CRON brings major diversification to its drupa campaign
• Revolutionary new plate and digital inker
• Six new products illustrate company's dedication to improve value chain from plate to printed product

The highlights of CRON's drupa campaign take the company out of its traditional CTP market and into broader fields of offset press optimization, plate production and flexo packaging. Its theme for the show, "True Image, True Color, True Print" reflects the company's pursuit of the ultimate solution to cost-effective, fast and perfect print production through creative technology application.

"Our future technologies have been inspired by our customers' need for a 100% stable and reliable relationship between plate characteristics, CTP imaging, plate processing and on-press settings," says Mike Xiang, CEO and Founder. "This is the only way to truly ensure perfect and stunning print first time, every time in the most efficient and economic manner. CRON's Holy Grail."

In all, CRON will bring six new products to drupa (Hall 5, stand B24) to demonstrate its progress towards ‘perfect print', from processless plates to a totally unique approach to offset inking.

NEW - DIGITAL INKER
Closing the loop between prepress and press is not yet perfect but increasingly common on new offset presses. But as a technique it still eludes thousands of existing press users. CRON has solved this problem with a revolutionary digital inking system which enhances image quality, reduces ink usage and dramatically shortens the makeready time between jobs. Being modular, it can be retrofitted to any offset press.

"We are confident that our plate and imaging quality and accuracy are world class," says Mike Xiang. "Making sure that level of quality is transferred to the press is a key objective of our new inking system, giving printers a powerful new tool to compete against digital print."

NEW FLEXO CTP
CRON HDI Flexo CTP products are available in two formats: 900mm for label applications (to be shown at drupa) and 1600mm for general packaging work. Both are compatible with all digital photopolymer plates, ablative films and polyester-based letterpress plates.

Two versions of each model are available to enable users to tune production to their particular needs. "S" variants have a maximum resolution of 5080 dpi as standard and an exposure speed of 1.3 square metres per hour. "H" variants have a maximum resolution of 9600 dpi and a speed of 3.2 square metres per hour. Both use the same exposure platform, adapted from CRON's latest magnetic linear drive system which has gained much praise in the offset CTP market for its ability to image accurate and high quality dots from 1-99%.

NEW - UV and THERMAL PLATES
Two new plates join CRON's portfolio. Sold under the Blackwood brand, they not only streamline the production process but also reduce costs and enable a higher level of environmental responsibility. The plates are manufactured under license by CRON's Blackwood plant which, since opening in 2014, has made substantial inroads into the world market through high quality products, including Thermal, UV and Double Coated UV Ink resistant plates, at very affordable prices.

The new Blackwood low chemistry UV plate is unique. It minimises the consumption of chemicals and water for UV exposed plates. With a simple ‘wash out' bath, plates are press ready in seconds and exhibit exacting dot reproduction, from 1-98%, for either stochastic screening (20 micron) or conventional screening up to 200 lpi. The new low-chem UV plate will be commercially available in the second half of 2016.

The new Blackwood process-less Thermal plate is compatible with all thermal platesetters and requires no processing or post-imaging wash out. Mounted directly on the press after imaging, it delivers exceptional printing characteristics with a 1-99% tonal range in both conventional and stochastic screening (200 lpi or 20 micron), fast run up, minimum usage of dampening solution and a low carbon footprint. Previewed at drupa, this plate will be available in early 2017.

NEW - AUTOMATION FOR VLF CTP
The modular design philosophy of CRON's existing platesetters means that they can be supplied standalone or as a fully automated plate line, with feed, transport, punching and processing options for inline and unmanned operation. The latest addition is a new Autoplate unit, now available worldwide for VLF CTP units. Offering faster and accurate loading for the 100 plates that can be held online, the new combination is ideal for book and web offset printers as a lower-cost, latest technology replacement for existing equipment.

NEW - AUTOMATED CTP
The first in a line of all-in-one CTP solutions will be previewed by CRON at drupa. The new solution combines cassette input with precision imaging, punching and transport, providing a low cost, easy-to-use and compact unit which is easy to maintain.

The exposure engine is based on CRON's market-leading magnetic linear drive platform which provides fault-free imaging across a wide choice of resolutions with registration accuracy up to 0.01mm and a tonal range 1%-99%, in either conventional or stochastic screening.

The first all-in-one solution (660mm/26" format) will be commercially available in the third quarter of 2016, with larger formats up to 1168mm/46" targeted for 2017. The existing range of CTP engines will be sold in parallel giving printers the choice to go for an all-in-one or modular solution.

"We are rigorously investigating the entire print value chain to identify ways in which our creative use of technology can improve the quality and efficiency of output while reducing viable print runs, turnaround times and costs," concludes Mike Xiang. "We will continue to strive to get as close as possible to zero waste, zero color inaccuracies, zero start-up time and zero downtime. Perfect printing for all!"

CRON will feature a selection of its existing products at drupa. This includes Newspaper and Commercial CTP products together with a range of complementary automation options: autoloaders, punches, bridges, processors, processor control systems and software.