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Panpa Bulletin : February 2006
February 2006 PANPA BULLETIN | 29 Kodak's system with its SQUAREs- pot technology offers greater po- tential for superior quality print reproduction to be achieved on newspaper presses than could ever have been envisaged in a film-to-plate environment," he confirms. The precision of the SQUAREs- pot thermal imaging technol- ogy combined with the unrivalled consistency and quality offered by Staccato screening software were significant factors in WAN's choice. Staccato screening pro- duces high-fidelity, artifact-free images that exhibit fine detail without halftone rosettes, screen- ing moiré, gray-level limitations, or abrupt jumps in tone -- with no impact on RIP'ing or render- ing time. The pseudo-random nature of Staccato halftone pat- terns also means that image deg- radation from misregistration is minimised. To allow the plate processing workload to be managed across the system, WAN has also ordered the TIFF Load Balancing module of Kodak's NewsManager soft- ware. As this software is based on open standards, it is easy to inte- grate into existing systems. A load- balancing workflow is important to maximise resource usage and ensure maximum throughput. Jobs are automatically routed to machines with different plate sizes and work is automatically re-allocated if a device fails. Greg Shurman sees the instal- lation of the four Kodak Trend- setter News platesetters fitting well with WAN's upcoming com- missioning of the double-width KBA Colora press line and single- width semi-commercial Comet press. "It will equip the company with the resources required to meet the demands of the market for improved quality of presen- tation. CtP technology will also contribute to on-time delivery of the newspaper to our distri- bution system, which will mean home-delivery readers will re- ceive their copy at a consistently early time. Once the installation is com- pleted in the third quarter this year, WAN is expecting signifi- cant improvement in platemak- ing efficiency with the capacity increasing to 800 punched, bent thermal plates per hour. A safe operating environment for the company's employees, as well as consistent quality of plates de- livered to press, are also seen as major benefits. "Our printers can rely on using plates which will al- low the printing process to be op- timised from plate-up through to delivery of the printed product," says Shurman. The Essentials > WAN executives invested in four platemaking lines. > The four main criteria were: fast throughput speed for plate imaging, processing and punch/bending; cost-effective plate production cost; high level of operator efficiency; and consistent quality of plate to press. > Needed to allow for growth in platemaking volume without affecting press start deadlines > Expecting improvement in platemaking efficiency, with capacity increasing to 800 punched, bent thermal plates per hour. > the SQUAREspot thermal imaging heads, combined with the binary nature of thermal newspaper plates, achieves consistent and repeatable halftone dot structures.