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Agfa's New Chem-Free Thermal Plate Increases Throughput

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

March 19, 2008 -- Agfa Graphics announced today that it has made a further upgrade to its market leading and environmentally friendly :Azura thermal CtP plate system. The new :Azura TS, which offers higher throughput — in some cases as much as 50% — and sharper contrast, will be shown at drupa 2008, the worldwide graphic communications trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, 29 May-11 June.

The :Azura TS builds on the success of the original :Azura by combining a gum-based clean-out with a more sensitive coating, resulting in significantly higher throughput on thermal platesetters, including the new :Avalon N range of products. An increase of about 50% can be achieved with the :Azura TS resulting (subject to press conditions) in as many as 100,000 impressions. Also, improved contrast will make visual inspections much easier for users.

:Azura uses Agfa's exclusive ThermoFuseTM technology, which physically bonds images to the plate without any chemical processing. The result is highly stable and predictable imaging with no compromises on press.

Unlike regular thermal plates, :Azura TS uses a simple gumming process that cleans the plate and gums it in one simple step, making it press-ready without the need for chemical processing. Liquid consumption and waste are considerably reduced, and no chemical controls are needed. Also, the Agfa C95 and C125 Clean-Out units have low energy requirements and small footprints, providing further benefits for the low-to-medium-volume commercial printers who adopt the system.

"Agfa is proud to offer this major upgrade to the world's most successful chemistry-free thermal plate system. By increasing overall productivity we feel confident that the unique benefits of the :Azura system will be shared with an even broader range of printers than before," said Marc Op de Beeck, vice president, sales & marketing, Agfa Graphics. "To date there have been more than 2000 installations of the :Azura plate system worldwide, and we look forward to showing the latest generation to visitors at drupa."

:Azura users already benefit from one of the simplest, most reliable and predictable CtP technologies ever developed. The :AzuraTS takes those advantages several steps further. The plate is FM capable and rated for press runs of about 100,000 impressions (subject to press conditions). Its improved contrast offers simple and clear visual inspection of the image prior to mounting on press, which minimizes any errors. It has a very wide press latitude and is fully compatible with a broad range of standard press founts and inks.

ThermoFuse, the technology on which the chemistry-free :Azura and low-chemistry :Amigo plates are based, is widely considered to represent the most advanced digital platemaking technology that exists in the marketplace today.




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