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Pressehaus Stuttgart Druck Installs KODAK GENERATION NEWS System

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY, June 3 – Pressehaus Stuttgart Druck GmbH is undoubtedly one of Europe's most modern and most prestigious newspaper printers. The company, located in Stuttgart, Germany, recently became even more of a trendsetter by installing the new KODAK GENERATION NEWS System. This fully integrated thermal platesetter is a completely new product from Kodak that is specifically geared to the productivity, quality, and automation requirements of the newspaper industry. The Z speed GENERATION NEWS System at Pressehaus Stuttgart Druck GmbH is the first installation of its kind worldwide.

The KODAK GENERATION NEWS System images up to 300 broadsheet plates per hour at 1270 dpi and offers advanced automation features. The new platesetter has multiple plate cassettes, enabling fast loading and unloading of multiple plate sizes. Newspaper printers can load up to 1600 broadsheet plates or 800 panorama plates, running continuously with no operator intervention. Integrated plate size selection, slip sheet removal, and 3 point registration are all automated to eliminate errors.

The KODAK GENERATION NEWS System has been undergoing beta testing in the newspaper printer's daily production process since the end of March. As Reiner Wormitt, Managing Director Pressehaus Stuttgart Druck explains, the new platesetter was installed and fully commissioned in just two days. In the meantimet it supplies almost 40% of all offset plates consumed by a large KBA Commander coldset web press. The nationally renowned Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten newspapers are already printed entirely with plates imaged by the new CTP system from Kodak. It also delivers the plates for Sonntag Aktuell, the Sunday newspaper, various weeklies, and a whole series of advertising materials and company and customer magazines produced regularly on behalf of clients in industry and trade.

Speed limit lifted, thermal imaging quality upheld

With the plate size used by the Stuttgart printer, the KODAK GENERATION NEWS System achieves a throughput of more than 260 plates an hour at 1270 dpi output resolution – about half as much again as each of the three old NEWSETTER platesetters. "We very much welcome this clear improvement in productivity. It will enable us to manage with just two CTP lines in the future instead of the present three," Wormitt continues. "We are extremely satisfied with the dot accuracy, plate processing stability, and run lengths." Pressehaus has used KODAK THERMALNEWS GOLD Plates exclusively for several years now, with an annual consumption of some 500,000.

The compact design, high plate capacity, and full automation are further features of the KODAK GENERATION NEWS System that make it ideal for the situation at Pressehaus and pave the way for unattended operation. The platesetter is installed directly adjacent to the web press line on the control desk level, so that the operator only has to handle plates supplied to the press.

Formidable automation

The KODAK GENERATION NEWS System operating at Pressehaus Stuttgart Druck has four plate trays capable of holding a total of 1600 broadsheet plates or 800 0.3 mm thick panorama plates with slip sheets. Peter Renz, who works in IT and platemaking, is full of praise for the system's ingenious, fully automated workflow. It lifts the plates from the stacks in pairs, removes the slip sheet – which it carefully deposits in a separate tray with a capacity of 1600 sheets – then feeds the plates to the imaging unit. The three-point registration system on the imager drum makes sure the two plates are precisely positioned for super-fast imaging with two thermal heads. The KODAK SQUARESPOT Imaging Technology used for thermal imaging assures the stability and reproducibility of the digital platemaking process. In short, the GENERATION NEWS System integrates the same precision registration and imaging technologies that have already powered the proven KODAK TRENDSETTER NEWS Platesetters to overwhelming success in the newspaper market.

Of course, the system's high throughput is above all due to the fact that the loading, imaging, and unloading processes overlap. In other words, if the KODAK GENERATION NEWS Systems is running continuously, then several plate pairs are in simultaneous motion at any given time.

The CTP system feeds the imaged plates to a KODAK MERCURY P-HD Plate Processor for high-speed parallel processing. This step is followed by punching and bendingwith optical registration before the press-ready plates are placed into a compact sorter – all in all, a short, streamlined, and fully automated process.

The editorial and advertisement pages for the different newspaper and weekly titles are supplied to the platemaking process in RIPped TIFF G4 data format, then fed directly into the platesetter using Kodak's TIFF Downloader software. External contracts tend to be delivered to the department as PDF files. If the end products are tabloids, Peter Renz and his colleagues assemble the pages upfront of RIPping using the KODAK PREPS Imposition Software. A 130 or 150 lpi linescreen is preferred, depending on the printed product and the type of newsprint.

In the meantime, Pressehaus Stuttgart Druck is unable to imagine making plates without the KODAK GENERATION NEWS System. Peter Renz: "The machine was set up, adjusted, and configured in no time. It was up and running without a hitch on the second day. My colleagues and I were totally amazed at how fast and simple it was to install and commission." The only spectacular thing about it was when the 1.7 ton system arrived at the site in March 2008. It had to be heaved up to the second story by a large truck crane and literally swung into the building. However, even this breathtaking maneuver was completed just as unproblematically as daily plate production with the KODAK GENERATION NEWS System ever since.




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