July 3, 2007 -- WAKE FOREST, N.C. -- In May, the Daily American Republic in Poplar Bluff, Mo., joined the growing number of newspaper companies that are enjoying the quality and productivity benefits made possible by the Southern Lithoplate CtP Alliance Solution.
The Daily American Republic implemented an integrated digital workflow built around a thermal computer-to-plate (CtP) system and associated hardware and software from the CtP Alliance. The company chose the Screen PlateRite News 2000 platesetter and a Southern Litho Protek 105 processor, along with Presteligence's NewsXtreme workflow software and Southern Lithoplate's VIPER 830(R) lithoplates. A NELA inline punch/bender will be installed in August.
The PlateRite News 2000 replaced two filmsetters from ECRM Imaging Systems, an ECRM Knockout 4550 and an ECRM Marlin.
"When we bought the ECRM units in 1995, they were cutting-edge technology, and they got us to the point we are now," recalled Randy Graves, production manager. "We always knew we were going to make the transition to CtP. The combination of software developments, technology, cost and labor involved in various prepress steps converged to provide the best environment for the change."
Established in 1869, the Daily American Republic is a newspaper and commercial sheetfed operation that is part of Rust Communications. The flagship six-day daily has a circulation of approximately 15,000 copies Monday through Friday and Sunday. On average, it runs 20 pages, with four pages of full color and occasional spot color.
In addition, the newspaper prints two smaller sister papers, the weekly Prospect-News and Puxico Press. It also prints inserts, handbills and other projects for area businesses.
Insta Print, a commercial sheetfed division housed in the century-old Daily American Republic building, produces letterheads, envelopes, yearbooks and magazines.
The Daily American Republic wanted a CtP system that could accommodate the plate needs of its five-unit Goss Urbanite newspaper web press and its A.B. Dick sheetfed presses.
"Being able to merge prepress production for our newspaper and commercial printing was a key factor in choosing a CtP device," Graves said. "We tested the VIPER plates on the Screen platesetter for both the web and sheetfed presses. They worked great. We have done runs of 200,000, and have had no problems with plates keeping up with the press speeds."
Graves said the newspaper spent "a long time" comparing thermal and violet CtP devices, talking to various printing companies and visiting newspaper sites that operated different digital prepress systems.
"The package Southern Lithoplate put together gave us flexible choices as far as the CtP system and software," he said. "That was very attractive."
Another advantage was the strong working relationship that existed between the two organizations, according to Graves.
"We have been doing business with Southern Lithoplate for years," he explained. "It is a good company. It does an excellent job of presenting its program. It stands behind its products."
The newspaper did not waste any time putting the new prepress system to work.
"It was up and running in 48 hours," Graves noted. "The equipment arrived on a Monday, and we were printing the paper on Wednesday."
The press crew saw a big difference from the very first copy.
"The plates fit better," Graves said. "The registration on press is much improved. The color jumps off the page. All the impurities associated with film have gone right out the door."