Agfa launches Azura TU chemistry-free plate

By Hannah Jordan, Friday 15 November 2013

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Agfa Graphics has launched what it terms a sustainable and more robust plate for commercial sheetfed printers.

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Agfa launches its new Azura TU plate

Unveiled this week at the manufacturer’s Mortsel, Belgium headquarters, the latest addition to Agfa’s chemistry-free printing plate portfolio requires 95% less water usage than conventional plates, the company claims.

The Azura TU, which uses Agfa’s patented ThermoFuse technology, will print up to 150,000 sheets compared to the 100,000 of its 10-year-old predecessor, the Azura TS.

The new plate, aimed squarely at the commercial sheetfed market, requires no developer or rinse. Instead it uses a pH-neutral gum for the clean out, with the Azura CX clean-out unit, which has a bath life of 7,000sqm. 

Global director of pre-press marketing Ralph Hilsdon said: “The plate offers 240lpi, will run at virtually full speed on most platesetters and, with the increased run length, we can say we are really covering most of the sheetfed market. 

“It is also a more robust plate,” he added. “More people are using cheaper paper and inks to save money, which all has an effect on the plates, so the coating of the plate is strengthened to make it more resistant to those issues.” 

Hilsdon said the key benefit of the Azura TU was its reduced water and chemistry usage and less waste compared with its “head-to-head” rivals, which are processed plates. 

“It is a truly sustainable plate. There is often confusion because some use concentrated chemistry, so they quote low-chemistry usage, but when it’s diluted there is still a lot of waste generation. With this plate there are no tricks.”

The Azura TU, which joins a portfolio that includes the Azura TS, Azura Vi, Amigo TS and N94-VCF, is available immediately and is competitively priced, Hilsdon added. 

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