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Customer Case  | Technopôle Forbach Sud, France  | 01 December 2014

Technoprint

Azura TE

The quick start-up time on press allowed us to reduce the paper waste by 50%

French commercial printer Technoprint is very pleased with Agfa Graphics’ Azura TE direct-on-press plates. Not only does the plate’s great image contrast allow the operator to perform a quick and easy visual inspection, its fast make-ready and the wide working latitude are also highly appreciated.

Technoprint is located between Forbach and Sarrequemines in the North-East of France, near the German border. Their portfolio of commercial print services is promoted on their website in French and German. They produce a wide variety of flyers, cards, calendars, agendas, bills, brochures, books and envelopes, in monochrome and full colour. The entrance hall breaths the kind of open and relaxed atmosphere that puts visitors immediately at ease.

Technoprint is located between Forbach and Sarrequemines in the North-East of France, near the German border. Their portfolio of commercial print services is promoted on their website in French and German. They produce a wide variety of flyers, cards, calendars, agendas, bills, brochures, books and envelopes, in monochrome and full colour. The entrance hall breaths the kind of open and relaxed atmosphere that puts visitors immediately at ease.

Mr. E. Rebmann, Manager Prepress, explains us more about the company: “Technoprint profiles itself as a ‘human scale’ company, operating with a dedicated team of 12 employees. All the offset printing runs on a four color ManRoland 300 and a Heidelberg GTO 52 two colors. Our prepress department is equipped with a 4-up CtP engine that images 1000 plates per month on average, resulting in a plate volume of approximately 5000 m² per year.

The rather irregular plate system throughput might induce undesired issues in regard of chemical processing, partly due to the extended exposure of the chemicals to oxidation and the relatively low replenishment quantities. Such conditions tend to have a negative impact on the plate image quality and as such on the final printed quality. As a consequence, about four years ago, we followed the advice of our former plate supplier to start using their chemistry-free plate system in order to exclude some of these variables.

This year Agfa Graphics introduced the new chemistry-free plate Azura TE and asked us to participate in the field testing. During this period the Agfa technician assisted our prepress team to fine-tune the recently installed Apogee workflow and to readjust the CtP engine. Azura TE also resolved our previous problems with occasional plate jams in the CtP engine. Meanwhile we decided to adopt Azura TE because of some very distinct advantages.

The first advantage and also the most visible one is the plate’s deep blue contrast. It allows the press operator to literally see everything on the plate, up to the smallest detail. This means he can verify the plate’s content and prevent eventual typos or any other kind of errors to get on-press. We really appreciate this feature because it already prevented a few errors from being printed.

Secondly, when handling the plate, its surface seems to have a better scratch resistance compared to what we were using previously. It’s obvious that once on press, everything has to be correct; otherwise we lose lots of money and precious time.

Another somewhat less striking improvement that we also experienced, is the Azura TE daylight resistance after exposure, allowing the press operator to ignore the plate for quite some time before putting it on press. This is due to the inherent stability of the image in the Azura TE emulsion. The latter consists of fused latex pearls which remain unchanged once they are melted and fused by the thermal laser of the platesetter.

The quick plate start-up time and the wide working latitude of Azura TE on press are also strong features. They allowed us to reduce the paper waste by 50% compared to the previous plate we were using. And last but not least, the printing result itself looks great even after a run length of 80.000 copies.”

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