Environmentally friendly printing plate production at Agora Poligrafia in Tychy (Poland)
Printing company Agora Poligrafia (Tychy, Poland) successfully uses an environmentally friendly solution for the production of printing plates, consisting of Agfa’s high-performance Advantage N-DL XXT platesetter, an Attiro VHS clean-out unit, and N95-VCF chemistry-free printing plates. The investment enabled the company, part of the Agora Group, to reduce water consumption and waste significantly and as a result, to reduce the costs associated with the entire production process while at the same time increasing its efficiency.
Agora Poligrafia celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The plant was set up in 1998, being a model – in terms of construction and technological equipment – for the other Agora Group printing sites in Piła and Warsaw. Currently, the Tychy site publishes the titles belonging to Agora (primarily Gazeta Wyborcza, inclucing magazines and inserts), as well as other press titles. They also print (semi-) commercial publications for other clients. “Among them, the leading Polish national and regional retailers,” says Witold Pałczyński, director of Agora Poligrafia. “In view of a faster and better service for our clients, we have recently made significant investments in both prepress and printing technology.”
Continuously increasing efficiency
The printing site in Tychy serves the whole area of southern Poland with its newspaper titles, and the whole of Poland with its (semi-)commercial publications. “Customers expect jobs to be processed ever faster. At the same time, we are faced with increasing price pressure, just like other newspaper printing companies. Hence we need to keep investing in the improvement of our equipment – not only to make production even more efficient, yet also to optimize our cost structure,” adds Witold Pałczyński.
The printing plates processed in the Attiro VHS system meet our expectations both in terms of production efficiency and printing behavior. We are satisfied with their robustness too.
Thanks to the expansion of the printing press with a drying oven, it can be used for ‘hybrid’ production, including one-pass coldset printing as well as heatset printing.
One of the key purchases made recently by Agora Poligrafia was Agfa’s ecological CtP system, consisting of an Advantage N-DL XXT platesetter and an Attiro VHS clean-out unit, based on an innovative concept for the development of chemistry-free plates – in this case the photopolymer N95-VCF plate. “This combination guarantees optimal production parameters, thanks to the high efficiency of the imagesetter, the ‘cascade’ construction of the Attiro VHS system (which significantly reduces gum consumption as well as maintenance frequency), and the qualities of the dedicated N95-VCF photopolymer plates”, says Stefan Piotrowski, responsible for the newspaper segment in the Polish branch of Agfa. “The latter are characterized by their very high on-press resistance, which makes it possible to achieve run lengths of up to 300,000 copies. What’s more, they are compatible with UV inks, which means that they can be used for a wider portfolio of applications, including commercial print jobs”.
Less gum consumption and reduced maintenance with Attiro VHS clean-out unit
According to Stefan Piotrowski, the Attiro VHS system deserves special attention. At the Tychy plant, it is combined with fastest CtP newspapers available on the market: “It is dedicated to high volume production, although it also works well at lower production speeds of course. The clean-out unit’s cascade construction has proven itself so well that it was also implemented in our ecological smart processor Arkana, intended for the sheetfed offset market. There are three sections in the Attiro VHS. The concentrated gum is cascaded successively from the third to the third and from there to the first section – and thus effectively used three times. In addition to reducing gum consumption and waste, bath life is doubled, thus significantly reducing maintenance frequency of the entire system. The whole process becomes more environmentally friendly”.
The Tychy printing site prints both for its owner, the Agora group, and for third parties
Marek Zybura from the prepress department at Agora S.A. adds: “Before we decided to purchase the Attiro, we had the opportunity to see this solution at Axel Springer in Spandau, Germany. The ecological and cost saving effects of the system proved to be so convincing that we decided to implement it at Tychy. The system has been working here for several months and we are very positive about it.”
“As you can see, the implemented investments and the modernization of the equipment directly widened our offering. We particularly encourage business partners to consider the possibility of using coldset papers for advertising materials. They are not only environmentally friendly and functional, but also allow achieving similar effects to heatset at lower costs.”
Stefan Piotrowski sums up: “We are happy that Agora Poligrafia decided to opt for our CtP solution. The environmental aspects definitely played a special role. And we are also pleased to see that a year after its implementation, the entire system meets their expectations. We hope that – combined with innovative solutions used in the press room and the finishing department – the printing company will be able to gain even more satisfied customers and expand its order book.”