Agfa to showcase how its ECO³ prepress solutions make newspaper printers more profitable at 2018 World Publishing Expo

At the IFRA World Publishing Expo 2018 (WPE, October 9-11 in Berlin, Germany), Agfa Graphics will focus on how its ECO³ prepress solutions can make newspaper printers’ operations more economical, ecological and convenient. Key elements highlighted will include the recently launched Avatar V-ZH printing plate, the Attiro ZH Clean-Out Unit and the latest version of the Arkitex Production Workflow software. Agfa Graphics’ ECO³ initiative has met with significant success in the commercial printing market since its introduction. The OEM has now applied the same principles to newspaper production “making it more ecological and cost-effective, with systems that are easier to operate and maintain.”

Rainer Kirschke.

“We keep a close watch on trends in newspaper printing,” said Rainer Kirschke, Market Manager for Newspapers at Agfa Graphics. “We see how newspapers integrate their prepress and press departments, reduce costs and optimally use production capacity, while also taking a more ecological approach to business. In practice, these changes require a reduced equipment footprint and highly streamlined processes (even to the point of unattended production) in addition to less waste and machine maintenance, and the wider deployment of presses. We invest in solutions that cater to these needs and help newspaper printers remain profitable.” The ECO³ platform consists of numerous software, hardware and consumables’ solutions that bring added value to a newspaper printer’s overall operations.

Agfa Graphics’ ECO³ Program revolves around economy, ecology and extra convenience – the key benefits that characterize Agfa’s next-generation innovations for the printing industry. “One goal is to enable printing companies to get the most value for their money,” the OEM added.

Chemistry-free Avatar V-ZH Plates from Agfa Graphics require no pre-heating unit.

Chemistry-free Avatar V-ZH is a stable, linear plate that requires no pre-heating unit, thus reducing printers’ CAPEX and energy consumption while saving valuable floor space. It also decreases start-up times and waste during the make-ready  stage, and is characterized by its very high image contrast after clean-out, daylight compatibility, high scratch resistance and outstanding stability and robustness on press. It can be used with either conventional or UV inks. Avatar V-ZH forms a “very attractive combination” with the new high-speed clean-out unit Attiro ZH, which stands out by virtue of its minimal gum consumption, extensive bath life, and low and easy maintenance.

Arkitex Production (Version 3) includes a number of key features that improve pressroom operation, simplify planning and make workflow more flexible for newspaper printers of all sizes. A clear overview of upcoming plates and their status makes it easier for platemaking and pressroom to focus on what’s needed for the next press run. The software helps achieve “perfect registration” as it compensates for fan-out, the undesirable expansion of paper on the press when imaging the plate. Plate marks can now be placed based on logic, which is especially useful when printing (e.g fake spreads). ‘Furniture,’ such as colour bars between pages, can be set to appear only when pages don’t extend into the page gutter. This kind of automation simplifies the plate design and planning process. The improved plate ordering logic allows a printer to image plates in defined groups and a specific order within those groups. This way, platemaking and press operators get stacks of plates that are ready to mount on a press without requiring time-consuming manual sorting. Arkitex Production V3 is unique in uniting all of these features in a single system, said Agfa. Deployed as cloud solution, it allows printers of all sizes to lower both capital costs and IT costs. Arkitex Production RIP v12 will be launched at WPE as well. This new release supports PDF 2.0, which is especially relevant for newspaper printers that need to process PDF files from external parties.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.