Drupa Tour Explores Inkjet and Toner Technologies

MORTSEL, BELGIUM, March 21 | Day Two of Duomedia’s Drupa Discovery Tour began at Agfa Graphics. President Stefaan Vanhooren reported parent company Agfa-Gevaert will de-merge during 2008, and Agfa Graphics will become an independent company. He predicted inkjet printing gradually will replace flexographic and screen printing, and said the company’s strategy is to become a player in the first generation of UV inkjet.

At Drupa Agfa will be located at stand B63 in hall 8a. The company will introduce :Azura TS, a ThermoFuse-based, chemistry-free, thermal digital plate said to feature a substantial increase in throughput, an advanced clean-out system, and improved contrast. For violet platesetters, :Azura V, a chemistry-free digital plate, and :Aspire, a polymer plate, will be new at Drupa.

The :Avalon N series of thermal imaging CtP platesetters is available in 8-up and VLF formats that accommodate a variety of plate sizes and plate-per-hour capabilities.

A new modular workflow solution, :Apogee Suite, integrates all content, project management, prepress, and production functions. The suite includes Publish for content management and page creation for print or web; Portal for communication between printers and their customers; Prepress for JDF-enabled prepress production; and Color for color management, as well as Media for content integration and management. The suite reportedly offers highly functional integration that further improves overall management of the graphic communications process.

The latest additions to Agfa’s industrial inkjet portfolio include :Anapurna XLS, which comes in a choice of speeds and is claimed to produce top-quality printing with highly saturated, wide gamut colors in the medium, large, and extra-large formats. The :Anapurna Mv can add a spot of flood varnish to improve cosmetic appearance while the M4f is the entry level printer in the range.

Synaps is a polyester-based synthetic paper for offset presses and UV inkjet printers. It’s described to offer superior printability and exceptionally fast drying time. Available in a range of weights, Synaps can be used in harsh outdoor environments.

Pressroom supplies making their Drupa debut include CtP Plate Cleaner, an environmentally friendly product with low VOCs, and ANTURAfount AFS1 fountain solution additive used for alcohol-free or low alcohol printing on sheet-fed offset presses.

Following a tour of Agfa’s prepress and inkjet demo facilities, journalists were taken to Lier, home of Punch Graphix Intl., to hear presentations on the basysPrint and Xeikon product lines. Here, chief technology officer Frank Deschuytere maintained a breakthrough still is needed in inkjet due to slower speeds, water-based inks that affect print quality, and UV inks that cannot be recycled.

At Drupa, a new generation of platesetters for UV plate exposure will be shown. The basysPrint UV-Setter 400 and 800 series offer a modular platform and more efficient plate handling for commercial, package, and book printers. Users can choose between semi- and fully automatic versions, with single or multiple cassettes, automatic slip sheet removal, and press-ready punching. Manual versions also are available.

For the rollout of the Xeikon 8000 digital color press, Punch Graphix employed an actor to portray the CEO of a retail chain in need of the kind of customized marketing campaign the 8000 can deliver. This includes personalized invitations in five languages, customized photobooks, and eco-friendly textile transfers for t-shirts. The Xeikon 8000 offers a print speed of 230 A4 pages/min, which equals a monthly volume of 8.5 million pages. The system uses optimized dry toner electrophotography for 1200 dpi imaging quality.


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