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1.1     Background of the study

Printing is a custom manufacturing business. A printer’s success depends on satisfying customers and bringing in more revenue than what is spent on manufacturing or production of quality job.

Every consumable a printer uses, every minute spent getting a job successfully to press has a cost. When a printer adds up all the time spent getting a job successfully approved, including the consumable cost, the printers total cost is quite substantial, the question is who pays for them?

Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, film occupied the central position within the printing industry. It was used for the production of colour separation and proofs, as well for the combination sheet necessary for plate making.

The manual assembly of sheets of page sections and page elements as well as the combination and positioning of several pages on a print sheet in the format corresponding to the press in time consuming, cost intensive and sometimes uncertain stage within the production chain from conception to print. Cost efficiency and a high level production certainty are important in all areas of print production.

In the final quarter of the twentieth century, convergence of digital and laser technology using labour costs, for skilled prepress and stripping staff, plus economic necessity to reduce total prepress expenditure started many visionaries thinking how plates could be made directly from computer digital files instead of with film plats or step and repeat machines, hence the computer to plate system.

Computer to plate is a term used to describe the computer controlled direct imaging of printing plates from digital file or data. The captivating emergency of computer to plate (CTP) was an exciting vision of a printing world in which computer to plate would dominate film cost and labour, replacing these with digital work flow for high through put, fast turn around and improve profitability.

This project work is an attempt to bring to light the productivity of the computer to plate system as well as economic efficiency of the system with the view that it will enable printers in Nigeria to see how to increase productivity, production efficiency, competitiveness and profitability.

1.2     Statement of the problem

There is no doubt that most printing today is being done using the traditional or conventional film assembly to image the plates, the prevailing method of plate making, involves the time consuming assembly film element of imaging plates, are labour intensive and registration evasive.

Also the printing industry being a manufacturing industry, its growth depends on economic development and consumer depends. Large volume of jobs are placed or ordered which requires making or meeting up with the demands at the shortest possible time and at less cost to the printer. This therefore calls for an automated system of operations.

The use of the conventional system of plate making involves the use of more process steps (film), and more materials leading to low productivity in terms of the number of plates produced per given time and work cost for the materials needed to carry out a given job.

1.3     Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to access the productivity and economic efficiency of computer to plate (CTP) system. Specifically the study is set out to

1.       Access what is need for the computer to plate system.

2.       Examine the production rates of the computer to plate system.

3.       Determine how economically efficient the computer to plate system is.

4.       To investigate the quality achievable using a computer to plate system.

1.4     Significance of the study

The printing industry as a whole has generally been undergoing enormous structural and technological changes for several years. Apart from the changes affecting the traditional printing sector, the integration of new media into the existing system represents the greatest challenges.

This project is an attempt to highlight how the automation of the plate making system can be of benefit to those affected by the printing industry, these are:

1.       The training institution

2.       The print manufactures and

3.       The print buyers (consumers of print products)

Impact the knowledge of modern printing technology to the students.

The print product manufactures or commercial printers (the conventional printing industry) with benefits by using the research findings to increase profits improve product quality increase productivity fast turn around and thereby keep their existing customers and making new ones.

Finally, the consumer of printing industry/products are not left out consumer of printing product will get value for their money, high qualify job when needed as a result of print product manufacturers putting the finding of this research to practice that is by implementing or installing the computer to plate system.

1.5     Research Questions

1.       What is need for computer to plate system?

2.       What is the production rate of the computer to plate system?

3.       How economically efficient is the computer to plate system?

4.       What quality is achievable using the computer to plate system?

1.6     Scope of the study

The study is limited to the productivity and economic efficiency of the computer to plate as a system taking into cognizance the conventional method and system of plate making.

1.7     Definition of terms


Image content made up of pixels where pixels contain the information for position, sizes, angular position, and colour which can be addressed individually.


The bright tones of a positive image and corresponding areas of the negative (film).


Arranging the individual pages on a print sheet, taking the folder layout and finishing into account.


Image created by breaking down an image into discreet picture elements. The pixel is the smallest picture element that can be processed by an electronic system. This term is derived from picture element.

Post script

Device-natural page description and programming language developed by Adobe systems for texts, graphics, and continuous tone images. Also format for text and image information.

Preflight check

Inspection of a file for the description and definition of a print job for instance, for the production of plates, to ensure that all the image and text information is present and complete.

RIP (Raster Image Processor)

The information of a page (digital structure in image, text, and graphics elements are positional commands) aiming in the RIP is covered into a bitmap file.

Work flow

Description, organization, and monitoring of operations, process steps for the production of goods roughly spelling, describing the stages of production from the idea, right through to the finished print product.

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