A1 invests in cyber security and CTP

Jo Francis
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

A1 Security Print has transformed its platemaking operation with new kit from Fujifilm and Screen, and has also achieved the highest rating in a recent certification against cyber attacks.

A1: from 250,000 impressions up to 450,000 impressions per plate with new setup
A1: from 250,000 impressions up to 450,000 impressions per plate with new setup

The Birmingham-based firm is part of MCAARP Holdings, which also owns Integrity Print. 

It has switched its platemaking from an old Alinte4 UV CTP system, which had reached its end-of-life. 

The new setup involved a £68,000 investment in a Screen PlateRite 4600S thermal platesetter and Fujifilm Lo-Chem FLH-Z processor. The business is now using Fujifilm’s LH-PLE positive thermal plates. 

The upgrade went live towards the end of last year, after A1’s original plans were delayed because of Covid-19 site access restrictions. 

Studio manager Tony Hodgkinson said the new setup had made a huge difference to efficiencies and wastage levels, with the Fujifilm plates able to achieve much longer run lengths. It had also resulted in a cleaner working environment. 

After trials between the studio and pressroom, dot gain and baking times were “fine tuned” for optimum results, which reduced the number of plates needed as well as chemical use. 

“This in particular has shown an increase in print times per plate from approximately 250,000 impressions up to 450,000 impressions per plate. This has had a huge positive impact on press printing times, wastage and preparation. As the guys say they need to have 100% trust in their plates, and this delivers,” he explained. 

A1 Security Print produces a wide range of products including cheques, gift vouchers, permits and printing for exams and elections. 

It was recently re-accredited for the government-backed Cyber Essential Scheme developed by the  National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and achieved the highest level of certification, Cyber Essential ‘Plus’. 

A1 has been re-accredited every year since it first engaged with the scheme in 2017. 

IT manager Wayne Thompson described the in-depth ‘Plus’ audit as “far more challenging” than the standard testing. 

“To achieve and maintain this we have made a significant investment in the last six months to further upgrade the level of cyber security to protect the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of the data under our protection and control,” he said. 

The firm has also invested in enhanced email gateway security “to stop advanced threats such as targeted spear phishing and ransomware”, as well as new laptops and PCs as part of its push to use the most secure technology. 



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