Agfa Announces Thermolite Plus, Direct-Imaging Plate with Run Length of 100k

Press release from the issuing company

Based On Proven Thermolite Technology, New Plate Increases Run Length by Factor of Four, Allowing Greater Breadth of Applications for Direct-Imaging Presses Ridgefield Park, New Jersey – March 14, 2002 – At IPEX, April 9-17, 2002 in Birmingham, England, U.K., Agfa will announce its next-generation direct-imaging plate, Thermolite Plus. Designed for on-press imaging, Thermolite Plus offers a run length of 100,000 impressions, depending on printing conditions. This represents a breakthrough for direct, on-press imaging technology, allowing presses, such as the Heidelberg Speedmaster 74-DI and the Komori Lithrone S40D, to handle higher volume print jobs. Thermolite Plus offers a higher degree of scratch resistance making it easier to handle, and, therefore, more reliable. Greater resistance to pressroom chemicals means faster start-up and greater working latitude on press. Thermolite Plus is also suitable for alcohol-free printing. Like its predecessor, Thermolite Plus requires no chemical processing and is non-ablative. There is no need for vacuum extraction or filtering. Operators do not need to wipe the plate or perform any further adjustments after imaging. The plate substrate is electrochemically grained and anodized aluminum, much like a conventional plate. Plate start-up is also like a conventional plate. On press, the plate is first wetted by the dampening system. The inking rollers subsequently remove the coating in the non-image areas and then the coating is transferred to the first few printed sheets for minimum make ready. As a result, Thermolite Plus does not contaminate fount solutions or the inking system. It requires no special inks or fountain solutions. "Thermolite Plus demonstrates Agfa’s strong commitment to process-less computer-to-plate technology. Agfa will continue to invest in further research and development of process-less plates," said Theo De Keersmaecker, Agfa worldwide marketing manager for digital plates. "The trend toward process-less CtP (830 nm) external drum imaging is significant. Agfa will focus on non-ablative process-less plates for these systems, and expects to introduce a new process-less computer-to-plate system later this year." Thermolite Plus is being alpha tested by selected customers. Agfa expects to release the new plate commercially in Q3 of 2002.