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Century-Old State Publishing Expands Capabilities With Fujifilm CTP

Press release from the issuing company

HANOVER PARK, Ill. (April 22, 2002) - "When you’re located in the middle of South Dakota, and the closest market is 200 miles away, you better be able to serve a lot of different clients - those who walk through the door with black-and-white copy and those who send jobs electronically," says Eric Feiler, production manager of Pierre, SD-based State Publishing. "Our location dictates that we offer a broad base of products, rather than having a niche or particular type of product that we specialize in." By investing in leading technology, such as a new Fujifilm CTP system, which features a Dart Luxel T6000 thermal platesetter, a PictroProof digital color proofer and a C-550 Sprint flatbed scanner, Feiler says State Publishing now has the flexibility it needs to meet such a wide range of customer requirements. From business cards to perfect-bound books, with direct-to-plate, everything 118-year-old State Publishing prints can now be turned around faster and more cost-effectively. "From a production standpoint, plates register better on press, and that means we save in makeready time, light table time (the stripping, etc., that’s involved with conventional printing) and in reduced paper waste," says Feiler. "We’re still working out cost compared to conventional. We’ve only had the system for six months, so we haven’t been able to track the numbers yet. But, where we’re definitely seeing savings is in making less plates." The four-up Dart offers consistent plate quality and fast processing speed via an advanced clamping technology, which assures secure attachment of plates, as well as an internal automatic punch that ensures repeatability. Outputting 16 thermal plates (four-page) per hour at 2,400 dpi, the platesetter combines high productivity with high-quality image. The PictroProof, which Feiler says took his customers "a little getting used to" because it’s a continuous-tone proofer "and not a dot," has been doing a fine job so far. "Once customers saw that it was a close enough match to the press product, they accepted it. There was a learning curve involved, but once we passed that, we haven’t had any problems. The proofing process is quick and easy, and customers really like that." And, the many "disc-less" customers, who bring in hard copy or four-color separations, are starting to enjoy the benefits of digital scanning, offered by the Fujifilm C-550 Sprint flatbed scanner. "One of the biggest reasons that convinced us to go CTP was our need to serve people who still come in with black-and-white copy, that is, no disc. And, due to where we are (in the middle of South Dakota), we need to be able to take the old-fashioned work, put it on the scanner, and get it into computer." Another reason State Publishing, a fourth-generation family-owned operation, went direct-to-plate, adds Feiler, "is because Tom Roberts, our president, likes to be on the cutting-edge. It’s a great marketing tool: we’re using the latest equipment. And, now that we’re digital, a lot of people are sending us their jobs via e-mail. That’s a big change since last year." While things are changing all the time, and more customers are requesting digital, Feiler reports that the company is still doing about 30 percent conventional work. "As we get a better grasp on the overall CTP system, that number should drop," he concludes. "But, we’ll probably still be using film years from now…unless things change overnight, and our clients start bringing us Mac-based discs - which probably isn’t going to happen."