With its strong showcase of offset and wide-format inkjet printing solutions, spiced with an extensive offering of software solutions, Agfa Graphics underlined its commitment to the print industry at drupa 2016 (Düsseldorf, Germany, May 31-June 10).
As announced during its pre-drupa press conference back in March, Agfa Graphics focuses heavily on the new developments for offset printing. Stefaan Vanhooren, President, Agfa Graphics commented:
“Print and offset printing technology continue to play a crucial role despite many new alternatives. Chemistry-free plate solutions already made prepress extremely convenient and environment-friendly. Now, Agfa Graphics is taking conventional plate solutions one step further too by adding total impact of operations and convenience to the equation. This ECO3approach—which stands for Eco-friendly, Economic and Extremely convenient—generates plenty of business opportunities.
Avalon N8-90 made its debut at drupa 2016 as the fastest thermal CtP for B1 plates ever (70 pph). Hooked to the new Arkana smart processor and loaded with Energy Elite Eco plates, the system offers a bath life of 15,000 m², eliminates the need of rinsing water and consumes not more than 30ml of chemistry per set of four B1 plates.
Agfa Graphics also announced Azura TU VLF (chemistry-free plates for very large-format offset applications), and demoed Azura TE direct-on-press plates. Both are characterized by extremely high image contrast as well as excellent daylight stability and fast roll-up, thus offering tremendous advantages when going on press.
Recent improvements for chemistry-free applications for the newspaper industry include the Attiro VHS clean-out unit with the N95-VCF (violet chemistry-free) printing plates, and the Advantage N Essentials CtP series, which takes computer-to-plate technology for newspaper printers back to its essence. Advantage N Essentials comes in a manual, semi-manual and a trolley-load version. Agfa Graphics also announced the Advantage N-PL for the top end of the market. With its ability to image up to 3,100 plates continuously at a speed of up to 400 plates per hour, the newcomer takes computer-to-plate (CtP) productivity and automation to the next level. All Advantage models provide great user-friendliness and reliability.
All Jeti and Anapurna wide-format solutions at the booth, driven by the Asanti workflow, featured the latest developments: the highly productive Jeti Tauro in a ¾ automation line-up including the new automatic board feeder and unloading unit, and the versatile Jeti Mira with the unique dockable roll-to-roll option. Also during drupa, the Jeti Mira was rewarded with the EDP award in the category ‘Best wide format flatbed/hybrid printer up to 250 m²/h’.
On its family of Anapurna i printers, Agfa Graphics introduced state-of-the-art, air-cooled LED UV-curing as an alternative to the current mercury lamp curing technology. LED UV enables printers to print on a broader range of media, to save energy, to increase system up-time and to reduce operational expenses. In addition to widening the media range, UV LED curing technology delivers operational and environmental benefits. Opposed to mercury lamps, the lifetime of the LED alternative is in line with the economical lifetime of a printer of typically five years. On display at drupa 2016 was the Anapurna H2500i LED system, the 2.5m hybrid printer.
The new Acorta 3120 HD cutter, targeted at very thick or dense materials, completed the wide-format set-up at drupa.
Stefaan Vanhooren continued:
“As a leading player with a truly global footprint in the print markets, we focus on both the offset printing and the wide-format printing industry, while also opening doors to new print markets and applications in need of innovative solutions.”
UV-ink technology also appeals to industry integrators aiming to use printing technologies in non-printing industries. Agfa Graphics gives them access to technologies and know-how on fluids including inks, primers, white and varnish, and also software. Multiple opportunities present themselves in the fields of flooring, decoration or bottling, as well as in the automotive industry, or when it comes to glass or metal printing.
Software cloud solutions
In the spotlight at drupa the extensive range of software solutions from Agfa Graphics with new versions of Apogee, Asanti and Arkitex workflows including StoreFront web-to-print and many state-of-the-art cloud implementations. Apogee Cloud incorporates all Apogee 10 workflow modules, yet relies on the cloud infrastructure, know-how and security offered by Agfa Graphics. This means that Apogee users today run their workflow off-site, in the same private and secure cloud that Agfa also uses for its Arkitex workflow software for newspapers. Agfa Graphics also announced PrintSphere, offering print service providers a cloud-based solution for online data exchange. PrintSphere provides a standardized way to send and receive files including secure back-ups of production databases, all seamlessly integrated with the Apogee, Arkitex and Asanti workflow software.
“Workflow in the cloud is hot in our industry, and its reality for our customers” Vanhooren added. “As we can boast our own data centers, we have a unique position in offering cloud solutions with the highest possible data security. Customers benefit from cloud solutions in terms of working capital, energy consumption, space requirements, maintenance and service costs, while they are always up-to-date with the latest workflow version.”
With its Eversify mobile content publishing software, Agfa Graphics also addresses magazine and newspaper publishers, enabling them to diversify their content to a wide range of devices (smartphones, tablets) at any moment of the day. Eversify is a SaaS solution that can be integrated in any editorial, content management or InDesignÒ-based layout system.
Agfa Graphics at Touchpoint Packaging: Innovative solutions for the packaging industry
One of the most outspoken trends in the printing industry is the growth of the packaging and label sector. At the future-oriented Touchpoint Packaging, Agfa Graphics presented new ink technologies and software for the creation of smart packaging including design, authentication and customization or personalization. With Arziro Design, to create counterfeit-proof artwork, and Arziro Authenticate, offering a hybrid authentication and track & trace solution, Agfa Graphics offers designers and brand owners new tools for protecting their brand and products.