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Punch Publications Becomes First ECRM News CTP User In West Indies

Press release from the issuing company

October 13, 2003 -- One’s first thoughts of the Bahamas are more likely to involve beautiful beaches, cricket and rum, rather than printing equipment. But Nassau based newspaper, The Punch, has recently become the first publication in the West Indies to turn to ECRM’s NEWS CTP for fast and simple newspaper platemaking. Located in the islands’ capital, the twice-weekly tabloid was first printed almost 13 years ago. After being contract printed in the USA for the first seven years, The Punch then decided to invest in its own printing facilities with the purchase of a Web Leader press. Since then The Punch’s page count and color requirements have grown to the point where a better solution was required to satisfy platemaking needs. Ivan Johnson, Managing Director of Punch Publications, comments, “Our existing imagesetter was getting old and needed replacing. The NEWS CTP offered such good value it was hard to resist. Previously, CTP had always been out of our price range, but once the capital cost fell in to range, the decision was more than justified by the reduced cost of operation.” Ivan continues, “We produce approximately 100 tabloid pages per week. At least 52 of these tend to be in color, with the rest incorporating at least one spot color. This works out to be around 78 plates per week. A cost analysis revealed that continuing to operate the previous film-based imagesetter was just no longer feasible.” The ECRM NEWS CTP provides the most affordable CTP solution for small to medium-sized newspaper publishers that require the quality improvements compared to film-based imagesetters, but do not want the complexity and expense of some of the larger CTP systems. The NEWS CTP has been specifically designed to fulfill the demands of these users, providing a unit that is easy to install, operate and maintain – all at a price comparable to a new film-based solution. Ivan adds, “The NEWS CTP has been a revelation! We are now able to save around $1,000 per week on labor and materials. We’ve been able to re-allocate our stripping resources and our speed of operations has been boosted considerably. To have plates produced and on press quickly is a huge benefit to our business. Without rushing we can easily produce 36 plates in just over an hour. Prior to the NEWS CTP it would take more than three hours.” Ivan concludes, “When embarking upon a major technology investment, it is crucial to chose a reliable and reputable manufacturer. ECRM certainly meets these criteria. Everything about the NEWS CTP has impressed us since it was installed. The install went so smoothly that the imagesetter, which we had kept on standby, was turned off the next day and has not been used since. “When the new system went into production there was a noticeable improvement in quality, in terms of both improved half tones and better register, allowing for a reduction in press waste.” An important attribute provided by the NEWS CTP is its energy efficiency. The violet imaging technology that the NEWS CTP uses consumes far less energy than comparable thermal or CTCP (Computer to Conventional Plate) imaging units. In any business these cost savings would be crucial, but more so in the West Indies, where energy costs are very expensive. Robert Lyon, Managing Director of Florida-based ECRM dealer Intergraph, comments, “Many of our customers operate in very cost sensitive areas and remote locations. Our customers demand simplicity, ease of use and low cost maintenance and the NEWS CTP delivers on all these points. Both the NEWS CTP and its commercial counterpart, the MAKO 4, have been proving very popular across the regions we cover. It is testament to ECRM’s innovative view point and industry knowledge that they continue to launch products that anticipate and satisfy market demand.” The product is compatible with all popular single width newspaper presses, found in local and regional newspapers. Punch Publications’ MAKO NEWS CTP uses a Mitsubishi Alpha Eco processor and outputs Mitsubishi Alpha Violet plates.