Agfa Graphics is about to install its first violet chemical-free newspaper CTP systems in New Zealand after making their debut at PacPrint last week. The company also has two beta sites in the USA.
The 'Greymouth Evening Star', part of the Dunedin-based Allied Press group, has taken two Advantage N systems - the stack-loading Advantage N-SL shown at the Melbourne trade show and a similar manual machine. The remote site on the west coast of NZ's South Island is understood to be the country's last daily newspaper to convert to CTP. Conventional violet Advantage systems are already in use at Dunedin, a tortuous 540 km to the south.
Agfa Graphics newspaper printing manager Steve Marshall says that while violet chemical-free systems are not being made commercially available until later in the year, changes are not expected to the system being installed at Greymouth.
Agfa claims 82 per cent of the chemical-free plate market, and says all of Australia's major newspapers use its Arkitex workflow.
Made by OEM partner Punch Graphix, the Advantage N is pitched at smaller newspapers than its Polaris systems, currently in use at Fairfax's 'The Age' in Melbourne and at News Limited sites.
There are four Advantage N models – for manual loading, semiautomatic feed and stack loading producing 75-100 single plates an hour, and a full automatic model with 1000-plate capacity and speeds from 100-220 pph.
All engines image in a range of 900-2540 dpi resolution built-in and support Agfa's violet plates.
Marshall says the violet optics have been redesigned to improve the image quality for all imaging resolutions, making the platesetter suitable for both newspaper and commercial work, as at Greymouth.
“To enhance productivity, we have modified the plate positioning system with FlexWheel and FlexPin registration systems, automated the UGRA plate control process to simplify quality management and added a new user interface,” he says.