Agfa Graphics announced today that a record count of new installations with the chemistry free :Azura plate were installed in the first quarter of 2009. Despite the economic slowdown, a huge number of customers consciously decide to switch over to plates based on Thermofuse technology.
The volumes of :Azura plates have nearly doubled every year since its introduction back in 2004. Agfa Graphics has now installed over 2000 users with ThermoFuse technology. They report significant reduction in production costs in their prepress department after they upgrade their prepress equipment to :Azura. This is good news for their organization given the current economic climate.
"The decrease in chemistry use obviously is one of the most noticeable benefits of the ThermoFuse™ technology", said Marc Op de Beeck, VP Sales and Marketing at Agfa Graphics. "but also the energy consumption can easily be reduced to 50% and more. Because it is the platesetter thermal laser that fixes the image on the Aluminum base, the gumming unit only needs to wash-off the non-image parts. There is no temperature control in the processor, nor is there any developer or fixer. The system is always up and running and all that saves time and energy. And on the press, the great image contrast of the press-ready plate offers printers security during mounting. Hence quality, ecology and profit go hand in hand "
Ecology already starts in Agfa Graphics manufacturing plants where the standard solvent based coatings for the production of thermal plates are replaced by a more environment friendly water based coating, generating less hazardous waste.
:Azura and the faster :Azura TS thermal plates deliver high contrast, robust, high resolution plates with the same chemical resistance as with other thermal plates thanks to the use of physical plate imaging. :Azura gives consistent high quality results resulting in a known press behavior.
For more info, go to http://www.agfa.com/en/