CTP at Augusta and Lewiston, Maine, Dailies

By: E&P Staff The Central Maine Newspapers division of Blethen Newspapers worked with Southern Lithoplate Inc., Wake Forest, N.C., through the Southern Lithoplate CtP Alliance Solution to devise plate output for its Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, as well as commercial publications that include weeklies, inserts and newsletters.

Since installation at its Goss Urbanite-equipped Augusta facility in February, the system's speed "has doubled our throughput," Operations Director Richard Boyer said in a statement. "It's much easier to establish registration, which translates into higher quality and less waste."

The prepress workflow, built around the Screen PlateRite News 2000 platesetter with Proteck 105 processor, Polkadots Software's Newsflo production application, and Southern Lithoplate Viper 830 thermal lithoplates, replaced film imagesetting.

Comparing violet and thermal platesetters, Boyer said violet systems' speed and fit were attractive, but plate costs were higher, and "violet is also a two-step manufacturing process."

At 1200 dpi, the PlateRite produces 38 plates per hour for the publisher, which can have its own technicians certified to service the platesetter."

Anticipating a second CTP device in the future, Central Maine Newspapers outfitted the processing line with a Nela conveyor and stacker, and is investigating an inline punch-bend configuration with optical alignment.

The Newsflo PDF workflow enables prepress operators to create hot folders containing all files necessary to automatically process jobs, which Boyer called "a very attractive feature," because of the area's many storms and icing conditions that can cause power failures. "We arranged a contingency plan with an area newspaper where we can put hot folders on their FTP site in an emergency. They would have everything they would need to print a job."

About 30 miles south, in Lewiston, The Sun Journal automated its prepress workflow in preparation for CTP that also relies on thermal platesetting.

The Sun Journal is moving to CTP using a recently installed Kodak Trendsetter thermal platesetter and a workflow solutios from Fusion Systems International, Portland, Ore.

The family-owned company, which also publishes weeklies and prints commercial work, installed an automated imposition workflow using Fusion Systems' DigiPage ROOM workflow plug-in and FTIFF accelerator plugin.

The DigiPage plug-in was installed into a workflow that includes DynaGram's Automate imposition software and a Harlequin-based Agfa RIP for Windows, which feeds an Agfa 3850 filmsetter. The paper will redirect RIPped pages from the imagesetter to the platesetter.

Fusion Systems' workflow features dynamic job routing, true-page numbering, and post-process scripting, which enables the company to distribute the various sections of its weeklies into unique directories for multisection automation, which has dramatically reduced production time.


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