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Breakthrough Improvements in Agfa’s Proofing Systems

Monday, 05 February 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

Following a recent visit to Agfa’s Graphic Systems’ headquarters in Belgium, Bruce Lowery (pictured right), National Proofing Manager in Australia, is full of enthusiasm for the recent changes to Agfa’s proofing systems.

“Before going, I was already happy with the proofing systems we were selling in the Australian market,” said Lowery. “Now, with breakthrough improvements like High Definition output profiles in the RIP, a new Quality Management System, and affordable Halftone Screening options, we are able to offer our customers dramatically improved quality, consistency and speed”.

“The foundation of the new system is our extremely stable :Grand Sherpa piezo-inkjet printer, capable of producing variable dots that can be measured in picolitres. We have had these printers for a good twelve months now and they have proved themselves in terms of quality, speed and reliability,” he said. “The difference is that we have now produced new features in our: Apogee Proofing RIP that take full advantage of these printers’ capabilities”.

The new Version 2.2 :Apogee Proofing RIP boasts new :Colortune HD High Definition output profiles which guarantee a bigger colour gamut, better Pantone reproduction, no loss in highlights, and vastly improved black and white images. The new RIP will also allow :Grand Sherpa printers to run at greatly increased speeds. “An A1 contract quality proof could be produced in around 10 minutes,” said Lowery. “That’s almost half the time of previous Agfa proofing systems.”

At the heart of the system is the new Version 1.2 :Sherpa QMS Quality Management System. This works ‘hand-in-glove’ with an X-Rite DTP41 colour spectrophotometer to ensure each subsequent proof is consistent with those produced previously. QMS also ensures that different :Grand Sherpa’s will produce almost-identical, contract-quality proofs, even if produced in different locations.

Finally, an affordable :Agfa Balanced Screening (ABS) halftone screening option has been added to the :Grand Sherpa proofing system. This will enable contract-quality proofs of up to 200 LPI for commercial printing applications, and from 45 LPI to 85 LPI for flexo printing requirements.

The new features are available immediately, and all :Grand Sherpa proofing systems will include the new :Apogee 2.2 Proofing RIP, :Colortune 4.2, :Sherpa QMS 1.2, and a DTP41 Colour Spectrophotometer.

“Several large, prepress specialists in Australia are already talking to us about this new system and they are also running exhaustive tests,” said Lowery. “We are confident that this major breakthrough in Agfa’s proofing quality will be very well received here, as well as in Europe. The outstanding new features and speed will be hard to ignore.”

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