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Newspaper Printers Gain Speed, Quality and Efficiency With Southern Lithoplate CtP Alliance Solution

Press release from the issuing company

WAKE FOREST, N.C. September 10, 2007 -- Southern Lithoplate, Inc. announced that four newspaper printing companies in the United States and Canada are the latest to complete the installation of integrated prepress workflow systems from the Southern Lithoplate CtP Alliance Solution.
"The Norfolk Daily News has a tradition of researching in minute detail decisions that will have a significant impact on the company," said Les Mann, general manager of the Norfolk, Neb.-based newspaper company. "The economic advantages were such that we decided it was important to be on the front end of the conversion to CtP for newsprint earlier rather than later. Thermal technology was the best fit for a newspaper our size."
The Norfolk Daily News settled on Southern Lithoplate's VIPER 830 thermal plates, Screen's PlateRite News 2000LE platesetter and Polkadots Software's IntroFlo workflow software.
"We have a longstanding relationship with Southern Lithoplate," Mann said. "Our history with them has been great."
The all-digital workflow replaced two imagesetters, two film processing lines and two plate burners.
"This company has always believed in providing a quality product to the community," Mann said. "We researched which manufacturers offered the most reliable thermal CtP system and also who else in the area had a similar system installed and running. The 'slam dunk' was being able to resolve the issue of redundancy by developing a relationship with a nearby printer. We agreed to serve as each other's backup in case of an emergency. We feel we have the redundancy we need."
The Norfolk Daily News is a privately owned newspaper that has been operated by the same family for 117 years. The company also owns and prints two weekly shoppers. It prints two weekly community newspapers for other publishers, as well as publications serving local academic institutions.
An eight-unit Goss Urbanite press handles the day-to-day printing needs for the internal publications and commercial work. The pressroom uses upwards of 300 plates a week. The PlateRite News 2000LE outputs 26 to 30 doublewide plates per hour. It incorporates Screen's Spekta hybrid AM/FM screening method. Plates are processed in a Southern Lithoplate Protek 105 processor.
"This workflow system works very well for us," Mann noted. "The PlateRite News 2000LE serves all our plate needs. Spekta screening has allowed us to increase the line frequency from 85-line screens to 100-lines screens. It gives us a much better window to handle color."
Stuart Web Inc., a 35-employee commercial nonheatset web printer in Stuart, Fla., selected VIPER 830 to run on the PlateRite News 2000S. The company chose Polkadots' NEWSflo for the simplicity and flexibility the workflow application brings to prepress production.
"The volume of work had increased to the point that it was slow and painful to try and keep up making plates manually," said Joe Giambalvo, production manager. "We needed a faster, more productive system. We spent at least six months thoroughly evaluating our production requirements, attending trade shows to compare technology, and talking with other printers that have operations roughly the size of ours. The Southern Lithoplate CtP Alliance offered the best all-around workflow."
Stuart Web's 15,000-square-foot facility houses Dauphin Graphic Machines Inc. web offset equipment featuring four-high towers and a total of 22 printing units. Stuart Web specializes in tabloids from eight to 64 pages with 16 pages of process color, booklets from 16 to 96 pages with 32 pages of process color and newspapers from four to 32 pages. The company performs stitching, trimming, inserting and mailing services.
The PlateRite News 2000S outputs 41 doublewide plates per hour. Prior to installing the CtP workflow, Stuart Web relied on a full-sheet roll-fed film imager and flip-top plate burner to keep the pressroom supplied with 1,400 plates a week.
"What impressed us most about the entire workflow was the combination of automation and user-friendliness," Giambalvo said. "Polkadots handles the RIPing, page pairing and outputting of files to plate. The Screen CtP device communicates well with the workflow software and produces a reliable dot on the VIPER 830 plates."
Giambalvo added that the existing relationship with Southern Lithoplate supplying conventional printing plates "definitely played a role in our decision."
"We like the idea of one-stop shopping," he explained. "When you purchase software and system components from one supplier, there is no finger pointing if something fails. If a problem occurs, whatever it is, one phone call is all it takes to solve the problem. Southern Lithoplate has a tried-and-tested arrangement."
Runge Publishing Inc., based in Renfrew, Ont., incorporated VIPER 830 plates and a PlateRite News 2000S to add speed and reliable production to its prepress operation. The PlateRite thermal CtP device replaced a UV-Setter 57 from basysPrint, which utilized computer-to-conventional plates.
The division of Torstar's Metroland Media Group Ltd. is known for producing high-quality community newspapers in eastern Ontario. Runge Publishing currently operates 21 community newspapers, primarily located in the Ottawa Valley area. These include the Renfrew Mercury, Arnprior Chronicle-Guide, Stittsville News and KanataKourier-Standard.
On average, the prepress department outputs 4,000 plates per month, according to Dennis Girard, plant manager. He said the PlateRite News 2000S and VIPER 830 plates deliver the speed and reliability that Runge Publishing was looking for.
"We're very pleased with the system we installed," he said.
The Daily American Republic in Poplar Bluff, Mo., installed the NELA HAO punch/bender to complete the Alliance CtP solution. Previously, the Daily American Republic implemented an integrated digital workflow built around the PlateRite News 2000S platesetter, VIPER 830 plates, Protek 105 processor and Presteligence's NewsXtreme workflow software.
Established in 1869, the Daily American Republic is a newspaper and commercial sheetfed operation that is part of Rust Communications. In addition to its flagship daily, 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 NELA HAO, an all-in-one solution for customers who are seeking higher plate throughput, features electromechanic three-point register designed to match the customer's CtP device. Its rugged design allows it to accommodate all plate sizes and bend configurations.