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Agfa Launches Chemical-Free Thermal Plate

Press release from the issuing company

Mortsel, Belgium – Drupa – 18 February 2004 – Agfa today announced that beta testing has begun on a chemistry-free thermal digital plate to be commercially available before Drupa in May 2004. Responding to customer requests for cleaner and more reliable products, Agfa’s :Azura is an aluminium plate that uses a physical rather than a chemical process to provide high quality, thermal imaging. Based on the same, proven technology that is used in Agfa’s :Thermolite Plus plates, :Azura is a non-ablative plate that offers very wide exposure latitude, very wide press latitude and run lengths of up to 100,000 impressions. While in normal thermal plates, a latent image is formed during plate imaging, which then needs to be processed chemically to produce a lithographic image, :Azura plate imaging requires a clean-out or gumming step of non-image areas only. The plates offer excellent robustness for pressroom handling. “After talking to our customers and understanding what their requirements are, Agfa chooses to first bring a real working chemical-free solution that meets most of our customers’ requirements, while the technology also offers a growth path towards truly processless plate,” said Theo De Keersmaecker, Agfa’s director of CtP. “:Azura, which offers high consistency and excellent contrast, is a gradual progression to eventually having a fully processless plate.” :Azura plates feature high quality (2-98% dots on plate) for medium volume (up to 8,000 m2/year) users in the 2-, 4- and 8-up format. They provide the benefit of being ecologically friendly, while also providing a total lower cost of ownership. Agfa’s solutions and services can be found at Drupa 2004 in Hall 06/D27.