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Customer Case  | Coldset Printing Partners Brussels (CPPB), Brussels, BELGIUM  | 25 October 2012

Violet chemistry-free CTP system at Coldset Printing Partners Brussels

We believe in chem-free plates

Mr. Eric Elyn
Coldset plant manager

CPPB make additional gum saving and eco benefits with the violet chemistry-free plate N94-VCF from Agfa. The introduction of a new dedicated gum gives 30% extra savings on gum with a 30% longer bath life, as well as reducing maintenance.

CPPB's coldset plant manager, Mr Eric Elyn explains their experiences and further plans with these new plates.

Mr. Elyn, could you give us some background to the activities of CPPB?

In July 2010 Corelio Publishing signed a joint venture with Concentra Media, another important Belgian media group. We have a broad base of media activities with two printing sites in Brussels and Beringen. The Graphics Division includes a coldset newspaper printing site in Groot-Bijgaarden, a sheet-fed and heat-set site in Brussels, and a heat-set site in Erpe-Mere.

We are Belgium's largest newspaper publisher. This is in addition to our involvement in Internet, radio and television productions. We also produce free local papers and magazines. The joint venture aims to optimize the press capacity and to improve logistics for both parties.

Which newspaper titles are printed at CPPB?

The CPPB sites print our own newspapers: De Standaard (120,000 copies), Het Nieuwsblad/De Gentenaar (300,000 copies) and Vers l'Avenir (100,000 copies). In addition to this, we print various commercial papers such as the Daily Star, Daily Express, Zaman and l'Equipe under contract for third parties.

Can you give us an idea of the size of CPPB?

The two printing sites together currently employ 350 people.

What types of presses do you use and what is your annual plate consumption?

We print on a MAN Colorman with 12 printing units and a KBA Commander press with 9 printing units.
In a typical year we consume about 2 million plates, which is about 450,000 square metres.

How did you set up your plate production?

We started introducing Agfa's violet chemistry-free plates in September 2008. Our goal was to reduce costs by saving on chemicals and electricity and limiting waste and maintenance. Three years later we adopted the second generation plate N94-VCF, allowing a greater run length together with benefits in plate stability and environmental improvements.

Today our CTP configuration consists of 6 Polaris XTVS platesetters. Adding the 4 platesetters of the other CPPB site we have in total 10 Polaris engines running Agfa's chemistry-free plates.

Why did you choose to go chemistry-free?

I strongly believe that chemistry-free plates will play a dominant role in newspaper printing in the future. The most important benefit is the reduction in the use of chemicals and consequently the savings made in disposing of them.

Another positive point is the easy maintenance of the clean-out units - they only need rinsing with water. Cleaning this unit takes less than half the time for cleaning conventional processors.
And finally, we are seeing a dramatic reduction in our water consumption.

Chemistry-free plates will help us achieve cleaner and more efficient production with a significant reduction of our ecological footprint. This fits perfectly into our environmental management system, which has been evaluated and approved by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance according to ISO 14001.

How is chemistry-free affecting the cost of your production?

If we take account of all the parameters related to chemistry-free plates, such as less chemicals, less water, less disposal and less maintenance, we are achieving a cost reduction of between 20% and 25%.

Have you noticed any quality differences due to the chemistry-free plate N94-VCF?

Since we have been using N94-VCF plates combined with Agfa's OptiInk and Sublima technology, our newspaper quality has in fact increased. On the press, the N94-VCF plate is the same: it looks, feels and behaves like any other metal offset plate.

What are your plans for the future?

We keep a very close eye on the technology and are always prepared to act as beta test site for new developments that make further  improvements in environmental terms, on quality and on cost savings, because these aspects are important for our day-to-day business.

In 2014 our violet chemistry-free CTP plate solution was modified to further increase the clean-out efficiency and make it even more ecological. With the Violet CF Gum NP the drag-out and evaporation in the first clean-out section are compensated by using water as top-up. This resulted in a 30% saving in gum consumption and a 30% longer bath life (1800 m²) or 30% extra time before having to change the bath. This also meant less maintenance and easier cleaning.

This year we have been testing another innovation in the violet chemistry free technology of Agfa Graphics: the Attiro clean-out unit. Attiro applies a three step cascade gum flow in combination with the water top-up mechanism. This improved the clean-out efficiency and resulted in a bath life of 4000 m². The gum consumption was further reduced by 75% and the overall waste by 17%. As a result our maintenance schedules were cut back with 50%. We are very proud to announce the ecological benefits of these improvements to our customers.

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