Agfa CTP in South America, Asia

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By: E&P Staff

Newspapers from Chile to Panama install Agfa violet-laser platesetting systems, while in Asia, two huge customers add to their existing Agfa equipment.

El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile, chose Agfa’s CTP technology to meet increasing production demands at its Diarios Regionales papers, which produce more than 200,000 copies per day and lay out about 20,000 pages in prepress.

The Temuco and Antofagasta print centers run Agfa violet systems, and the company plans to add systems at its Valparaiso and Arica sites later this year.

Violet imaging was chosen for the required fast platesetting, after thermal and violet systems were compared at several newspapers, according Antonio Lehyt, production director at El Mercurio de Valpara?so, and operations coordinator for Diarios Regionales. Also influencing the selection was availability of Sublima cross-modulated screening. With screens up to 180 lpi for newspapers, and up to 340lpi for commercial applications, Agfa says Sublima “delivers magazine quality at newspaper speeds.”

Agfa’s fastest violet system, the Polaris XTV-S, was recently installed at Clarin, Buenos Aires, Argentina, where it produces more than 240 plates per hour at 1016dpi.

Agfa also reported Advantage system installations in R?o Negro, Argentina, as well as in Brazil, Venezuela, and Panama, where Panama City’s El Panama America added a second Advantage CtP system and La Prensa acquired two Advantage systems.

Across the world, The Hindu, headquartered in Chennai, India, began a switch from film imagesetting to computer-to-plate output in 2003, when it tested, then put it into production a Polaris system imaging Agfa silver halide plates at its Hyderabad site.

The next year the paper installed two Advantage DL systems in Tiruchi and two Polaris XDV systems in Chennai, where they are calibrated for four plate sizes, three for the newspaper presses and one for the commercial presses.

In all, the Hindu produces more than a million copies at 12 sites. At the main site, it uses many Agfa Arkitex workflow components; at other sites the Arkitex Producer solution is used. The newspaper is now installing Advantage DL violet systems at its Bangalore and Delhi sites.

Agfa also sold Advantage CLS systems to Beijing-based People’s Daily, China’s largest-circulation paper, with more than three million copies. The Communist Party Central Committee’s newspaper installed an Agfa Polaris 100 CTP system in 2001. The Advantage CLS systems are expected to further speed to the workflow with fully automatic plate loading and throughput of up to 200 plates per hour. The system’s three cassettes can hold 1,200 plates of three sizes, providing flexibility to swap sizes during a single run. People’s Daily uses Agfa’s :N91v photopolymer plate with the Advantage and Lithostar Ultra plates with the Polaris.

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