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Lufkin Daily News Improves Efficiency, Quality with SLP Turnkey CtP Solution

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Press release from the issuing company

WAKE FOREST, North Carolina - The Lufkin Daily News in Lufkin, Texas, has joined a growing number of newspaper companies making the switch to affordable thermal computer-to-plate solutions that are environmentally friendly and use no processing chemicals. Plate manufacturer Southern Lithoplate (SLP), the exclusive North American distributor of CRON-ECRM thermal newspaper CtP recorders, successfully matched the Lufkin News with the TP3664 unit and SLP Liberty NXP no-process thermal plate.

“We wanted to adopt a more ecologically responsible approach to prepress production,” said Billy Ricks, production director. “We liked the idea of doing away with the plate processor and chemical-development stage. When the CRON-ECRM system and Liberty NXP plates became commercially available, we decided that this was the best way to go. The new system provides the right combination of speed, efficiency and cost.”

A member of the Southern Newspapers group, the Lufkin News has a Sunday circulation of 13,500 copies and a daily circulation of 10,400. The newspaper also prints the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel and other area papers, as well as commercial printing projects. 

The Lufkin News transitioned from a film-based prepress workflow to ECRM’s violet-laser technology in 2009, opting for the MAKO NEWSmatic. The newspaper had been running SLP Replica ECO LCV® low-chemistry violet plates at the time it implemented the thermal imaging method in December 2015. It retained the 7-year-old violet machine as a backup system.

“The advantage of working with SLP is having a certified technician who knows our prepress equipment’s maintenance history,” Ricks said. “It is important to have someone we can call anytime an issue arises and be confident the issue will be resolved.”

SLP supports the CRON-ECRM device with a three-year warranty on all parts, excluding consumables parts. Laser diodes are warrantied for three years or accumulated plate output of 200,000 plates.

CRON-ECRM’s 36-inch TP36 series CtP offers a flexible choice of configurations and output speeds. 

“With 64 laser channels, our TP3664 images 68 to 70 plates per hour at our plate size,” Ricks noted. 

Press operators make their own plates at the Lufkin News. They find the CRON-ECRM easy to understand and use, according to Ricks.

“From the way the computer interfaces with the machine to the order it outputs plates, the CRON-ECRM gives us a quicker, more streamlined workflow,” he said. “There was very little learning curve, even for older press operators who are not computer literate. If there is an error with the interface, you rarely, if ever, have to remake a plate.” 

Liberty NXP plates mount on press without first running through a chemical bath. Plates self-develop on press within a few turns of the cylinders.

“We print a sharper and cleaner product,” Ricks said. “We also use less water to print. The entire process is faster and more efficient.” 


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