Agfa Graphics is planning to close down its offset printing plate factory in Banwol, South Korea. The plant produces mainly analog offset plates for the local market. But for several years now, these product lines have been facing a structural decline in demand so Agfa has now informed the Banwol employees as well as the trade unions that it intends to close down the factory, impacting 36 employee positions. A redundancy plan will be developed for the employees who currently work in Banwol.
Stefaan Vanhooren, President of Agfa Graphics, explained: “This decision is part of our strategy to improve the operational efficiency of our global factory network, our profit margins and our position in the highly competitive prepress market.”
Two years ago Agfa closed a similar factory in Manerbio, Italy, which also produced analogue offset plates and negative CtCP plates. Strangely, Vanhooren gave almost exactly the same statement then.
Kodak has also reduced its plate production, shutting down its Leeds factory last year. However, Agfa continues to manufacture digital printing plates at its factory in Leeds.