German Printer is Kodak’s First Generation News CTP Site

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By: E&P Staff

Germany’s Pressehaus Stuttgart Druck GmbH recently installed the first of Kodak’s new Generation News, a fully integrated thermal platesetter geared to newspaper productivity, quality, and automation requirements.

The Kodak Generation News images up to 300 broadsheet plates per hour at 1270 dpi and runs continuously with no operator intervention with automated plate-size selection, slipsheet removal, and three-point registration. Multiple plate cassettes enable fast loading and unloading of multiple plate sizes (up to 1600 broadsheet plates or 800 panorama plates).

The new platesetter has been in beta testing at the newspaper printer since the end of March. Installed and fully commissioned in two days, it supplies almost 40% of all offset plates consumed by a large KBA Commander press. The Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten are printed entirely with plates imaged by the new CTP system, which also delivers plates for Sonntag Aktuell, various weeklies, and a range of advertising materials and company and customer magazines.

With the plate size used by the Stuttgart printer, the compact Generation News System achieves a throughput of more than 260 plates an hour at 1270 dpi — about half again as much as each of the three old Kodak Newsetter platesetters. Satisfied with dot accuracy, processing stability, and run lengths, Pressehaus has been using approximately 500,000 Kodak ThermalNews Gold Plates annually for several years.

Automated plate handling lifts plates from stacks in pairs, removes each slipsheet, which it deposits in a separate tray with a capacity of 1600 sheets, then feeds plates to the imager, where three-point registration on the drum ensures the two plates’ positioning for fast imaging with two thermal heads. Kodak Squarespot technology used for thermal imaging assures stability and reproducibility.

High throughput is accomplished by the overlapping loading, imaging, and unloading processes, with several plate pairs in simultaneous motion at any given time.

The system feeds imaged plates to a Kodak Mercury P-HD processor for fast parallel processing, which is followed by punching and bending with optical registration before plates are placed in a sorter.

Pages are supplied to platemaking in RIPped TIFF G4 data format, then fed directly to the platesetter using Kodak’s TIFF Downloader software. External contracts tend to be delivered as PDF files. For tabloids, pages are assembled before RIPping using Kodak Preps imposition software. A 130- or 150-lpi screen is preferred, depending on the product and type of newsprint.

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