WhatTheyThink

Printers Take Command with Agfa's New Chemistry-free Plate

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Chicago, Ill – GRAPH EXPO (Booth #4024) – October 10, 2004 – Printers in North America have turned to Agfa for the next evolution in CtP plates. Many are now using Agfa's new chemistry-free plate, :Azura, launched earlier this year. :Azura, a new aluminum plate that uses a chemistry-free, thermofusable coating to provide high quality thermal imaging is now available in 2-, 4- and 8-up formats. One of the first users of the new :Azura plate is Kirkwood Printing of Wilmington, MA. Kirkwood's prepress operation runs Agfa's thermal CtP 8-up platesetter, :Xcalibur 45, with :Sublima XM screening. "The decision to go with Agfa's chemistry-free solution was not a difficult one. When we switched to Agfa's :Xcalibur CtP system, the result was faster make readies. When we added :Sublima, we improved the quality of our output. Now with the switch to :Azura plates, we've eliminated our use of some chemicals and we have a better water balance," said Kirkwood's Stan Monfette, prepress director. :Azura is a non-ablative plate that features very wide exposure latitude, very wide press latitude and run lengths of up to 100,000 impressions. :Azura plates offer high quality (2-98% dots on plate) imaging for small to medium size printers in the 2-, 4- and 8-up format. A gumming step provides outstanding contrast, reduces fingerprints and provides robust plates with faster roll-ups. The ecologically-friendly :Azura system allows printers to eliminate a critical step in their CtP workflow, with no compromise in pressroom performance. "There is a significant amount of pent-up demand for chemistry-free CtP systems," said Agfa's David Furman, senior marketing manager, CtP systems, North America. "With :Azura, printers no longer have to rely on tight processing parameters such as developer temperature, processing speed and conductivity. This leads to fewer remakes, better consistency and reduced maintenance."