Introducing Eclipse

The most convenient process-free printing plate
Just as easy to use as a conventional plate

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“With Eclipse, we start up 40% faster. Combined with ANTURA fount, we waste 15% less paper while saving 25% on press cleaning. The plate has a good and stable contrast. There are absolutely no mix-ups on press. Its scratch resistance is great too, and we see no fingerprints on the plate.” Read more

Thomas Thomsen, company owner
Kandrup, Denmark

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“Eclipse helps us reduce print production costs. There is no processor to maintain, chemistry to store, or water or waste to dispose; and I pick up valuable floor space. Eclipse's image contrast is better than that of other process-free plates we’ve tried. We’re happy with our move to Eclipse. It is the right decision for our business needs.”

Jo DeLio, Print Production Manager
Mankato Packaging - USA

How Eclipse works

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Eclipse live demo

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No mess in your press

Here is how it works:

Eclipse layers

First of all, you need to know that Eclipse consists of:

  • a scratch-resistant substrate
  • a photolayer
  • a protective overcoat

The plate goes through different steps during the printing process:

Dampening

The fountain solution makes the overcoat swell.
Most of the overcoat and photolayer remain on the plate for now (see edge view image).

Inking

The plate is covered with ink. There is almost no difference between image and non-image parts, which indicates that the coating is still on the plate. It doesn’t dissolve in the fountain solution nor in the ink.

Printing

Only now is the remaining coating removed from the plate. It gets transferred to the blanket, and finally to the paper. The press stays clean!

Dampening offset pressoffset plate dampening magnified

Edge view after 10 revolutions of dampening. This image is enlarged 2000 times and shows that the overcoat and photo layer do not dissolve with the fountain solution but are still present.

Inking offset pressoffset plate inking magnified

Top view after 10 revolutions of inking. This image is enlarged 2000 times.

Printing offset pressoffset plate printing magnified

Edge view (2000 x enlarged) after the plate gets in contact with the blanket. Top: no image, bottom: image.

Dampening
The fountain solution makes the overcoat swell. Most of the overcoat and photolayer remain on the plate for now.

Dampening offset press

Inking
The plate is covered with ink. There is almost no difference between image and non-image parts, which indicates that the coating is still on the plate. It doesn’t dissolve in the fountain solution nor in the ink.

Inking offset press

Printing
Only now is the remaining coating removed from the plate. It gets transferred to the blanket, and finally to the paper. The press stays clean!

Printing offset press

Contrast = convenience = time & cost savings

Eclipse has a superior and stable image contrast, setting it apart from other process-free printing plates. This makes the plate easy to handle:

  • Punch & bending units, as well as plate sorting systems, use a printing plate’s contrast to perform a number of automated tasks.
  • Great contrast also helps operators to mount the plates correctly on the press.

Contrast immediately after exposure >

plate contrast process-free

Brand A

offset plate contrast after 24h

Brand B

Eclipse long-lasting plate contrast

Eclipse

A smooth process without hiccups or mistakes will save you time and money.
No costly plate remakes and lost press time!

plate contrast after 1 week

Brand A

dop plate after one week

Brand B

Eclipse contrast after 7 days

Eclipse

In addition, Eclipse’s contrast is stable. Commercial printers often prepare printing plates a number of days before printing. While other process-free plates lose their contrast after a more two hours, Eclipse keeps its great image contrast thanks to Agfa’s unique and irreversible color-forming mechanism. It does so for a week when stored in a dark box, but also after 24 hours in office light! This is particularly convenient as you don’t need to spend time on storing the plates safely.

< Contrast after one week in dark conditions (storage) 

Contrast = convenience = time & cost savings

Eclipse has a superior and stable image contrast, setting it apart from other process-free printing plates. This makes the plate easy to handle:

  • Punch & bending units, as well as plate sorting systems, use a printing plate’s contrast to perform a number of automated tasks.
  • Great contrast also helps operators to mount the plates correctly on the press.
processfree plate contrast after exposure

Contrast immediately after exposure

In addition, Eclipse’s contrast is stable. Commercial printers often prepare printing plates a number of days before printing. While other process-free plates lose their contrast after a more two hours, Eclipse keeps its great image contrast thanks to Agfa’s unique and irreversible color-forming mechanism. It does so for a week when stored in a dark box, but also after 24 hours in office light! This is particularly convenient as you don’t need to spend time on storing the plates safely.

DOP plate contrast after week

Contrast after one week in dark conditions (storage)

A smooth process without hiccups or mistakes will save you time and money.
No costly plate remakes and lost press time!

Great print quality guaranteed

Eclipse keeps its great contrast even after 24 hours in office light, which makes an enormous difference compared to the two hours of other process-free plates. It means you don’t need to store your plates in their box or in other dark conditions, which is time-consuming.

Contrast after 24 hours of office light >

plate contrast after a day

Brand A

offset plate contrast after 24h

Brand B

Eclipse long-lasting plate contrast

Eclipse

processfree plate print

Brand A

print process-free plates

Brand B

eclipse contrast

Eclipse

But there is more… Even out of the box, under office light, print quality will be fully preserved in terms of dot gain, background toning, and start-up time… Other process-free plates will score significantly worse on these parameters when left out of the box.

< Images of print samples made with a plate that has been left in office light for 24 hours

Great print quality guaranteed

Eclipse keeps its great contrast even after 24 hours in office light, which makes an enormous difference compared to the two hours of other process-free plates. It means you don’t need to store your plates in their box or in other dark conditions, which is time-consuming.

plate contrast after a full day

Contrast after 24 hours of office light

But there is more… Even out of the box, under office light, print quality will be fully preserved in terms of dot gain, background toning, and start-up time… Other process-free plates will score significantly worse on these parameters when left out of the box.

offset print processfree plate

Images of print samples made with a plate that has been left in office light for 24 hours

A robust plate

Printing plates get handled all throughout the prepress process. Think of loading them into cassettes or straight into the platesetter, putting them in storage, transporting them from the prepress environment to the pressroom, and of course mounting them on the press.

scratch resistance graph

Eclipse only starts to show scratches when a weight of 200 g is applied, while its main competitors already get scratched by much smaller weights – 50 g for brand B and as little as 10 g for brand A.

If a plate is not very robust, it might get damaged, and will need to be remade. That might mean stopping the press and losing time and money. For a commercial printing company with a plate consumption of 20,000 m²/year, costs caused by a scratch-sensitive plate can easily amount to €0.40 per m².

No such issues will occur with Eclipse. This plate is highly resistant to scratches as well as fingerprints. That means you can handle it with confidence.

Learn more about Eclipse

Part of ECO³

ECO3

Eclipse is part of Agfa’s ECO³ approach of sustainable innovation, which encompasses hardware, software and consumables that make prepress and printing operations cleaner, more cost-effective and easier to operate and maintain.