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Agfa Graphics Signs Ten-year Partnership with News International Ltd.


First Full Facilities Management Implementation Cements 110 Million Euro Contract.

Birmingham, UK (Ipex, Hall 6 booth C10) April 4, 2006, Agfa Graphics today announced that it has signed a strategic ten-year partnership with News International Ltd. News International will adopt a brand new production model whereby Agfa Graphics ensures full facilities management from file intake to press-ready plates. The deal includes CtP equipment, enterprise-wide software, violet digital printing plate materials as well as 24/7 staffing, support, maintenance and technical service for The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and News of the World.

Implementation will start in September this year at News International’s new Eurocentral printing plant in Glasgow, Scotland, then rolled out to Knowsley and to next to the greenfield Broxbourne site. Agfa Graphics will install 20 high-speed :Polaris XCV-S violet CtP systems for :N91v violet photopolymer plates, full :Arkitex newspaper enterprise software suites interfacing to Man Roland PeCOM press control systems, plate processors and punch benders. Twenty-five Agfa Graphics engineers and technicians will provide 24/7 staffing and support to give News International an uninterrupted and timely supply of press-ready plates.
“This is the largest contract in the history of our company but more importantly, it brings a new business model to newspaper publishing,” said Agfa Graphics’ President, Stefaan Vanhooren. “It shows how our applications knowledge, total solutions approach, innovative digital technology and service combine to deliver to our partners a revolutionary value proposition that no other prepress vendor can offer.”

“As we planned prepress and production for our new printing sites, we were looking to buy more than technology. What we wanted was failsafe operations from file intake to the printing press. Agfa Graphics understood our needs and came up with a value proposition that more than meets our production requirements for the next ten years. We are very optimistic about the partnership,” said Ian McDonald, managing director, Operations, for News International Ltd.


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