Earlier this year, TechNova, the Indian partner for Agfa, introduced the new-generation Advantage N Essentials range of violet CTP systems. The Advantage N Essentials series is a brand new series that takes CTP technology back to its essence with the advantage of low cost with high-end results.
Depending on the degree of automation that printers need, they can choose between the semi-automatic Advantage N-eSA or the fully automated Advantage N-eTR. The platesetters are equipped with features such as automatic loading plus on-line processing, trolley with 500 plates, automatic slip sheet removal, among others. The typical speed of the machine is around 70 plates per hour of 576x700mm size and with a resolution of 1200dpi.
Advantage N eSA is a semi-automatic platesetter and the Advantage N eTR is equipped with a fully automatic trolley loading system. The new Advantage N Essentials series supports several plate-loading mechanisms, various plate throughput speeds and different levels of autonomy. “The Advantage series matches every production requirement and accommodates plate sizes ranging from 275x451mm to 1250x710mm,” informs Amit Khurana of TechNova.
According to Khurana, “The Advantage N platesetter range offer newspaper printers a more affordable option without compromising performance. This CTP system is dedicated to aid the newspaper markets grow, and the Essentials imagers take the ratio between affordability and performance to the next level.”
The platesetter equipped with violet laser imaging technology addresses the needs of large, medium and small-volume printers. “Advantage N Essential units can image both photopolymer and chemistry-free plates. Users can choose from an array of optional features to fully configure the CTP engine as per their needs,” says Khurana.
The Advantage N eTR platesetter has been commissioned at The Hindu’s MM Nagar Chennai plant and the Jalandhar-based Daily Ajit. “When Agfa developed the e-TR with a trolley load capacity of 500 plates, we agreed to the testing of the machine for the Indian market through TechNova,” informs R P Lakshmivenkatraman, associate vice president (pre-press), The Hindu.
Khurana says, “The Hindu, one of the largest users of Agfa platesetter, in the last few years has invested in quite a number of Advantage N-SL.” The Advantage N-SL’s installed at the newspaper firm is fully automated with a stack loader of 100 plates capacity.
Lakshmivenkatraman says, “The Advantage N eTR is a very compact machine with a small footprint and has very few moving parts, which leads to increased reliability. Plus, the trolley mechanism with 500 plates capacity is very useful.”
Currently, two Advantage N eTR platesetters are in operation at The Hindu newspaper printing plant. The system images about 70 plates per hour of 695x568mm size at 1270 dpi. According to Lakshmivenkatraman, the platesetter and its driving software Newsdrive is very user-friendly.
“Two Advantage N e-TRs in one site give us comfortably the necessary throughput required at peak time as well production security. In the past, such high-capacity autoloading systems were only available with very high price tags and therefore, the affordable Advantage N e-TR will help us save a lot of money,” he adds.
Whereas, the Punjabi language daily newspaper Daily Ajit has invested in the Advantage N Essentials eTR platesetters for its new plant in Bathinda, Punjab. “As we plan to expand in Bathinda, which is an important strategic market for us, investment in the best machinery is imperative,” says Gurjot Kaur of Daily Ajit. The Bhatinda plant is expected to be operational by the end of November.
Talking about the investment in the Advantage N eTR, Kaur says, “The decision was primarily based on the flexibility offered by the system in terms of automation, higher speeds and at the same time affordable costs.” The firm switched from thermal to violet two years ago. According to Kaur, switching to violet technology has helped to automate the print process and operate at higher speed and offer better run-length for newspaper environment.
The other reason for investment according to Kaur was due to TechNova’s excellent support service network. She says, “We have 24X7 supports from the TechNova team and are flexible in their approach to customise solution based on our needs.”
Printers can also choose optional features such as right side loading, speed upgrade of additional 50pph, additional trolleys, mirrored registration and a higher resolution output up to 2,450 dpi.