The Times Union has moved to a new KBA Commander CL offset press from letterpress, which had outlived its lifespan. Replacing the older technology gave the Times Union the opportunity to transition from working with a single-source letterpress plate supplier. The new CtP equipment and plates from Agfa Graphics are being used to create a smaller-sized newspaper that features higher resolution and greater color capacity.
"The chem-free plates are working well. Everyone likes them. It's hard not to. There is almost no difference in how they run versus other chemical plates, which makes them easy to work with. The key is that after imaging the only thing that is needed is gumming the plate," said Dan Couto, Director of Operations and Facilities Planning, Times Union.
The Times Union is the latest location of several Hearst Publications to utilize Agfa Graphics solutions to meet corporate print production requirements.
"Many newspapers are learning how the benefits of chemistry-free plate production can help them increase their product quality while at the same time be more eco-friendly," said Don Easley, Regional Sales Manager, Newspaper Segment, Agfa Graphics. "For example, our chem-free plates offer additional savings over competitors' plates, since with :N94-VCF there is no need for a continuous water supply, water is only used in the Clean Out Unit. Additionally, chem-free plate users do not need to use a chemistry neutralizing system, resulting in cost savings in the equipment and monthly supplies."
The Times Union also uses :Arkitex IntelliTune, Agfa Graphics' image enhancement software, to automatically tone photos for the best reproduction on press.