Since its introduction on the market last year, the Eclipse process-free printing plate from ECO3 (formerly Agfa Offset Solutions) has proved its worth to numerous printing companies across the globe.
Eclipse is a process-free plate that brings a new level of convenience to sheet-fed commercial printers. Every printer who has had the chance to work with Eclipse has acknowledged its distinctive benefits:
- It keeps the press clean as its coating is transferred to the first few printed sheets, instead of to the press as is the case with other process-free plates.
- For the first time, a process-free plate features a stable image contrast. Eclipse keeps its superior and stable image contrast even after a week of storage or after 24 hours in office light.
- And finally, Eclipse’s high scratch resistance is a game-changer. Printers don’t need to worry about damaging the plate during loading, storing, transporting or mounting.
Eclipse in action
A range of early adopters are enthusiastic about ECO3’s process-free plates. One of them is Brazilian commercial and packaging company Gráfica 7 Cores, who enjoys great peace of mind thanks to Eclipse.
Gráfica 7 Cores prides itself on offering its customers the highest quality, as well as guidance throughout the entire ordering, production and delivery process. The company continually invests in cutting-edge printing and finishing solutions.
Gráfica 7 Cores recently started using ECO3's Eclipse process-free plates. Roberto Moreira, company director, says: “In addition to being a printing plate with good technical characteristics, such as easy development, Eclipse is also very stable and its great contrast enables an easy visual inspection before printing. The plate’s high resistance to scratches and to light exposure make handling it really convenient.” Roberto also emphasizes: “As the coating is removed with the paper, Eclipse does not contaminate the fountain solution or ink rollers. The result is a cleaner and faster print production process, which gives us a lot of operational flexibility.”
Fewer plate remakes
Minnesota, USA-based Mankato Packaging is another Eclipse user. Mankato specializes in the design and offset printing of specialty boxes and cartons, supplying many large international companies with fluid filter outer wraps for engines.
The team at Mankato state: “ECO3’s Eclipse process-free plates helps us reduce print production costs. There is no processor to maintain, chemistry to store, or water or waste to dispose of. And we pick up valuable floor space. We can see the image and proof the plate, like a conventional plate. Our pressman can handle the plate with greater ease. There's less worry about scratching and fingerprinting and there are fewer remakes, saving us time and money.”
Fast start-up, less maintenance
Kandrup Bogtrykkeri is a 100-year old family-owned company located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It handles a variety of short-run commercial print jobs, both in offset and digital printing. Having converted from another process-free plate, it is now another satisfied Eclipse user.
“The plate has good and stable contrast. There are absolutely no mix-ups on the press,” says company owner Thomas Thomsen. “Its scratch resistance is great, and we see no fingerprints on the plate.” He is enthusiastic concerning the plate’s performance on press too: “We see significant improvements there. We estimate that start-up is 40% faster than before. We don’t need to waste time and money on remakes or unforeseen interruptions on the press. Paper waste at start-up is also about 15% lower. Besides, the combination of the Eclipse plate with the ANTURA fount yields a more stable ink/water balance and a higher latitude in printing.” Thomsen adds: “There is no sludge in the press tank, as the coating gets transferred to the first sheets of paper. As a result, we need less cleaning of the filters of the fountain system. The fount’s bath life more than doubled with Eclipse. We estimate a yearly saving of 25%.”