Ridgefield Park, NJ – December 14, 2005 – Agfa today announced the launch of the :Amigo thermal plate, the first addition to its portfolio of ThermoFuseTM plates. ThermoFuse is Agfa's patented imaging technology made popular by the success of the :Azura chemistry-free plate with well over 400 installations worldwide. With :Amigo, Agfa brings the benefits of this advanced technology to higher volume printers, including the VLF market.
Agfa's ThermoFuse technology physically forms the image during exposure. After imaging, the plate requires only a clean-out step to remove the non-image areas. As a consequence, plates based on ThermoFuse technology offer an exceptional stability and consistency. In the case of :Amigo, the non-image areas are removed with a clean-out solution (instead of the gum used for :Azura). This gives the plate higher productivity and a longer run length. Additionally, the plate can be baked for even higher runs.
:Amigo clean out can be done in almost every processor in the market, so it requires no additional investment. Chemical consumption is extremely low, with replenishment rates between 30 and 50ml/m2. The cleaning latitude is extremely wide – one batch of solution can clean out up to 5,000 m2 of plate. As a result, processor maintenance is reduced to an absolute minimum.
Tests conducted in Europe and the U.S. over a six-month period support Agfa's claims of reliability, high quality and exceptional press performance. “Some of these sites have been using the plate exclusively for three to four months,” said Agfa's David Furman, senior marketing manager, CtP systems, North America. “They report very low remake rates and remarkable consistency not just from plate to plate, but from one press run to another – from reprint to reprint.”
:Amigo's wide press latitude is also the result of Agfa's new Flat Substrate Technology. The aluminum substrate offers improved water carrying properties thanks to more homogeneous graining and anodizing.
The negative-working plate requires no preheating with press runs up to 200,000 without baking and up to 500,000 with baking. Because :Amigo has a high chemical resistance, it can be used in combination with a wide variety of ink – fountain combinations, including alcohol substitutes and UV-inks.
:Amigo achieves high resolutions, holding a 1-99% dot at 200 lpi, 240 lpi with :Sublima screening technology and a 25-micron dot with FM screening.
:Amigo is available immediately in gauges 8, 12 and 15. It is compatible with all thermal platesetters from Agfa and has been qualified by all major CtP engine vendors on the market.
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