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Agfa Announces New PlateManager for Xcalibur VLF Platesetters

Press release from the issuing company

Mortsel, Belgium – 3 March 2003 – Agfa announced that a full automation solution for the Xcalibur VLF is available and is now shipping. The PlateManager first shown at trade shows last year provides full automation for the Xcalibur VLF line of CtP platesetters. The new PlateManager can be added to any of the Xcalibur VLF’s in the field today. The addition of the PlateManager brings higher levels of automation to any operation, streamlining the platemaking process, and making the operation more efficient overall. The PlateManager features an innovative four-cassette design that allows multiple types of plates – up to 50 per bin – to be kept online and ready to go at all times. Its simple design and ease-of-use makes it convenient to have extra cassettes with additional plates on hand, kept offline and ready to be loaded into the PlateManager and used on the Xcalibur VLF when needed. At the same time, the PlateManager does not interfere with the manual loading system already built into the Xcalibur VLF. Full Automation The PlateManager simplifies and automates the time-consuming task of loading plates. The system is also intuitive: it senses when it runs out of a particular plate, and searches through the available on-line plates to find more of the same plate, if necessary. Operators can monitor the process quickly and easily with onscreen messages. User Benefits from Automation The Press of Ohio, based in Brimfield, Ohio (USA) was the Beta test site for PlateManager. The full automation complement to the Xcalibur VLF has helped the Press of Ohio streamline the process and get plates out faster than before. “When we first got the Xcalibur VLF we were running about 12 plates an hour. With the addition of the PlateManager, we are now up to about 15 an hour, and we expect to be at 17 plates per hour in the near future,” said Burt Phillips, Prepress Manager, the Press of Ohio. “We have another platesetter from another vendor, and without automation capabilities, it is only able to give us 8 plates per hour. So, with the addition of the Xcalibur VLF and its automation capabilities, we have been able to double our plate output. The automation also frees up our operator to devote more time to actually looking at the plate and making sure it is good for the press, resulting in higher quality plates.” The PlateManager integrates seamlessly into the Xcalibur VLF system and can be placed to either the left or right of the platesetter. Like the VLF itself, the PlateManager has a small footprint, and eliminates the need for an extra bridge or conveyor belt. PlateManager also features an optional trolley allowing for the transportation of cassettes to and from the system, if necessary. Plate sizes for the VLF and PlateManager range from 17.7” x 22.2” to 58” x 80”. The ideal plate for Xcalibur VLF is Thermostar P970, a positive-working thermal plate based on an innovative two-layer technology developed and patented by Agfa. Thermostar P970 provides the long runs (1+ million with optional post-baking) and extreme accuracy that are the hallmarks of Agfa's thermal CtP solutions. Thermostar P970 is sensitised to 830 nm - Xcalibur VLF's exposure wavelength - and offers fast imaging, convenient handling and excellent press performance thanks to Agfa's proven aluminium plate substrate technology.