Home' Australian Printer Magazine : November 2013 Contents Buyers Guide: Consumables
Agfa’s plate people
AS this issue of Australian Printer was going to
press editor Way ne Robinson was at Agfa’s global
headquarters in Mortsel, Belgium, for the company’s
biggest plate announcement for many years. Full
details will be revealed in the December issue. However,
Agfa, as befits a print solutions developer of many decades,
has a host of ongoing innovation.
Koni Neuhofer from Agfa says, “Agfa understands the
demands of today’s printing industry and believes that ‘one
product fits all’ is not what the industry wants. As such, Agfa
offers a selection of plate products tailored to the needs of
the end user. Understanding what the customer wants to
achieve is essential in providing the best plate solution.”
The company has extended its patented ThermoFuse-
based prepress system to high-volume printers. The :A zura
TS system helps commercial printers to run more efficiently
and reduce their ecological footprint. The :A zura CX125
COU (clean-out unit) reduces gum consumption and extends
bath life. It is designed to handle plate volumes of up to
40,000sqm per year. This fits well with printers producing
high volume or short run work with many plate changes.
Management ser vices and dedicated cloud infrastructure
enable publishers and printers to streamline production
flows for paper and mobile devices. :Arkitex Cloud offers
complete pre-press software and hardware in the cloud to
minimise operational costs and IT infrastructure. :Arkitex
Eversify automates mobile publishing using SaaS (Software
as a Ser vice) technology in the cloud. Both systems of fer
continuity and automation whilst optimising operational
costs and creating sustainable production environments.
Agfa has a solution to improve print quality on older
presses that suffer from mechanical mis-registration.
:A rkitex PressRegister automatically corrects imaging data
to produce high-quality print while saving time and money.
The developer also has VeriPress for :A rkitex, offering
pressroom proofing in a print production env ironment.
Agfa Graphics is contributing to improv ing the industry’s
sustainability in two ways. Firstly it is a front-runner in
developing more eco-friendly technologies, enabling printers
to eliminate toxic chemicals, reduce waste, lower ink and
water consumption and save energy. It is the market leader
for chemistry-free printing plates, and its w ide format
printers replace energy and chemistry-demanding screen
Secondly, Agfa continuously strives to reduce its own
footprint. All of its manufacturing sites have ISO14001
and OHSAS18001 certificates or are in a programme to
achieve certification. In the summer of 2011 the company
launched its worldwide Sustainability and Energy Reduction
Programme to roll- out best practices across all sites.
Agfa’s ongoing innovation is supported by its specialist
plate team, which is made up of a quartet of highly trained
vastly experienced plate professionals: Grey Fry, Ian Best,
Peter Munro and Peter Williams.
With a remarkable 152 years of printing experience
between them, all four come from the trade. The plate team
aims to provide printers with proactive measures to ensure
their presses and pre-press are running at optimum levels.
They are also there for troubleshooting should issues occur.
Neuhofer says, “Agfa maintains a strong team with
the experience and training to ensure printers meet the
challenges of their work in the best possible way. They show
printers how to get the best results from their kit and take
steps to make sure performance is achieved consistently.
“Agfa is committed to ensuring our customers achieve
optimum performance from their plates. Our team of plate
professionals know print inside-out, they know presses and
they know pre-press. They will perform pressroom audits
and create action sheets to help printers get the best possible
“We believe that professional print businesses need
professional support, which is why Agfa is committed to
maintaining its plates team.”
38 November 2013 - Australian Printer
APPRENTICED with Progress Press Victoria in
1981 as a printing machinist, Fry became an
accomplished printer and supervisor of many
large heatset presses such as Goss, Rotoman and
He worked for PMP’s Indonesian joint venture
in Batam, Indonesia and gained experience
in newspaper production with News Ltd as
pressroom coordinator for the Herald and Weekly
He had a technical sales role with DuPont for
three years before joining Agfa 1997 in a technical
role and became product specialist in digital
plates and pressroom chemistry in 2007.
GREG FRY - 33 years in the printing trade
BEST began an apprenticeship in printing with
John Sands in Sydney in 1971, achieving a Best
Pass in Class Honours. He worked first in sheetfed
then transitioned to heatset web, printing a wide
variety of magazine work, and later moved into
the role of pressroom manager.
Best then moved into management, with roles
in quality control and quality assurance areas. He
started work with Printing Technologies as a plate
specialist in 1990 covering all aspects of technical
support for prepress and pressroom products.
In 1999 he transferred to Agfa after it acquired
Printing Technologies and has continued in the
role ever since.
IAN BEST – 42 years in the printing trade
MUNRO completed an apprenticeship as a
lithographic printer and platemaker with Robert
Burton in Sydney, followed by positions with
Conpress (web and sheet fed presses), Wilson
& Hor ton in New Zealand and several years in
London and Europe with various print companies
including press start-up Daily Jang Newspaper.
He has also held sales, technical and
management positions with Xerox, Printing
Technologies and FT Wimble, before joining
Agfa as an offset plate specialist in 1990. He is a
fellow of the Lithographic Institute of Australia, a
past president, and remains an active committee
member of the association.
PETER MUNRO - 46 years in the printing trade
IN 1982 Williams began his apprenticeship in
graphic reproduction at Wilke & Company in
Melbourne. He worked at a variety of print
and repro companies around Melbourne as a
platemaker combiner and production manager.
He spent five years at Du Pont Australia in
technical sales supporting plates, film and press
chemicals and in 2000 moved to CPI Group,
involved initially in printing inks, later Fuji plates
He joined Heidelberg Australia in 2006 as
technical specialist in plates and chemicals, and
in 2010 joined Agfa as product specialist in digital
plates and pressroom chemistry.
PETER WILLIAMS – 31 years in the printing trade
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