With over 6000 installations worldwide, CRON is now one of the world’s leading producers of CTP (Computer-To-Plate) equipment. They are now manufactured in a state-of-the-art factory to ISO9001 and ISO140001 standards. Unlike many of its rivals, Cron manufactures every component itself (with the exception of the lasers), and extensive investment in R&D has led to several innovative features, common to all Cron models.
The current Cron range incorporates some genuinely unique technology. For example, the laser head transport system employs a frictionless magnetic laser carriage for greater accuracy and reliability, requiring no maintenance – a big improvement on the ‘worm screw’ design found on rival machines. Cron has patented automatic laser focusing, patented internal temperature control, and a patented side gauge system – all of which add up to a reliable plate registration accuracy to within 10 microns.
The Cron range is highly configurable and spans every conceivable format from B3 up to VLF (‘Very Large Format’ – used mainly in specialist packaging applications) so there is a system to suit every market niche. The more popular formats are the 26 (B3) and 36 (SRA1) – the latter being the perfect companion to produce 8-up work with machines such as the Ryobi and Komori which offer considerable cost savings compared to full B1 machines.
All variants include built-in punch systems and punching on all models is accurate up to 0.01mm. With resolutions up to 9,600dpi possible, accuracy is maintained even at a microscopic level. This is also helped by further patented elements within the vacuum system holding the plate to the drum securely.
Plate and workflow compatibility
Cron equipment is compatible with all major plates including processless; and they will also fit seamlessly into all existing pdf workflows, although SOS will supply its own workflow if required. To keep downtime down to an absolute minimum all the service diagnostics for the Cron CTP system can be carried out remotely by our engineers.
The ‘H’ variant offers a unique space-saving 3-in-1 design, with autoloader, de-interleaving and punching built in. This means it is around two-thirds the size of equivalent alternatives, which can make a big difference where space is at a premium.
The ‘G+’ variant has greater modularity; it is available with a range of autoloaders with a high capacity single size tray, or multiple trays depending on work profile. The Cron multi-tray autoloader is significantly more compact than the bulky equivalents employed by rival manufacturers. Manual loading is also an option. Switching between plate sizes, plate thickness and punch configuration is entirely automatic.
The industry trend has been towards the use of processless plates, which offer many benefits. Cron machines have been at the forefront of delivering processless technology.
However, there are some who prefer to use a processor for various reasons – for example, when using a UV press, the press chemistry often does not suit processless. In these cases we supply a range of processor units which link seamlessly to all models.
While most plates – processed and processless – are thermal, Cron is unique in offering a UV plate option. A UV offset plate is uniquely durable and easy to handle – and crucially, plate costs are considerably lower. This saving quickly adds up to dramatically reduce the lifetime cost of the system. Compatibility and reliability of supply is assured with the use of Blackwood plates, made by Cron’s sister company and distributed from a European hub.