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Agfa Graphics further expanding its position in the industrial inkjet printing market

Agfa Graphics is recording sustained growth in industrial inkjet printing. The company was able to report major interest in its comprehensive range of products for large-format inkjet printing at drupa earlier in the year and more recently at the Visual Impact Image Expo (VIIE) show held in Sydney in early November.

Several systems from the :Anapurna family were sold to Australian and New Zealand customers at the exhibition. While the :Anapurna XLS, the flagship of the :Anapurna family made its international debut at drupa, the Australian market will see the XLS at the upcoming PacPrint show in Melbourne next May.

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 Agfa Graphics stand at the recent VIIE show in Sydney

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 The :Anapurna XLS


 The M-Press

Agfa utilised the VIIE to launch the :Anapurna Mv to the market. The Mv is the first wide format device with an additional varnishing function.

"The VIIE exhibition is a direct continuation of our great success at this year's drupa in Düsseldorf, where we sold over 100 systems from our :Anapurna family, as well as several long-run Dotrix and :M-Press systems. We are seeing a significant increase in worldwide demand for large-format print products, and therefore for LFP systems, and there is a clear trend towards UV inks in this context. Both developments underline the fact that we backed the right horse when we devised our inkjet strategy," says Steve Taylor Business Manager for Inkjet Products at Agfa Graphics.

From Taylor's point of view, one particular aspect is increasingly playing a key role: "The market is currently developing a fascinating degree of creativity, especially when it comes to large-format prints. Print buyers and agencies are approaching our customers with occasionally extraordinary ideas regarding the materials they would like to print and conversely our customers, too, are experimenting with almost every conceivable material in order to further expand their range of products and services. For example our stand at VIIE was a perfect example of what can be achieved with our technology with all of the stand graphics produced on the :Anapurna Mv. UV inks offer the greatest versatility for this purpose and are the ideal choice for both indoor and outdoor applications for this reason alone."

With its :Anapurna UV inks, developed and manufactured in Mortsel / Belgium, Agfa Graphics is not only catering specifically to this development, but also making a decisive contribution to advancing it. These inks can be used to obtain photorealistic printing results on an enormous variety of materials. In addition, the inks are characterised by very high colour saturation over an extremely wide colour space, as well as by particularly good scratch resistance and perfect adhesion on almost all substrates.

These features of the inks go hand-in-hand with the flexibility of the large-format printing systems of the :Anapurna family, which can process not only material on rolls, but also rigid substrates of virtually any kind up to a thickness of 45 mm – from cardboard, Dibond composites and plastics, such as Forex PVC rigid foam sheets, all the way to metals like aluminium, glass and wood. The :Anapurna systems offer unique flexibility as a result.

More than 350 :Anapurna systems are already in use worldwide, and their number is growing all the time. Since this year's drupa, this family of systems has comprised a total of seven machines that cover widely different requirements of large-format printers. The current flagship is the :Anapurna XLS. This large-format inkjet printing system from the Agfa Graphics portfolio has a net printing width of up to 252 cm and is characterised by particularly high productivity and print quality. A further highlight is the :Anapurna Mv with varnishing function for optional spot and overall varnishing, which was likewise presented for the first time at this year's drupa. Says Taylor: "Varnishes are becoming increasingly important because more and more customers also want to finish large-format prints. So our :Anapurna Mv, which has two integrated varnishing print heads”

Above and beyond the LFP systems of the :Anapurna family, the Agfa Graphics portfolio for industrial inkjet printing also includes the high-speed single-pass printing systems of the :Dotrix family for producing, among other things, flexible packaging, folding boxes, labels, POS materials and transaction prints, as well as the :M-Press, the world's first digital screen printing machine with a printing format of 1,600 mm x 2,600 mm, which was developed in cooperation with Thieme.

Taylor went on to say “We already have solid local interest in both :Dotrix and the :M-Press technologies in our region and are looking to conclude sales in 2009. Already we have hosted many Australian and New Zealand customers at our inkjet competency centre in Belgium were we have successfully demonstrated proof of concept on a wide range of print applications.

Agfa Graphics