Agfa Graphics has secured the digital plate contract with NZME, making it the sole plate supplier in moving the Ellerslie print centre forward with the introduction of N95-VCF chemistry-free violet plate technology alongside Attiro high-speed clean out units.

NZME has awarded Agfa Graphics a multi-year contract to supply the Auckland-based site. Installation of the new technology began in November with the removal of older-style chemical processors and the installation of two Attiro high speed clean-out units.

Agfa will also remove aging punch bending equipment and replace it with two high-speed NELA VCPevolution 900 punch benders.

Steve Marshall, business development manager for Agfa Graphics, says, “Agfa is proud to work in partnership with NZME with the introduction of this technology to the region. Having worked closely with NZME for many years, we had a thorough understanding of the sales and support requirements at this key newspaper account.”

Russell Wieck, operations manager at the Ellerslie print site, says, “During the tender process, Agfa stood out as the clear leader for us to partner with due to their chemistry-free plate technology that will offer NZME significant savings in terms of reductions in chemistry, waste, water and maintenance, all of which contribute to a significant return on investment.

“The chemistry-free plate technology coupled with the level of service and support offered by Agfa gives us peace of mind for our daily production needs.

“NZME is a long-time user of Agfa’s Arkitex Director workflow software and this will be transitioned to our current Arkitex Production software during the contract period.”

Agfa’s chemistry-free plate technology has been in use for more than five years in the Oceania region but the NZME installation will see the first roll-out of the Attiro technology, alongside the high run length N95-VCF plate which is rated for both coldset and UV applications. Agfa says this cascade technology for newspapers brings with it a wealth of productivity and sustainability benefits. The company says it offers minimal gum consumption, significantly extended bath life, lower maintenance and minimal water usage, result in a clear latent image on a fully developed, gummed plate, meaning no confusion on press.

The two lines of NELA VCPevolution punch bending will offer optical plate alignment and will handle both single and panorama plate. It will punch and bend in one step with register-exact positioning via high-resolution digital cameras ahead of plates being sorted and stacked accordingly to press requirements.

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