Agfa introduces Eclipse process-free printing plate

Calling it the “most convenient process-free plate,” Agfa Graphics has introduced its new Eclipse process-free printing plate for sheetfed commercial printers “that combines all the benefits of process-free technology with effortless printing.” Inherent to the nature of a process-free plate, Eclipse eliminates the need for a processor using chemicals, thus reducing capex and pre-press costs. “Agfa’s latest innovation, however, distinguishes itself from other process-free plates as this drop-in is just as easy to use as a conventional plate,” the OEM added. “First of all, the plate keeps the press as clean as can be. Patented process-free technology supports the transfer of the plate coating to the first few printed sheets, instead of to the press as is the case with other process-free plates.”

In addition, said Agfa, Eclipse is the only process-free plate to provide excellent and stable image contrast, enabling quick visual image inspection as well as recognition by a punch-and-bending system. “That way, even after a week of storage, there’ll be no mix-ups on press or costly plate remakes. Eclipse keeps its great contrast even after 24 hours in office light, which makes an enormous difference compared to the two hours of other process-free plates. During this period, print quality will be fully preserved in terms of dot gain, toning and start-up time.” The new plate’s high scratch resistance means that, when loading, storing, transporting or mounting, users need not worry about damaging it. The new plate is also flexible and can be used with either conventional or H-UV and LED-UV inks.

Iris Bogunovic.

“You can see the difference with our latest plate innovation,” said Iris Bogunovic, Product Manager Plate & CTP Systems at Agfa. “It ‘eclipses’ all other process-free plates on the market as it combines superior and stable image contrast with easy handling and clean operations. Several early adopters have already confirmed this.” Eclipse is part of Agfa’s ECO³ approach of sustainable innovation – that encompasses hardware, software and consumables that make pre-press and printing operations cleaner (ECOlogy), more cost-effective (ECOnomy) and easier to operate and maintain (Extra Convenience). ECO³ extends from the pre-press environment into the pressroom with “unparalleled ink savings” and press standardization software packages that reduce make-ready times and paper waste.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.