From producing calcium paper for black-and-white photography to durable and “green” synthetic paper, from a color dye factory near Berlin to an internationally renowned company in the graphic and healthcare industries, Agfa has been continuously evolving and excelling in its business for more than 150 years.
Now headquartered in Mortsel, Belgium, the multinational has expanded its businesses across the globe. In 1988, the company set up its China branch, and products such as photo paper entered the Chinese market even earlier. When people read a newspaper or visit hospitals, they probably have been in contact with Agfa’s products without realizing it.
From Nov 5 to 10, Agfa will participate in the 4th China International Import Expo to showcase products from two of its core business units — Radiology Solutions and Digital Print & Chemicals. The company’s pavilion will be at the Intelligent Industry and Information Technology area.
“Smart” and “green” are the two keywords for Agfa’s show at the grand annual trade and business gathering, initiated by the Chinese government since 2018 and highlighting advanced technologies and products from big multinational corporations.
On the radiology solutions side, Agfa will showcase the DR 100s, a high-productivity, ergonomic, mobile DR imaging solution making its debut in the China and Asian markets. Another product, Smart XR, will also be featured at the expo. Agfa’s Smart XR portfolio provides DR tools for dose, alignment, patient positioning and more to support enhanced clinical and operational performance while leaving the radiographer in control. Integrated sensors and cameras combined with powerful AI software, 3D machine vision, deep learning and machine intelligence assist the radiographer with first-time-rightimage acquisition, both in the X-ray room and at the point of care.
On the other side, Agfa’s exhibits for digital printing will focus on green technology and sustainability. They include DiPaMaTInjet Inks, which are non toxic and contain no solvents, combining environmental consciousness with printing efficiency for circuit boards; and SYNAPS synthetic papers, which is a polyester-based print media featuring durability without the need for lamination.
The ZIRFON separator membrane is another Agfa product worth noting. It is used for alkaline electrolysis and is appreciated by both electrolyzer manufacturers and owners of hydrogen production projects for its durability, as it sustains high productivity even in dynamic operating conditions. The superior quality and features contribute to the efficient production of hydrogen, which is one of the most promising green energies.
“It will be the third time Agfa has attended the expo,” said Suresh Ranganathan, Agfa’s vice-president for the Asia-Pacific region. “I have been there for the first two editions. It was the first big event since I came to China in July 2019.”
Ranganathan has worked in Agfa’s healthcare branch in India for nearly 20 years. “I’ve attended many conferences in India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, but the CIIE has the scale,” he said. “And even during the COVID-19 pandemic, there were still a lot of visitors.
“Practically I see every multinational company that is worth something is participating, whether they are in healthcare or automotive industries. I’ve seen many of my friends in other industries also are very keenly looking forward to the expo.”
The many different trade and aid policies being pursued by China globally have been heavily criticised but can developing countries become more independent or will China’s policy reform?