No Waffling on Drupa Plans

GHENT, BELGIUM—This country’s comparatively small size belies its standing as a home to major graphic arts industry vendors, with Agfa Graphics, Punch Graphix (Xeikon) and EskoArtwork among the companies based here. That’s why the global series of pre-show media briefings being held in the lead-up to Drupa recently included a stop in Ghent, with side trips to Mortsel and Antwerp.

As a backdrop for Agfa Graphics’ Drupa plans, Stefaan Vanhooren, president, noted that the company’s recent “de-merger” had given it a better focus and a stronger identity, but the industry is facing challenges. While overall print volume is still growing, he said, competition and globalization is increasing, technology lifecycles are getting shorter and the progress of digital printing is indisputable.

New digital plates, workflow solutions and wide-format ink-jet printers are all set for introduction by Agfa Graphics. Also on display will be the new Synaps polyester-based, synthetic paper for offset printing from Agfa Materials, a sister company formed in the de-merger.

Azura V is a chemistry-free plate that can be imaged by existing violet laser imaging systems, is rated for up to 150,000 impressions and requires just a clean-out process to reveal a distinct physical image ready for printing. For thermal CTP systems, Azura TS enhances Agfa’s ThermoFuse technology to provide up to a 50 percent boost in throughput (compared to the current version) and sharper contrast. The company is also adding to its thermal platesetter offerings by extending its OEM relationship with Screen to include Avalon N eight-up and VLF (16-, 24- and 32-page) models.

Agfa will lend to the show’s expected ink-jet printing theme by premiering the Anapurna XLS, a 98˝-wide machine that uses UV inks and is designed for high- quality printing at a 1,440 dpi maximum resolution. It will also show two additions to the 63˝ Anapurna M line—Mv, which adds spot or flood varnish application to the base model; and M4f, which is configured with CMYK print heads and positioned as a rigid substrate printer.

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