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Agfa Belgium press conference: Industrial inkjet leads drupa charge

Wednesday, 26 March 2008
By Print 21 Online Article

Dotrix Modular targets flexible packaging and folding cartons in a clear indication of the company’s future strategy.

Aligning itself with many other major suppliers in declaring the upcoming German trade show the ‘inkjet drupa’, Agfa has placed inkjet at the core of its exhibition stand. While also introducing new thermal CTP engines and plates, the stand will place a major emphasis on the innovative inkjet technology that is driving much of the company’s R&D.

Inkjet is an attractive sector for manufacturers, especially those such as Agfa that have proprietary technology. It offers the business model of hardware and consumabels, such as ink and substrates, thereby providing a longer sustainable revenue stream than simple hardware sales. In concentrating on industrial inkjet in the folding carton market Agfa is aiming for a dominant digital presence in the sector.

Focusing on its patented core industrial strength inkjet technology Agfa will present faster (24 m/min) and more productive Dotrix Modular presses for the packaging market. It is promoting a competitive cost of ownership that will allow run lengths of up to and over 15,000 running metres as well as interspersing flexo stations inline for the use of primer when required. It will also allow printing of special in-house colours or special inks like gold, metallic and fluorescents, as well as high density white and varnish. 

At a pre-drupa press conference in Belgium last week, Willy Van Dromme, sales & marketing manager, Inkjet, Agfa Graphics, confirmed the advances made in the vital inkjet technology by the company. “Our industrial inkjet presses help printers in the packaging market increase their versatility and accomplish the work they need to do to satisfy their clients faster than ever before. drupa gives us the opportunity to promote our expertise in this technology with professionals from dozens of countries around the world,” he said.

The :Dotrix, which is upgradeable, runs with UV inks on a wide variety of media. In the next phase, speeds will be increased to 30 m/min and afterwards to even higher speeds depending on the specific applications. It can print on many types of substrates, including the most common flexible packaging materials such as paper, multiwall, PE, PP, BOPP and PET, as well as folding carton and label materials such as heat-sensitive, pressure-sensitive and in-mould labels.

There will be at least two operating Dotrix Modular presses at drupa in set-ups for flexible packaging and folding cartons.

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