A platesetter which accepts two pallet-loads of plates is the latest addition to Agfa Graphics Advantage N range.
The Advantage N-PL can image up to 3100 plates continuously at up to 400 plates per hour. An integrated pallet load module will accept either loads two stacks of 1500 single plates or one stack of 1500, as well as an extra 100 plates loaded on top.
Newspaper engines marketing manager Emiel Sweevers says the pallet load mechanism is quite simple: "When the CTP engine has used up its first stack of plates, it automatically puts the second stack in place to continue plate production."
The continuous production avoids leftovers, and avoids manual plate-loading errors such as badly stacked plates.
The pallet load module also enables printers to load new plates under white light circumstances, without interrupting the production process. By inserting a light protection shutter between the empty stack and the online stack, for example, new plates can be loaded through the back or the side of the machine without damaging the online ones with UV light.
Plate stacks are protected by a transport harness until they are moved to the online position inside the Advantage N-PL. That, together with the light protective shutter, allows printers to load a new stack without needing yellow light conditions.
Sweevers says the process significantly reduces packaging costs, taking a sustainable and ecological approach to plate production. The module is also available as an upgrade for Advantage N-TR HS and N-TR VHS platesetters.
• Agfa will also introduce a 'more basic' Advantage N Essentials platesetter range for newspaper applications at DRUPA. It will share options such as plate-loading mechanisms, "various plate throughput speeds" and different levels of autonomy, plus features such as mirrored registration or a display.
Sweevers says operating levels were minimised without reducing the range of choices. With a new, vertical imaging head, throughput speeds of 50 or 100 pph are offered. Plate loading and positioning are manual, although an N-eTR version offers full automation.