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The first "M-Press" printing in London

Friday, May 12, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

Teningen/London, April 2006 – A beta version of the printing system “M-Press” developed jointly by Thieme and Agfa, which for the first time combines digital and screen printing in a single print line, was recently installed at the works of the British print company SMP Group plc in London. Bradley Slade, Managing Director of SMP, did not take long to be convinced about the advantages of the new printing system: “The moment we laid eyes on the concept and the prototype, we knew that we would want to be the first to have and operate the M-Press.” Now the new machine is actually installed in the printworks in south-east London and Mr Slade’s enthusiasm is unbroken: “In the 80 years of our company’s history we have always been innovative and open to new technical developments – the M-Press matches our philosophy exactly. The concept of a fully automatic print line which combines the advantages of digital and screen printing is simply revolutionary.” The fully automatic print line installed at SMP consists of the following components: •automatic sheet feeder which ensures maximum production efficiency •infeed section for automatic and accurate material positioning •four-colour inkjet printing station equipped with a dual curing system •a screen printing unit for spot colours, white or varnish printing •final UV curing system •sheet stacker which facilitates further processing and packaging of the jobs. Thieme and Agfa: Working together for better printing The M-Press is the result of a partnership between two market leaders in their respective fields: It combines the innovative inkjet technology of Agfa with the experience of THIEME in the development and production of high-performance screen printing systems. The newly developed inkjet system with 64 multilevel print heads can print two billion drops per second with minimum drop sizes of eight pictolitres (billionth of a litre). The greyscale print head technology allows smoother density transitions and sharper image detail. Thanks to the integrated screen printing unit, the digital prints can be produced with white print, spot colours or varnish in a single throughput. The print line is suitable for printing rigid and flexible materials with a thickness of up to 10 mm and a max. sheet format of 1,660 mm x 2,660 mm with a max. print size of 1,600 x 2,600 mm; throughput is up to 100 sheets per hour. Thus the M-Press can achieve a level of productivity hitherto unheard of in digital printing and is predestined for large-format, high-volume applications. Bradley Slade is already looking forward to working as a beta tester: “We are now the first company in the world to offer this M-Press breakthrough technology to our customers. It brings a new level of cost effectiveness to digital printing, as well as high productivity and print quality. We are confident that it puts us ahead of any competitor.” „At Thieme, we feel that the partnership with SMP has been absolutely positive and target-oriented from the very beginning“ says Konrad Vosteen, Digital Product Manager for Thieme, “the perfect day-to-day co-operation of the teams on-site and the ongoing printing of commercial jobs is improving the product every day and provides us with valuable feedback to move fast towards series-production readiness of the M-Press.




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