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Agfa Introduces :Avalon, the Next Generation of Thermal Platesetters

Press release from the issuing company

Chicago, Ill (Print '05 – Booth #7900) – September 9, 2005 – Agfa today launched a new line of thermal platesetters called :Avalon. The new CtP systems all offer increased convenience, reliability and functionality and feature Agfa's new :Avalon HD Imaging Head. Agfa offers the :Avalon in both VLF and LF 45-inch models. Both lines come with a range of automation options. An evolutionary advancement, :Avalon will replace the :Xcalibur line of platesetters, though Agfa will continue to support those :Xcalibur systems currently in the field. :Avalon CtP units combine an external drum architecture with the Avalon HD Imaging Head which has up to 512 imaging beams delivering an exceptionally fast writing speed at a relatively low drum rotational speed – simplifying operation and ensuring long-term reliability. The HD Imaging Head has also been optimized for Agfa's industry-leading chemistry-free plate, :Azura, and the advanced cross modulated screening technology, :Sublima. The :Avalon LF comes in five basic configurations with throughputs ranging from 10 plates per hour (pph) for the LE model to 40 pph for the XXT model. The :Avalon XT offers speeds of 23 pph with Agfa's chemistry-free :Azura plate. Agfa offers plate loading from manual with pre-staging of the next plate, to automated, with a choice of a removable single cassette system, to the :Avalon PlateManager with four cassettes and slip-sheet removal. Internal punching is available as an option for every :Avalon LF model. This includes industry standard punching as well as custom punch sets. The :Avalon VLF is available in eight sizes, ranging from the :Avalon VLF50 up to the VLF83, which supports new larger format presses such as the KBA205 and MAN Roland Lithoman 72. Four throughput choices are offered from the entry-level E model to the XXT model, which can produce 18 1700mm pph. A range of field upgrade options covering both throughput and format size are offered. The Dual Plate option increases flexibility by allowing two smaller plates to be imaged together on the drum, suiting customers with a mix of both VLF and smaller format presses. For the :Avalon VLF, Agfa offers either manual plateloading with pre-staging of the next plate, or the fully automated :Avalon PlateManager with four cassettes and slip-sheet removal. The :Avalon PlateManager also supports the dual plate option. About :Avalon. Agfa based the design goals for :Avalon on customers' feedback, ongoing R&D and with a major focus on maximizing uptime. All :Avalon platesetters feature the :Avalon-HD Imaging Head; which is a second-generation design, using a new mechanical layout, updated optics and laser, it also incorporates the latest GLV II (Grating Light Valve) technology from Silicon Light Machines. The GLV II modulates the laser to generate multiple imaging beams, which can be individually controlled for accurate imaging consistency and stability. New calibration algorithms allow for smoother images and more sophisticated remote diagnostics capabilities for easier service. In addition to the new imaging head, numerous other mechanical, electrical and software improvements have been introduced over previous models. These include the new operator dashboard, which increases operator feedback and provides plate data, and Machine Matching, which allows plates to be produced on different platesetters with identical results. "Agfa's commitment to continued CtP technology advancement and innovation is clear with the launch of the new :Avalon line of thermal platesetters," said David Furman, Agfa's senior marketing manager, CtP systems, North America. "The new :Avalon HD imaging head is light-years ahead of existing imaging systems." :Avalon – a 360 degree view. ":Avalon represents more than just an advancement of the platesetter itself. We have upgraded everything about the product, from the way we manufacture the systems to the addition of remote diagnostic tools. Additionally, there is a new process for custom configuring every customer order, new configuring tools, a faster installation process, improved service tracking tools, and more. We looked at everything," said Jack Wolber, Agfa's marketing manager for :Avalon CtP systems, worldwide. "With a wide range of :Avalon models, Agfa can meet the budget and specification requirements of all VLF and LF thermal platesetter users." Availability. All Avalon products begin shipping in October. Agfa will continue to support the installed base of :Xcalibur products.