Daily Journal computerizes printing processPublished 11:02am Monday, September 9, 2013
In a business that is over 140 years old, innovation is the key to longevity. Building on its tradition, the Daily Journal is turning to modern printing technology to continue serving its area customers.
The Journal recently started printing its daily newspaper, area weeklies and advertising inserts with a process known as computer-to-plate printing. The change to the new system comes is a welcomed improvement for those involved in the printing process.
“You can have this thing (the machine) running while you’re off doing other things and by the time you’re done it’s ready for you,” said Mark Lahaise, The Journal’s press foreman. “It really just makes the job much more efficient.”
Printing technology has been in a constant state of change since the first printing plate was set with movable type. Previously, The Journal used computer-to-film printing, where a computer file is printed as a photographic image on film and then transferred to a silver plate.
Now, images are sent directly to a machine that creates the plate so it can be moved right to the press. In a series of sweeps, rumblings and pressurized air spraying over the plate as it is cooled after lasers create the image, the new machine finishes the process in minutes.
The improvement is certainly dramatic. What used to be a ten-minute process transferring negatives to a plate now only takes a minute.
“This is the way newspapers are done now,” Journal Publisher Joel Myhre said. “We have a strong commercial printing business here, so we felt that we owed it to both our readers and our customers to invest in this technology that is going to result in both greater efficiency and quality.”
The new technology means customers can expect to see some improvement in what they see on paper as well. With the number of commercial jobs the Journal’s press is used for, the stream-lined system benefits both printer and consumer.
“It should result in better quality,” Myhre said. “There are a lot of factors that determine the quality of the print job, but not having to hand register negatives should result in better color quality for the newspaper and our commercial customers.”
In a business where product needs to be out as quickly as possible on a daily basis, the improved service speed and ease means the newspaper and printer can better meet future goals and challenges.
“This is the future and I’m grateful that our company has decided to invest in it,” Myhre said.