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Agfa introduces SolidTune to optimize ink use for packaging printing


May 5, 2022
By PrintAction Staff

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Agfa releases SolidTune, a prepress software solution for offset packaging printing.

SolidTune has been developed with the specific challenges of packaging production in mind. The new technique applies a unique algorithm to the solids and text, after screening prior plate imaging. This process reduces the amount of ink needed for printing by an average of three per cent.

SolidTune is available on license in Apogee and Amfortis prepress workflows and can be used with any screening technology, including Agfa SPIR@L.

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SolidTune has been devised with unique edge protection, meaning the algorithm ensures the edges of the solids are preserved to keep the print clean and crisp. This helps to create a better printable 1-bit file for offset packaging printing, where spot colours are often printed as solids.

“The packaging market is growing, and the opportunity is growing for converters, meaning they are constantly searching for new technologies that can help them deliver even better print quality with strong colours, but at cost-efficient levels,” said Andy Grant, Agfa’s global head of software.

This new approach naturally shortens the overall production times, as the thinner solid ink film enabled by SolidTune takes less time and energy to dry, and with faster drying, downstream processes such as finishing and die-cutting can take place sooner, allowing converters to respond to demands from brand owners for faster delivery and also to save on warehouse costs.

Further, the implementation of SolidTune into the workflow improves ink distribution and reduces problems with ink offsetting from one impression to the next. There will also be less force on the substrate from the ink system, which prevents plucking (or picking) of fibres from the top paper layer; a problem that is known to cause reduced image quality and potential rejection of jobs.