The new Eclipse plate uses “patented process-free technology” with Agfa citing a number of benefits over existing products.
The plate can be used directly after imaging without the need for a gumming unit. The coating transfers to the first few makeready sheets of a job, with only a tiny amount of coating migrating to the fount solution, explained Eddie Williams, Agfa head of sales Europe.
“It’s a completely new technology and the biggest difference compared with rival products is that the coating goes onto the paper, not into the press,” Williams said.
“We looked at the market and this ticked all the boxes. Scratch-resistance is the best we’ve seen and it has a stronger latent image,” he added.
“The key target market is small- to medium-sized commercial printers.”
Agfa said the latent image could be recognised by plate punching and bending systems, and retained “great contrast” even after a week in storage or 24 hours in office light.
The Eclipse plate is negative working and can be imaged by any 830nm thermal platesetter. It can be used for screen rulings up to 240lpi, and the plate works with both conventional and H-UV or LED-UV inks.
Maximum run length is 200,000 or 50,000 with UV inks.
Trials of the new plate are just being completed at a number of customer sites, with a full roll-out planned for later this year.
Iris Bogunovic, product manager for plate and CTP systems at Agfa, said: “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."
The new Eclipse plate joins Agfa’s existing plate portfolio which includes a number of chemistry-free plates.
The manufacturer said it was part of its Eco3 initiative focused on sustainable innovation.