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Customer Case  | Stephens & George, Merthyr Tydfil , United Kingdom  | 04 August 2014

Stephens & George goes chemistry-free with Azura TU

From 19,000 litres waste per year to 400 litres gum per month

When Agfa Graphics introduced its chemistry-free plate in 2004, few would have expected printers the size of Stephens & George, which has a plate requirement of 230,000 m² per annum, to be utilizing Azura plates. Yet that is what happened and the company is more than happy with their chemistry-free solution.

Over the years Agfa Graphics has developed the award-winning patented Thermofuse technology on which the Azura printing plates are based further and introduced versions of Azura suitable for printers requiring higher volume plate production and longer print runs.

Award-winning UK printer Stephens & George, based in Merthyr Tydfil, has the latest 8 and 10-color presses and is one of the largest users of Azura plates imaging over 22,000 B1 plates per month, which are output on two platesetters capable of producing 95 Azura TU high performance plates per hour.

10+ Years of Azura

To celebrate more than a decade of the world’s leading chemistry-free printing plate, Agfa Graphics puts twelve users from all over the world in the spotlights between September 2014 and September 2015. Each of these customers also receives a customized celebration cake.

“We have not only managed to produce the volume of plates we required to keep our busy colour presses rolling, but the switch to Azura has helped reduce our chemical usage by 95% which means significant cost savings in waste disposal,” explained Andrew Jones, managing director at Stephens & George. “In fact, the chemical processor waste has been reduced from 19,000 litres per annum to just 400 litres of non-toxic gum waste a month with the Azura CX clean-out unit requiring no mains water.”

“With the old processor I would have set aside three to four hours a week for routine maintenance, which used to eat into valuable production time. With the clean-out unit it takes no longer than half an hour,” commented Jamie Awford, prepress manager at Stephens & George.

Agfa Graphics takes great pride in the fact that it has supplied Stephens & George with prepress solutions for many years and during this time has formed a close working relationship with the company.

“The team at Agfa understands our business so when they approached us with the option to change over to Azura TU we were keen to take advantage of the environmental benefits as well as the cost savings which could be achieved. I can honestly say that the switch has played a significant role in making our prepress more efficient,” concluded Andrew Jones.

Stephens & George helps Agfa celebrate Azura’s 10th Anniversary. (l to r) Jamie Awford and Andrew Jones of S&G together with Lee Russell and Jack Bennett of Agfa Graphics.

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