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Champion Printing Transitions To Ctp With Southern Lithoplate

Monday, January 12, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (January 08, 2009) -- Champion Printing in Center, Texas, is proof that size doesn't always matter when it comes to overhauling prepress production. The seven-employee newspaper printing plant converted from film-based plate production to thermal computer-to-plate imaging (CtP) with a package of hardware and software applications from the Southern Lithoplate CtP Alliance.

"The move to CtP was inevitable," said Dale Buie, president and general manager. "The industry has been hearing for a while that CtP eventually will dominate the market and that there will be fewer film suppliers, making film more difficult to obtain. The price, convenience and quality made CtP the way to go. With CtP plates from Southern Lithoplate so affordable, there are savings on consumables. Plus we are experiencing huge savings in makeready time and paper waste."

For Champion Printing, opting for VIPER 830(R) thermal plates, the Screen PlateRite News 2000LE CtP platesetter and Presteligence NewsXtreme Lite newspaper workflow system was not a hasty decision.

"We had been keeping an eye on industry trends," Buie recalled. "We compared thermal and violet laser technology to determine which method would be the best fit for our operation. Our research also involved visiting with other newspaper printers around the country to answer key questions about system configurations, return on investment and issues like support and service."

Champion Printing is a member of PTS, Inc., a newspaper publishing and printing company headquartered in Fort Payne, Ala. Equipped with a 10-unit News King web press, Champion Printing handles the printing duties for the Light and Champion newspaper, which publishes three times a week with an approximate circulation of 3,200.

The company also prints an internally owned shopper and two sister newspapers -- the Sabine County Reporter in Hemphill, Texas, and the Jackson Independent in Jonesboro, La. In addition, Champion Printing produces monthlies, weeklies, catalogs and books for commercial clients. Its products are typically in broadsheet, tabloid and quarter-tab formats,

"Previously, we operated two Konica imagesetters in prepress and ran Southern Lithoplate conventional newspaper plates," Buie said. "Our experience with Southern Lithoplate played a big role in our decision to change to CtP. We had used their plates for years. They are good, reliable plates, and Southern Lithoplate has an excellent track record for service. We wanted to stay with Southern Lithoplate. This move was just a logical step in furthering our relationship."  

The PlateRite News 2000LE offers sufficient throughput to support Champion Printing's production needs. It images 26 VIPER plates per hour at 1,200 dpi resolution when using 35 x 23.2-inch plates. The printing company selected the Proteck 105 to process the plates.

"Some of our customers still use paste-up and film," Buie noted. "The versatility of the CtP workflow is such that we only need to carry the VIPER thermal plate."

NewsXtreme Lite brings a number of benefits to Champion Printing. The newspaper production workflow manages the RIPing, preflighting, plate templates, soft proofing and approval. It automates page pairing and imposition of products.

"Our sister papers and customers transmit digital files remotely by uploading the files to our FTP site," Buie said. "The workflow is easy for everyone in the production process to understand. The PlateRite News 2000LE is a great device. We are extremely happy with the performance of the VIPER plates. Our customers are very happy, too."

One of the reasons Champion Printing's customers are so happy is the reduction in turnaround times made possible by high-quality CtP.

"Once we download files, it takes no time at all to be on press with plates," Buie said. "Makereadies are quicker. The registration is better. We have cut down on plate remakes. Keeping our labor costs down has helped as well. We are able to complete more jobs in a week and add more commercial work."




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