German Group Running Kodak Generation News CTP

By: E&P Staff

German newspaper and media group Straubinger Tagblatt/Landshuter Zeitung has automated prepress and increased production capacity with two Kodak Generation News computer-to-plate systems. The automatic thermal platesetters complete the lower Bavaria-based company’s transition from conventional negative imaging.

In addition to its namesake titles, the group – which specializes in a range of printed and online products as well as local radio and TV – also publishes local dailies, 14 editions of which are printed in Berlin format and circulate 145,000 copies, and several twice-weekly shoppers.

The Kodak CTP systems image plates for a new 64-page KBA press, which went into production in March. Straubinger Tagblatt/Landshuter Zeitung sought to streamline production and increase quality while meeting the new color press’ greater plate throughput requirements.

Each platesetter, in the V speed version and with stable Kodak SquareSpot thermal imaging, can produce 200 single plates an hour at 1270 dpi.

“The increase in capacity is more than sufficient to see us through our daily peak period from around 10 PM until just before midnight,” Production Manager Wolfgang Heitzer said in a statement. “After we’ve completed our newspaper production, the platesetters carry on running unattended with products that are not scheduled for printing until the next day.”

The Generation News systems are connected to the central newspaper production planning system via their internal controller PCs. Upstream, two Kodak Prinergy Evo system RIPs convert the digital newspaper pages to output data. A Kodak Mercury P-HD 850 processor is connected directly to each platesetter, which image Kodak ThermalNews Gold digital plates. Processed plates are fed to automatic punch and bending machines before placement in a sorter just a short distance from the press.

ThermalNews Gold plates have a nominal run length exceeding 200,000 impressions, which are not uncommon at the Straubing plant when it comes to inserts and other promotional print jobs. Maximum volume of individual newspaper editions is 22,000 copies.

Generation News internal magazines can hold 1,600 plates, including slip sheets, supplying the newspaper group for just over two days. The system-controlled workflow halved platesetting staffing – now two persons per shift.

With the higher quality from the new plates and press, Heitzer is increasing resolution from 100-lpi to 120-lpi plates, and the media group plans to use FM screens for promotional print jobs as a selling proposition.

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