Agfa Graphics has added a new solution to its Advantage N platesetter family – the Advantage N-PL Pallet Loader. With its ability to image up to 3,100 plates continuously at a throughput speed of up to 400 plates per hour, “it takes computer-to-plate (CtP) productivity and automation to the next level,” said the OEM. Continuous plate production is made possible by the integrated pallet load module of the Advantage N-PL. This module supports two different plate formats – single plates and panorama plates – and allows printers to have both online simultaneously. The printer either loads two stacks of 1,500 single plates or one stack of 1,500 panorama plates. In addition, an extra 100 plates can be loaded on top.
“The pallet load mechanism is quite simple. When the CtP engine has used up its first stack of plates, it automatically puts the second stack in place to continue plate production,” said Emiel Sweevers, Marketing Manager for Newspaper Engines, Agfa Graphics. “Thanks to this continuous production, we can avoid inconvenient plate leftovers. Moreover, the Advantage N-PL autonomy of more than 3,000 plates significantly reduces the number of necessary production stops and averts manual plate-loading errors such as badly stacked plates.”
White light loading
The pallet load module also enables printers to load new plates under white light conditions without interrupting the production process. By inserting a light protection shutter between the empty stack and the online stack, for example, new plates can be loaded through the back or the side of the machine without damaging the online ones with UV light. “The plate stacks are protected by a transport harness until they’re moved to the online position inside the Advantage N-PL. That, together with the light protective shutter, allows printers to load a new stack without needing yellow-light conditions,” Sweevers explained. “The loading possibilities of the Advantage N-PL also add to the engine’s ability for continuous production.”
The Advantage N-PL’s working process also significantly reduces packaging costs. In this way, the engine takes a sustainable and ecological approach to plate production. Another bonus is the possibility to combine the pallet load module with other Advantage N units. The module is currently available as an upgrade for both the Advantage N-TR HS and the Advantage N-TR VHS. Agfa Graphics Canada is located in Mississauga, Ontario.