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Agfa Graphics Launches New Azura TU Chemistry-Free Printing Plate

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Press release from the issuing company

Enhanced runlengths, throughput, and sustainability for all sheet-fed commercial printers 

At a press conference at its headquarters in Mortsel, Belgium today, Agfa Graphics announced the latest addition to its assortment of chemistry-free printing plates. 

Since the launch of the first Azura plate ten years ago, Agfa Graphics’ ThermoFuse™ has been the leading technology in sustainable platemaking. With Azura TU, Agfa Graphics expands its reach to serve all sheet-fed commercial printers. All of them can now benefit from the established advantages of the ThermoFuse™ technology. 

  • Azura TU extends the runlength up to 150.000 copies. Higher sensitivity increases platesetter productivity, whilst retaining the high quality, high robustness and excellent image contrast that Azura is known for.
  • The Azura CX clean-out unit (COU) and a pH-neutral gum is all what is needed to clean and protect the plate. All variables in the platemaking process are eliminated. The system has a very long bath life of up to 7000 m² combined with very low gum and negligible water consumption.
  • With unmatched image contrast and excellent daylight stability, standard operating procedures apply. The gum-protected aluminum shows excellent lithographic behavior, offers excellent on-press stability and reduces the risk of needing plate remakes.

“Switching from a conventional plate to Azura TU means less waste, less disposal costs, less maintenance, and a safer work environment. It also equals water savings of more than 95%”, says Dirk Debusscher, Vice President Prepress, Agfa Graphics. “Azura TU is more reliable, consistent and environment-friendly than any conventional plate making system.”

Following an extensive testing program, Azura TU has now been released for sale. 

"The prime characteristic of Azura TU for us is that the plate is sustainable”, say Steven Yntema and Peter de Weerdt from Mediacenter in the Netherlands, formerly using conventional thermal plates. “We don’t need any chemistry. Just gum. That has a positive effect on the water consumption. We don’t dispose of any chemistry any more. What we dispose of is very little in quantity due to the gum.” 

Dax Britton, Prepress Manager, DG3, Gillingham, UK, shares his enthusiasm: “With the Azura TU plate we have a chemistry-free plate with all the environmental benefits that brings, but we haven't compromised on speed. With the amount of plates we produce, this was essential.” 

"We particularly appreciated how easy it was to clean-out the plate with the gum. With Azura TU, Agfa Graphics takes the simplicity of platemaking yet another step further”, says Fabrice Gangloff, Production Manager, OTT Imprimeries, France.

Azura TU completes Agfa Graphics' innovative eco-friendly plate assortment of Azura TS, Azura Vi, Amigo TS and N94-VCF.


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