By: Jim Rosenberg
Last year The Recorder of Greenfield, Mass., became a live test site for Tech-Energy’s singlewide, two-around stacked flexo unit (E&P, Sept. 29). Later this spring, the daily will take delivery of the first of four flexo color towers built by the Cibolo, Texas-based company, according to its president, John E. Pickard.
Next year, that tower will join three more like it in a 30,000-square-foot greenfield production and distribution plant in a new industrial park. Dario Designs was signed as architect for the facility.
The paper reported earier this month that it plans to seek tax increment financing for the project, which it hopes to complete in 18 months. Recorder news and business offices will remain at their current location.
Publisher Kay Berenson told her paper that its new plant and equipment would provide capacity to take on commercial printing, which would add jobs.
The Recorder is a member of long-time flexo user Newspapers of New England, based in Concord, N.H. While it tests the new flexo tower, another Granite State operation with substantial experience running doublewide flexo will test another new option for papers preferring the process. According to Tom Moore, national sales manager for publications for plate supplier MacDermid Printing Slutions, the Union Leader in Manchester will install a flexo computer-to-plate imager next week.
MacDermid and Perkin Elmer Optoelectronics have cooperated for several years on development of a digitally driven laser device for direct output of flexo plates. Perkin Elmer had acquired Sonora’s ultraviolet offset litho plate imaging, but had to adapt its platesetting to the greater UV energy required to “expose” flexo’s relief plates.
Commercial flexo platesetters have been available for years, but those energy requirements have hindered development of devices fast enough for newspaper needs. Earlier new flexo platesetters were tried in San Francisco and London, at Associated Newspapers’ Harmsworth Quays Printing. This time, another U.K. group — one using offset equipment — has reportedly expressed interest in seeing the Perkin Elmer device make plates in Manchester.