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Agfa Moves to Lead Industrial Inkjet Market

Press release from the issuing company

Munich, Germany – FESPA – 31 May 2005 – Agfa entered the multi-billion industrial inkjet arena, which is estimated to be a 2.5 billion market today and growing rapidly. Having announced that it intends to become a leading player in industrial inkjet in February 2004, Agfa launched a number of industrial inkjet systems at Fespa as well as a range of Agfa made inks. Controls Key Components of Inkjet Systems. Agfa believes that thanks to its versatility, inkjet technology has the greatest potential for business growth in digital printing. The company is uniquely positioned with control of all the key components of inkjet systems: printheads, imaging software, engines and ink. It adds value to them through long-term, strategic partnerships with market leaders Mutoh Europe, Thieme and Xaar. :Anapurna 100 in Partnership with Mutoh Europe. The new :Anapurna 100 printer is a wide-format printer for high-volume industrial inkjet operations which has been co-developed with Mutoh Europe. It prints onto both flexible and rigid media and can be seen at Agfa's stand 530 in wide-format Hall B2. M-Press in Partnership with Thieme. M-Press is the world's first fully automated hybrid inkjet press that can handle long run lengths cost-effectively in screen printing applications. M-Press has been developed in partnership with Thieme. At its stand 400 in screen printing Hall A1, Agfa has organised a live video link to Thieme's headquarters in Teningen (Germany), where the new M-Press uses Agfa's inkjet technology for digital printing on the hybrid screen printing press. Agfa and Thieme have already taken orders for 12 M-Press systems before the product was launched. Universal Print Heads (UPH) in Partnership with Xaar. Agfa's new UPH printheads, developed in conjunction with leading printhead manufacturer Xaar, contain 764 nozzles, which are capable of jetting inkdrop sizes of either 3 or 8 pl, depending on the version and the quality requirements of the printing application. The printhead technology also contributes to maximum productivity. Agfa's patented "Controlled Ink Supply System" conditions the ink. This closed loop ink circuit enables degassing of the ink through continuous circulation, eliminating air bubbles in the ink chamber that could decrease the jetting performance. It also controls the temperature and viscosity of the ink which contributes to more reliable, uniform drops when it is projected onto the media. Agfa Inks Inside. The new inkjet systems use new Agfa made UV curable inks. For the Dotrix high-speed inkjet press also, Agfa launched its new :Agorix ink. Feedback from early users has been very positive. "The interaction between ink, the inkjet heads and substrate is essential," said Richard Gardner, managing director of Gardners, a speciality printer and one of the first users of Agfa's :Agorix inks. "That is why we are excited about Agfa taking ink development for our :Dotrix press into their own hands." "The sharpness and colour density of :Agorix ink is outstanding. The Agfa ink contributes to the expansion of our application portfolio," said Rickard Aden, manager digital printing for Stralfors Svenska AB. "Our company has a strong background in chemistry and dispersion technology, combined with unique imaging and printing expertise," said Agfa's Graphic Systems President, Stefaan Vanhooren. "We put all this know how in the development and manufacturing of our new inks and the new Universal Print Heads. Together with our partners Mutoh, Thieme, and Xaar, we can now offer a total solution for high-end digital printing applications. It is total solutions that have made us a leader in the prepress market. We intend to do the same with inkjet technology." :Grand Sherpa Universal AM. Also at Fespa, Agfa launched a new addition to its :Sherpa line of inkjet printing systems, :Grand Sherpa Universal AM. Available in 65-and 90-inch (165-229 cm) widths, :Grand Sherpa Universal AM systems are optimised for use with Agfa's new line of mild solvent inks. This results in fast, high quality throughput for a range of wide-format applications.