CTP is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary product. Its structure is mainly composed of mechanical system, optical path system and circuit system. In general, CTP technology refers more to computer-to-plate technology. CTP technology can be divided into on-machine direct plate-making technology and offline direct plate-making technology from different perspectives; working methods, laser technology and plate-making technology

Here are four different meaning:
1. Computer to plate: From the computer directly to the plate making, that is, "offline direct plate making", this is a general understanding of CTP.
2. Computer to press:
From the computer directly to the printing press, that is, "on-machine plate making".
3. Computer to Paper/Print: The computer goes directly to paper or print, ie direct printing technology.
4. Computer to Proof: The computer directly samples the sample, that is, color digital proofing.

Working method:
The working mode of the direct plate making device refers to the exposure mode of the layout recorder, which can be divided into an inner drum type exposure mode, an outer drum type exposure mode and a flat desktop exposure mode. At present, high-end CTP equipment with good performance uses external drum exposure.

Laser technology:
The laser light source used in CTP can be divided into visible light source, infrared light source and ultraviolet light source according to its spectral characteristics. The thermal CTP uses an infrared light source; the light-sensitive technology includes a violet laser technology and a CTcP technology.
The quality of plate-making outlets for thermal, violet and CTcP has always been the focus of debate; the characteristics of different workflows and the application of FM screening technology are also different. Through long-term practice and production use, the advantages of thermal plate making are unquestionable, and the "square spot" technology of Kodak's thermal CTP platesetter is currently the highest level.

Plate making technology:
CTP plate making technology is divided into: photosensitive CTP plate making technology and thermal CTP plate making technology.
The photosensitive system CTP plate material comprises a silver salt diffusion type plate, a high-sensitivity resin plate material and a silver salt/PS plate composite plate material; the heat-sensitive system CTP plate material comprises a heat-crosslinking plate material, a thermal ablation plate material and Heat transfer plates, etc.
Thermal CTP plate making technology is the most mature, stable and effective plate making technology.

Technical advantages:
CTP technology has four major advantages (1) shortening the printing preparation time and fully improving the printing efficiency; (2) strengthening the control of the outlets to achieve fine printing; (3) reducing the plate making process, saving time and effort, and speeding up the delivery cycle; Workflow management.