Southern Lithoplate, Inc. reported that several newspaper companies in January enjoyed a quick and easy transition to computer-to-plate (CtP) production built around violet laser technology and Southern Lithoplate Replica HSV violet plates.
The Sequoyah County Times, a member of the PAGE Co-op located in Sallisaw, Okla., purchased an ECRM MAKO NEWS violet platesetter to image Replica HSV plates for the family-owned company’s new Goss Community SSC press. After a long absence from printing newspapers in-house — the Sequoyah County Times sold its four-unit Goss Community press in 2004 — the company plans to inject higher quality into the pages of the twice-weekly newspaper while growing its printing business.
“Our main goal in buying the press and installing the CtP system is to do a great job of running community newspapers,” said Jeff Mayo, associate publisher and general manager. “We are excited about the opportunity to improve our quality and increase our speed in getting papers on the street.”
Seeking to streamline production, the Sequoyah County Times decided that the violet system offered a better solution than thermal technology, according to Mayo.
“We were accustomed to light-sensitive plates,” he noted. “Southern Lithoplate has a strong reputation down here. The MAKO NEWS is highly regarded by other newspaper publishers. It doesn’t quit. We are small enough that we can’t afford to have the platesetter go down. The quality of the imaging and of the plates themselves has been outstanding.”
The Goss Community SSC has three mono units, an SSC folder and a DGM 430 four-high. In addition to printing the Sequoyah County Times and an internally owned sister publication, the company produces four weeklies for print clients. Bringing all production processes in-house will make it easier for the Sequoyah County Times to serve its readers and customers.
“For a while, we were printing at three locations, inserting in four and mailing to six post offices,” Mayo explained. “There was a lot of logistical complexity. Now we should be able to become the fastest newspaper printer around that can also generate high-quality color reproduction. That is important because everybody wants color.”
The Starkville Daily News in Starkville, Miss., installed the Esprit violet platesetter from alfaQuest Technologies, Inc. and Replica HSV plates. The conversion to a totally digital plate-making workflow was part of an organization-wide upgrade by parent company Horizon Publications.
“Production speed was the main reason for the change,” said Don Norman, publisher. “The old process of working with negatives to burn plates took way too long.”
The Starkville Daily News has a daily circulation of about 10,000 copies. A longtime user of Southern Lithoplate analog plates, the newspaper operates an eight-unit Goss Community press.
“The registration of the Replica violet plates on press is excellent,” Norman said. “The image quality has also improved as a result of the direct-to-plate technology.”
The Starkville Daily News aims to provide fast turnarounds. The increased productivity associated with CtP has helped expand the Starkville Daily News’ outside printing business.
“Previously, we printed four newspapers for customers in the area, and we wanted to attract additional printing business,” Norman said. “Our speed and efficiency have increased to the point where we already have added eight more newspapers.”
The Wapakoneta Daily News, a PAGE Co-op member and existing Southern Lithoplate customer in Wapakoneta, Ohio, opted for the alfaQuest Esprit and Replica HSV plates. Published Monday through Saturday, the Wapakoneta Daily News has a circulation of 13,250. Owner Daily News Printing Co. prints the weekly Shelby County Review and Auglaize County Merchandiser. The company caters to commercial customers as well, producing everything from business cards to books.
“The alfaQuest unit and Replica plates fit our needs very well,” said Nina Laney, printing administrator. “The Esprit is a wonderful time saver and easy to learn. We love it.”
The Shelby Daily Globe in Shelby, Ohio, migrated from conventional prepress production to violet technology with the alfaQuest Esprit and Replica HSV plates. The PAGE Co-op member had printed with Southern Lithoplate analog plates for many years.