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De Jong innovates with two jumbo platesetters from Agfa Graphics

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

Fully automated computer-to-plate systems produce plates of 3,8 m² (2,9m x 1,32m) at high speed and with astonishing precision.

Koninklijke Drukkerij Em. de Jong in Baarle-Nassau recently had two Avalon N48 jumbo platesetters from Agfa Graphics installed. These CtP systems will produce different size Thermostar P970 plates, including for their new 96-page heatset web offset press. De Jong is one of the big players on the European retail printing market.

Sjoerd Hazenberg, manager prepress at de Jong: 'We transformed from a traditional graphic arts business towards a process-oriented print industry. This was a must in order to efficiently accomplish the wide variety of high-quality print jobs. On a yearly basis we consume around 180.000 tons of paper, producing 35.000 print jobs. We work with four sheet-fed offset presses, three digital presses and eight web offset presses. Any type of process failure needs to be excluded: even an unexpected press stop of only one hour has to be avoided at all price. That explains our high demands regarding equipment reliability and the level of partnership with our suppliers. We decided to partner with Agfa Graphics because they offer the most complete CtP solution. 

The Agfa CtP solution consists of an Avalon N48-70 platesetter with multiple online cassettes containing different plate sizes, an Elantrix 165 HX plate processor, a double Elantrix 150 oven and an Elantrix rinse/gum unit, including all the required logistic aids. Two of these CtP lines were installed by Agfa Graphics in order to secure a back-up safety. Hazenberg explains: 'Although several other suppliers were involved in this project, we can rely on just one supplier for the end responsibility and that's Agfa Graphics. 

The two computer-to-plate production lines include fully automated plate handling. This means the plates are not touched by the press operator until they are mounted on the plate cylinder. 

Based on a barcode the plate robot recognizes each individual plate and picks it up correctly for mounting on the plate cylinder. The barcode also contains the plate color and the job number. 
On our new web offset press we use the largest plate size of 2,9 x 1.32 m. The plate engine images the plates with very high accuracy and the same precision is required when the automated plate cassette system mounts the plates on the plate cylinders. All this needs to be executed with almost zero tolerance and without damaging the plate surface or deforming the aluminium plate substrate. The plate deformation as a result of baking is minimized by using a double-baking oven. As such the baking temperature can be lowered and the heat dissipation is more uniform. 

De Jong produces mainly print jobs for the retail market.Sjoerd Hazenberg: "We provide a 'care free' service to the retailer, managing all production and logistic processes. Every item is produced by us, starting with a shop package up to a house-to-house folder. And we do family printing as well. In other words, we print from one copy up to over one million copies. Our strong international experience in combination with a family business mentality makes us unique." 


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