IFRA, Geneva, Switzerland – 15 October 2001 – Agfa introduced the Zenith N550 negative-working printing plate designed for newspapers and commercial printers. Advanced coating technology increases plate sensitivity resulting in greater productivity and improved press performance. These Zenith N550 properties benefit newspapers that face challenging plate productivity requirements and tight deadlines. The new Zenith plate also uses specially-formulated developers that keep the processor cleaner. This significantly reduces the need for chemical replenishment and lowers overall plate-production maintenance.
The Zenith’s advanced coating technology is the result of extensive research and development to combine the best characteristics of Agfa’s former Ozasol (Enco) and Howson plates and deliver a plate with even greater advantages. At Drupa 2000 Agfa introduced the first in the series of new-generation plates with the positive-working Meridian plate. "Agfa continues to allocate a significant proportion of its total R&D spending to improve plate technology for both analogue and digital applications. Our customers tell us that they don't want plates that just provide the best price/performance ratio, they want plates that meet their specific productivity requirements. The new Meridian and Zenith do just that," said Jim Bowler, marketing director for analogue plates.
Zenith’s reduced exposure times let printers produce more plates in a given time period. Agfa also designed the new coating technology for rapid roll-up to shorten make ready. Improved ink-water balance is the result of two important plate characteristics—high ink receptivity in the image areas and the high-quality graining and anodising properties, which deliver consistent, predictable water-holding properties on press.
The improvement in the Zeniths coating technology provides advantages of significant importance for newspaper producers, says Bowler. "Not only will printers be able to produce more plates in less time, but they will get the job off press faster. They will also reduce waste and processor maintenance."
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