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Trinidad Express Reports Major Cost Savings And Increased Quality With Stochastic Screening

Friday, March 10, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

TRINIDAD – March 9, 2006 – In December of 2004, ECRM Imaging Systems installed an ECRM NEWSmatic SSR CTP system in the production facilities of the Trinidad Express. The Trinidad Express (TE) is the largest of three newspapers serving the island of Trinidad and has a daily circulation of over 85,000. After just over a year of operation, TE is reporting impressive quality improvements, cost savings, and increased throughput. The island newspaper reports ink savings of 7% to 12% (or between $30K and $50K in US dollars per year), labor reallocations of 33% of their prepress force, overall cost savings of 16% and a 100% increase in plate throughput using the ECRM CTP solution with stochastic screening. ECRM will report these results at their NEXPO 2006 booth in Chicago (April 1-4). For more information, visit www.ecrm.com. Up and Running… “We began installing an ECRM NEWSmatic SSR CTP on a Saturday and by Sunday night they were up and running live,” noted Michael Wead, Service and Sales Manager, Intergraph, a Florida-based solutions and services provider, which also serves the Caribbean nations. “Feeling very comfortable with the immediate success they had had with violet CTP, the Express’ team decided that the next step was obvious. On the following Wednesday, we implemented Harlequin’s HDS stochastic screening into their production workflow. By Thursday night, they were fully operational with the FM algorithm.” And the results?... “Before introducing CTP and FM Screening, we took specific steps to ensure that our prepress and printing equipment and personnel were fully prepared,” noted the Express spokesperson. “We have seen a major upside to the implementation of violet CTP with the stochastic screening. First we’ve seen a noticeable quality increase. Working with the good people at Flint, we introduced high-strength inks that, combined with a mild acid fountain solution, produced vivid colour images in particular for our paper. We now produce about 200 plates a day [about 4500 per month] using Agfa’s LithoStar plates running at 1200 dpi and a 84 micron spot on press. And we’ve eliminated moirés and improved registration.” According to the spokesperson, the paper has benefited from significant cost savings in many aspects of production, including a 7% to 12% savings in monthly ink usage. Spending about $36,000 US a month, they are currently saving between $2,500 and $4,300 per month on ink alone. And in terms of labor costs, they’ve been able to reduce their prepress personnel by one-third [from 15 to 10]. Overall, they have cut total costs per finished page by one-sixth while plate throughput has doubled. The Express’ Operations Manager further explained that although the installation process was quick and they were up and running within days, ongoing training and maintenance skills were required of his staff, while calibration and equipment maintenance are ongoing. “We have trained our people on maintaining proper ink/water balance and using densitometry for accurate ink density and we need to regularly calibrate the plates to our Goss Urbanite class press. We also register our press bi-annually and conduct finger printing exercises at the same time.”

 

 

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