Magazine article Editor & Publisher

CTP Live in Lexington

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

CTP Live in Lexington

Article excerpt

Already heavily paginated, the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader beg direct output of plates last month. Installed Aug. 15, the machine image the next day's front page.

The paper is the first in the Knight-Ridder group and among the first in North America to adopt computer-to-plate technology. "We worked with Knight-Ridder corporate on it," said Lexington's operations director, David Stone.

Both the daily and its corporate owner were investigating CTP output and, Knight-Ridder was considering a CTP project, said Stone. With a new film imagesetter in the budget, he said, "we already had the money available" to purchase a platesetter.

Supplied by Louisville-based systems integrator Total Systems Engineering, the machine is a NewsJet Sciences International Richmond, B.C. Stone said the NewsJet was chosen after an "extensive preview of the CTP market" that included visits to Cymbolic, Creo and Gerber that left him impressed with the suppliers and their equipment.

Though "very interested in thermal technology" - offered by several CTP systems suppliers and the approach preferred by the Munster, Ind., Times (E&P, June 22, p. 20) - Stone judged that chemistry-free alternative technology was not quite ready for newspaper production.

An internal-drum machine with three-point register, NewsJet was selected for its stability and repeatability, according to Stone.

"In the CTP market, we're not very interested in a flatbed machine or an external-drum machine," he said, "because there are so many moving parts in each of those two particular technologies.,

When unveiled earlier this summer at Nexpo '96 in Las Vegas, Cymbolic said the semiautomatic NewsJet offers 1/4-mil image repeatability and plate-to-plate repeatability, of +/-1. Its frequency-doubled YAG laser images film and aluminum plates up to 37" x 26" in udder two minutes at 1,000 dpi and under four minutes at 2,000 dpi.

Though not satisfied with results after a few days of tests, Stone said he looks forward to using stochastic screening so that his operation can quickly image at 1,000-dpi and obtain results comparable to 2,000-dpi resolution. Until that time, the paper plans to output all color pages directly to plate at 2,000 dpi.

According to Cymbolic, NewsJet will image YAG-sensitive plates available from any of at least six manufacturers. …

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