 3.5 or lower and mixed


to the minimum manufacturers recommended concentration, it may
not be suitable with the water used. Consult with the fountain solution
manufacturer for alternatives.

Ink starvation (Image wear takes


place in an area where there is
an ink ghost)

The thinner ink lm causes plate wear in the ghost areas before the
rest of the image area. Run more ink if possible or use ink with less
pigment loading. An oscillating ink roller may reduce ghosting, but if
pigment content of the ink is too high, the entire plate may wear early.

Sharpening of image, particularly


highlight dots during the press
run

Consult blanket and roller manufacturers for recommendations.

Check press chemicals, fount concentration and temperature.


Check alcohol percentage. Alcohol at concentrations above 10% can
induce image break-down during the press run.
Check ink quality and oleophilic feeding properties, try other inks.
Recheck that the operating exposure is correct, and that the platesetter
is working correctly with even exposure across the plate.

Short run length (unbaked


plates)

Check Thermax strip, adjust preheat setting if necessary.


Check that all processing parameters are in specication.
Check humidity in prepress room; relative humidity should be no
higher than 60%.
Check if plates were processed within 10 minutes after exposure.

(Continued on next page)

Kodak Violet Print digital plates


CIM/ETAG May 2006

Page 20

Check press parameters are optimised.

Short run length (baked plates)

Check that the plate is fully baked with the deletion gel test. Place a
deletion cross on a solid area of baked plate for 5 minutes. Wash o
with water and check for any attack to the coating. If no attack, the
plate is fully baked.
Check that the baking parameters are correct and the oven is
maintaining the correct temperature across the whole plate.

Non-image wear
Reduce water feed if possible. Change to a blanket with less tack
Paper bres, llers or coating
pile in non-image areas of the
blanket

Change to a more moisture resistant paper. Wash blanket more


frequently.
Consult paper manufacturer.

Ink takes up fountain solution


too fast. (Metal polish following
an image area)
An abrasive ink (usually the
black) prints back onto the
blanket of the next printing
unit, polishing non-image area.
Polished areas show
the images of prior plate
Polishing of non-image area

Try a dierent type of fountain solution. If the problem persists,


consult the ink manufacturer.

Use a more absorbent paper, a faster setting ink, a shorter ink or


reduce ink feed to the prior unit if possible.
Wash blanket more frequently.

Check plates, blankets and forme roller settings.

Plate cracking
Plate not tight on the press
cylinder

Check for t after mounting the plate.

Plate packing short or not


aligned correctly

Check the packing for proper length. Make sure the packing cannot
move during the run. Carefully align the packing sheets during initial
mounting.

Plate bender not square

Check bender alignment. Measure the plate for squareness.

Incorrect plate thickness

Check thickness of plate for correct mil spec.

Cylinder gap dirty

Clean the cylinder gap.

Cylinder edge has burr or


build-up of dried ink

Clean and de-burr the cylinder edge.

Lead and / or tail edge of plate


improperly bent

Check plate bends for proper t in the cylinder gaps.

Excessive ink and / or


dampening roller pressure
causes lead edge of plate to ex.

Reset rollers for minimum recommended plate contact.

Kodak Violet Print digital plates


CIM/ETAG May 2006

Page 21

Plate scratching
Improper plate handling

Handle plates with care. Most CTP plates are more sensitive to
improper handling than conventional plates.

Roller contamination with


hard particles. (Continuous
scratches around the entire plate
in the direction of the cylinder
rotation)

Locate and eliminate the source of the contamination, remove the


particles if possible or scrub the rollers. Replace the rollers if the
problem persists.

Gouges in plate
Blanket is contaminated with
hard particles

Locate and eliminate the source of the contamination, replace the


blanket and clean the inking system.

Kodak Violet Print digital plates


CIM/ETAG May 2006

Page 22

Subject to technical change without


notice.

Eastman Kodak Company


343 State Street
Rochester, NY 14650 USA
Kodak, 2006. Kodak and Violet Print are trademarks of Kodak.
All other trademarks and registered trademarks used herein are
the property of their respective owners.

W.PC.O28.0506.en.01