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Wyoming Tribune-Eagle Makes Strides In Prepress Automation With Southern Lithoplate Ctp Alliance Solution

Press release from the issuing company

WAKE FOREST, N.C. -- In mid-2006, the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle began printing the Laramie Daily Boomerang, one of five Wyoming dailies (including the Tribune-Eagle) owned by the Wyoming Newspaper Group. The job changeover required to print the sister newspaper "could put us in a bind if a crew were short-staffed," observed Jim Thompson, production director of the Cheyenne-based newspaper. Concerns over production bottlenecks have disappeared with the successful implementation of a fully automated prepress workflow acquired through the Southern Lithoplate CtP Alliance Solution. Southern Lithoplate's CtP Alliance Solution provides the newspaper industry with improved computer-to-plate (CtP) solutions, including bulletproof consumables and completely self-serviceable platesetters that offer built-in redundancy and the lowest cost of ownership available. To provide workflow management software options that cover any newspaper's needs, the participating prepress workflow partners are Polkadots Software Inc., Presteligence, ProImage America and Screen. NELA completes the Alliance with its proven Benchmark series of three-point and Vision punch registration equipment. "We have enjoyed a longtime relationship with Southern Lithoplate," Thompson said. "Their printing plates have always delivered good performance at a reasonable cost, and the service is responsive to our needs." The McCraken family of Cheyenne has been the primary owner of the Tribune-Eagle, Wyoming's second-largest daily newspaper, since 1926. The Cheyenne operation, including a sheetfed division that specializes in commercial printing, provides livelihoods for approximately 100 full-time and 30 part-time employees. Some 16,500 copies of the newspaper are distributed daily throughout southeast Wyoming and into western Nebraska. The Sunday circulation rises to about 18,500. Each year, the Tribune-Eagle invests a great deal of time and money keeping its facility on the front lines of technology. The Tribune-Eagle selected Southern Lithoplate VIPER 830(r) thermal lithoplates to use with the Screen PlateRite News 2000 CtP platesetter. The newspaper chose Presteligence's NewsXtreme workflow for the digital front-end system. "The pressroom uses 3,000 plates a month," Thompson noted. "The PlateRite device dramatically increases our prepress readiness. It can run unattended, so someone doesn't have to be making plates all night to meet the later press deadline." The NELA H-VCP automatic optical punch/bender is vision-registering the exposed VIPER 830 lithoplates with two CCD cameras to punch and bend each plate according to its image for perfect register on press. "A lot of newspaper companies out here are running NELA products with good, trouble-free performance," Thompson pointed out. "Our old Urbanite-style manual bender was dependent upon the skill and accuracy of the press operator. The NELA punch/bender eliminates those variables. It streamlines plate handling by automatically punching and bending plates in one step in the same position." Thompson said the CtP workflow offers the efficiency the Tribune-Eagle was seeking. "It saves time in prepress and in the pressroom," he said. "Plates are more consistent, so press startups are quicker, with less waste." Higher overall quality is another benefit of the move to VIPER 830 lithoplates, according to Thompson. "The quality improvement going from analog plates to thermal plates is unbelievable," Thompson said. "We boosted the screen resolution from 85-line to 100-line screens on a 40-year-old Goss Urbanite press. A new press could hold at least 120-line screens." Thompson added that the Tribune-Eagle is making plans to acquire a new newspaper press and expand its manufacturing plant, possibly within the next 18 months.