Agfa Ctp Tech Center Opened At MAN Roland Graphic Center In Offenbach
Press release from the issuing company
Mortsel, Belgium - 29 October 2001 - At a dedication ceremony 22 October 2001, the Agfa CtP (computer-to-plate) Technology Centre at the MAN Roland Graphic Centre in Offenbach, Germany. In the ultra-modern, high-tech centre Agfa digital prepress solutions are demonstrated under real operating conditions to show how state-of-the-art prepress systems can address current workflow issues.
Agfa chose the MAN Roland Graphic Centre in Offenbach as the location for its new CtP Technology Centre because the two PrintCity partners, along with other partners from the industry, can give customers and potential users from the graphics industry a presentation of state-of-the art, end-to-end digital production workflows for prepress, printing and finishing.
"MAN Roland is intensifying its cooperation with partners from the supply industry to provide complete system solutions for customer-specific applications. A good example of this is the opening of the new Agfa CtP Technology Centre at the Offenbach Graphic Centre. It is also reflected in the alliance with many other PrintCity partners with a view to open system worlds," emphasised Gerd Finkbeiner, Chairman of the Board of MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG, in his welcoming address on the occasion of the official opening of the Agfa CtP Technology Centre.
"To respond to the needs of today's customer, it is important to provide such a wide variety of solutions. Solutions that involve full integration of multiple technologies from many vendors. To do this efficiently, we must understand every process in the workflow. Partners, such as MAN Roland, provide the expertise that allows us to complete our mission. Because we make both plates and platesetters, we understand intimately the demands of the platesetter on the plate and vice versa. But we are prepress specialists, and to extend that expertise to the demands of the printing press, we need a partner willing to share their knowledge for the benefit of the end user. We need partners like MAN Roland," said Marc Elsermans, General Manager of the global Graphic Systems Business Group of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, in his address in praise of the cooperation with MAN Roland.
The cooperation between Agfa and MAN Roland at the MAN Roland Graphic Centre in Offenbach began a good three years ago. Since then, innovative Agfa prepress solutions have been installed at the demonstration centre to give visitors from the graphics industry a presentation of end-to-end production workflows, from prepress to printing to finishing, in an integrated systems approach. In view of the thoroughly positive response received from the customers of both companies, as well as interested potential users from every sector of the graphics industry, MAN Roland and Agfa are now taking the next step by opening the Agfa CtP Technology Centre.
For example, Agfa's experts have installed a prepress network that fully exploits what is technically feasible today. The backbone of the prepress workflow consists of a gigabit network. Central storage of, and access to, the extensive digital data is accomplished via an innovative Storage Area Network (SAN). The storage and access logistics are controlled from the MAN Roland computer centre via a high-speed fibre channel. This prepress network comprises several, integrated 2 and 4-processor servers and has a total data storage capacity of 1 terabyte.
The Agfa prepress systems installed also reflect the state of the art. To be able to address graphics businesses of every size, Agfa took the different requirements of the companies into account when designing the digital production workflows implemented at the centre. For instance, the Agfa presentation includes two different solutions for the production of digital printing plates: the fully automatic Agfa Galileo VS 8 CtP system and the Agfa Xcalibur HS 80 large-format platesetter. In addition, the Agfa Palladio CtP system for small and medium-sized printers is making its European debut after being presented for the first time at Print 01 in Chicago. These three innovative CtP systems at the Graphic Centre process Agfa Thermostar and Agfa Lithostar Ultra Violet digital printing plates.
Prepress production is controlled by the latest version of the PDF-based workflow management system Agfa Apogee Series 2 (Version 2.0). A total of 20 workstations are integrated in two parallel production lines, each of which has an Apogee Series 2 Pilot production manager, an Apogee Series 2 PDF RIP and an Apogee Series 2 PrintDrive output manager. The workstations are each equipped with the Apogee Create software. In this way, Agfa can show visitors to the CtP Technology Centre how print job preparation can already be standardised and largely automated at creative workplaces.
Another important field at the new Agfa CtP Technology Centre is proofing in digital workflows. Here, Agfa demonstrates the latest options for contract and imposition proofing with its Sherpa 43 and Sherpa 62 large-format digital proofing systems in combination with the innovative Agfa Quality Management System and the ColorTune 4.0 colour management solution. In addition, Agfa has installed the two flagships of its input systems: the Agfa T5000 Plus and Agfa XY-15 Plus high-end scanners.
Via the InkDrive CIP3 interface of the Apogee Series 2 PrintDrive, the Agfa prepress workflow is linked to PECOM press control system of the MAN Roland presses installed in the pressroom, so that the ink-key settings for the presses can be transferred directly.
The PrintCity partners Agfa and MAN Roland intend to continue to present their latest products, systems and solutions at the Graphic Centre in Offenbach in the future, so as to be able to show their customers and potential users from the graphics industry how they can make the transition to new technologies. And they plan to do so under real production conditions.
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