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Southern Lithoplate Reports Installation Results For 1Q

Press release from the issuing company

WAKE FOREST, N.C. April 02, 2008 -- Southern Lithoplate, Inc., a leading manufacturer of digital and analog lithoplates for newspaper and commercial printing, is pleased to announce that 2008 is off to an outstanding start. The Wake Forest, N.C.-based company reported robust demand in the first three months of 2008 for the diverse products that are currently offered by the Southern Lithoplate CtP Alliance Solution.

In the first quarter, sales and installations at 12 newspaper printing operations in the United States and Canada included thermal computer-to-plate (CtP) recorders, plate processors, punch/bend systems and workflow management software.  All of the newspaper locations incorporated VIPER 830(R) lithoplates as part of their integrated production systems.

During this time period, Southern Lithoplate also launched its newest manufacturing plant. The Litho Center, located adjacent to the headquarters facility on the company's Wake Forest campus, will support the projected growth of newspaper and commercial lithoplate output over the next several years.

"Customer demand for high-quality prepress and printing-related products continued to build this quarter with the majority of customers purchasing different packages of systems and equipment within the CtP Alliance Solution," said Clark A. Casson, president and COO. "Backed by an amazing product lineup, our sales force, marketing teams and partners delivered another excellent quarter."

Confidence in newspaper solutions  
The Visalia Times-Delta in Visalia, Calif., worked with Southern Lithoplate to devise its highly efficient prepress workflow. Part of the Gannett Co., Inc. chain, the Times-Delta installed two separate production lines built around Screen PlateRite News 2000S thermal CtP platesetters and Proteck 105 plate processors.

"We were sold on going the thermal route, as opposed to installing a violet laser platesetter," recalled Cortland Hunt, production director. "That immediately narrowed the field of manufacturers we considered. Space limitations also were a big factor. The compact design of the PlateRite News 2000S allowed it to easily fit our available space."

Founded in 1859, the Times-Delta publishes approximately 20,000 copies Monday through Friday and 25,500 copies on Saturday. Another six-day newspaper, the Tulare Advance-Register, serves readers in the nearby community of Tulare with a daily circulation of approximately 6,000 copies and Saturday circulation of 7,000 copies.

In addition, the Times-Delta prints the weekly El Sol to serve the Spanish-speaking residents of Tulare County. It circulates weekly shoppers, biweekly real estate guides, the monthly TC Style magazine and annual city guides, as well as printing projects for commercial customers.

"We have seen a noticeable improvement in print quality," Hunt said. "When you eliminate film from prepress production, you eliminate another generation away from the original image files."

On average, the prepress department produces 3,500 to 4,000 VIPER 830 plates per month. The two plate streams feed into a single conveyor that leads to a punch/bender from Burgess Industries Inc. The newspaper company implemented ProImage America's NewsWay workflow software as its digital front-end system.

"Southern Lithoplate is a very service-oriented company, sometimes to a fault," Hunt said. "They know exactly what we are using and what our needs are. The service response during the installation and startup was excellent."

Proven performance
Bear River Publishing in Preston, Ida., installed its second PlateRite News 2000S with autoloader option in less than two years. The new platesetter replaced a basysPrint UV-Setter that had shared plate-making duties with another fully automated PlateRite News 2000S since May 2006.

"Our goal was to completely automate the plate-making lines, and the manual loading with the UV-Setter made that impossible," said Pat Nealy, general manager. "Now we RIP and send job files to the two PlateRite platesetters at the same time, and the VIPER plates are imaged automatically without human intervention."

The platesetters stand on opposite sides of a NELA inline plate transport system. Exposed plates are conveyed to a single MK III Supreme 85 processor.

"The automation technology has been extremely helpful in improving productivity," Nealy pointed out. "Once the plates are loaded into the autoloaders, everything else is totally automated. The plates move through the platesetters for imaging and are then transported directly to the plate processor. It gives us true throughput time."

A division of Pioneer Newspapers, Inc., Bear River Publishing prints the daily Idaho State Journal, Logan (Utah) Herald Journal and Rexburg (Idaho) Standard Journal newspapers. Additionally, it prints four weeklies in the Pioneer family and their associated products. Among its commercial printing are magazines, tabloids and broadsheets.

The main press line consists of 16 printing units with an inline folder. Bear River Publishing achieves enhanced-quality hybrid printing using ultraviolet (UV) inks and curing. A UV four-high tower with folder produces vibrant four-color work on text gloss stock.

Broad base of daily and weekly newspapers
The Paducah Sun in Paducah, Ky., installed two PlateRite News 2000S units with two CA Systems/Egraph Polyheat 33 processors and the NELA Benchmark three-point punch/bender. The Presteligence NewsXtreme workflow system drives prepress production.

Established in 1896 by William F. Paxton, the Paducah Sun is the flagship of the family-run Paxton Media Group. It is the most-read newspaper in the Purchase region of Kentucky, as well as in parts of extreme southern Illinois. The circulation is over 25,000 daily and Sunday over 26,000.

The Hamilton Spectator, based in Hamilton, Ont., incorporated a Trendsetter News 150 and two MK III Supreme 85 processors to add speed and reliable production to its prepress operation. ProImage's NewsWay automates front-end processes.

The Hamilton Spectator is published six days a week by Metroland Media Group, a division of Torstar. Known for its high-quality newspaper, it services readers in numerous communities surrounding Hamilton.

The Cynthiana Democrat, a 140-year-old weekly community newspaper in Cynthiana, Ky., turned to the CtP Alliance Solution for the PlateRite News 2000LE, Proteck 105 processor, NELA Benchmark punch/bender and Presteligence NewsXtreme workflow system. The Cynthiana Democrat prints a weekly shopper, monthly real estate guides and commercial web products for area newspapers and specialty publications.

The Citizen Tribune in Morristown, Tenn., added the PlateRite News 2000S, Proteck 105 processor and Screen's Trueflow Rite News workflow management system. The Citizen Tribune is a seven-day newspaper serving the Lakeway region of eastern Tennessee.

The Cambridge Star, a twice-weekly source of regional news in and around Cambridge. Minn., adopted the PlateRite News 2000S, Proteck 105 processor and Trueflow Rite News workflow.

The Delphos Daily Herald, a 3,949-circulation newspaper in Delphos, Ohio, installed a PlateRite News 2000S, Proteck 105 processor and Polkadots Software's NEWSflo workflow solution.

The Bogalusa Daily News, a member of Wick Communications Inc. located in Bogalusa, La., installed a PlateRite News 2000S and CA Systems/Egraph Polyheat 33 processor.

The San Jose Mercury News, a well-known San Francisco Bay-area daily owned by MediaNews Group in San Jose, Calif., purchased three MK III Supreme 85 processors.

The Bay Area News Group, also owned by MediaNews Group, purchased an MK III Supreme 85 processor and an MK II 125 processor for its Walnut Creek, Calf., location. It bought two MK III Supreme 85 processors for its Concord, Calif., site.