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Newspapers publishers

Production specifics

Basic product of newspapers publishers still remains printed press. However, in the difficult market times publishers and print shops must improve their profitability offering access to their production capacity also to other companies. When the editions of most newspapers decrease the solution is printing of high circulation advertising materials such as supermarket and commercial networks advertising newsletters. In many magazine print shops the amount of external works is comparable or even exceeds the editions of published newspapers.

The specifics of newspaper production (large quantity, with emphasis on low price of paper) cause the fact that mainly web presses are used in production which allow for minimising the unit cost of printing. When compared to sheetfed printing presses, web presses allow for using much cheaper (thinner) paper and offer much higher capacity of the whole production line. The above advantages are revealed only in the case of large quantities which leads to mainly other large entities becoming the potential customers of magazine printers.

Problems and Challenges

Time pressure is the most important challenge faced by any newspaper publishers and printers.. The everyday busy production cycle does not tolerate errors. The life of newspaper is full of unexpected events. The particular pages may be many times amended and supplemented. In the case of any significant or sudden event the journalists need as much time as possible for delivery of their articles. In such cases technical preparation of materials and plates exposition often take place under great pressure and at the last moment. Nevertheless, the newspaper must be published without any errors. The adverts must be located where the advertising section wanted them. Wrong use of fonts or changing colours are unacceptable. Therefore, relying only on human factor in such work circumstances sooner or later must end with a bloomer which in the case of newspapers is usually quite spectacular.

Another problem often faced by the prepress sections of newspapers is the use of non-standard information systems. These are often patchwork solutions made of many independent applications which cooperate using scripts prepared by the IT sections. Such systems evolve with the increasing needs of publishers and gradually become more and more complicated. At some point the number of mutual co-dependencies between the particular elements of these systems become very difficult to coordinated even for their authors. This is a disadvantageous phenomenon because first of all it complicates flexible reaction to changes enforced by the market and on the other hand it makes the publisher strongly dependent on its IT section.

Solution

The solutions portfolio offered by INFOSYSTEMS includes two newspaper printing solutions

  • PuzzleFlow Automator
  • PuzzleFlow WebPairer

Both these solutions are based on common program platform and use the same set of modules which define their functionality. The PuzzleFlow Automator is an automatic prepress system designed for newspaper publishers. Basic task of the system is to perform preflight of the editorial pages and advertising materials taking into account technical correctness and compliance with the edition plan, automatic correction of small deviations and placing the advertising materials on the delivered pages. Thanks to the integration with the most of the advertisement acquisition systems available on the market the application is able to control the compliance of parameters of the processed materials with the commercial requirements and to locate the situations in which the sold advertisements were not included in the pages delivered to the system. The built-in mechanism of processing formulas enables our application to take over the role of a central management point over the process of materials preparation for printing and to replace the solutions difficult to manage hidden in the scripts created by the publishers’ IT sections. Our solution enables implementing an electronic system of materials flow which can be used for archiving of works, informing employees about potential problems or integration with the external information systems (including those belonging to other companies, e.g.: advertising account may receive the file with a page preview on which its advert appeared).

The PuzzleFlow WebPairer is an automatic imposition (page pairing) system designed for newspaper applications. The WebPairer System is offered both as an independent application and as module included in the PuzzleFlow Automator system. Upon installation of either of the solutions, the WebPairer uses full strength of prepress correction offered by the Automator. If the customer decides to install only the page pairing part, the package he receives includes the basic prepress correction together with automatic correction of the pages geometry. The important feature of the page pairing system is the web growth or fan out correction, which is particularly important in printing on cheaper paper or using older machines.

PrePress

The PrintManager system supports prepress processes by monitoring the status of tools required for production (such as blanking dies, printing forms or stencils for embossing) and informing about the materials not being ready for the planned orders. The solution enables prepress processes optimization by adjusting them to the production plans, notwithstanding whether the tools are made in the print shop or at the subcontractors. The system also provides effective register of the prepress processes costs regardless of the method of their processing.

The WebClient supported by the PuzzleFlow PrintOnDemand solution is a module dedicated the case of works production in the Prepress. This solution enables a print shop customer to perform preflight even before sending files which may significantly speed up the process of materials approval for printing. The WebClient automates many prepress processes, it features the digital layout proofs and online materials acceptance option. It may be developed into the full prepress production system performing page pairing and preparing normalised files for a platesetter rendering system.

Press

Our solutions for newspaper market include total prepress processes necessary for preparing newspaper for printing. All the delivered materials are checked generally with regards to their technical accuracy and compliance with the edition parameters included in the central database. Furthermore, depending on the results of the test the system applies necessary corrections or informs the operators about the occurring problems. As all the materials (advertising pages and materials) are completed, the application inserts the delivered adverts onto pages and the complete pages are forwarded into the ink reduction module. The finished pages are paired using the WebPairer module and then placed in the rendering system queue. The prepress correction of all the delivered materials includes:

  • Full pre-flight module compatible with GWG standard, version 4
  • Geometry correction of pages
  • Cutting to size
  • Normal and anamorphic scaling
  • Rotations
  • Colour corrections
  • spot colours support,
  • RGB to CMYK conversions
  • conversions to greyscale
  • Full colour management module
  • Location of critical errors in the received files (no fonts, wrong colour spaces, wrong OPI links)
  • Overprint corrections
  • Corrections of "rich black"
  • Transparency flattening
  • Connection of fragmented bitmaps into one picture
  • Support for many input formats (PDF, EPS, XPS, TIF, JPG)
  • Generating of previews and layout proofs of all the received materials
  • Generating CIP3 ink profiles
  • Trapping
  • Imposition (page pairing)
  • OPI support
  • Rendering support

Solution Advantages

  • Modular construction (the system functionality easily adjustable to the customer’s needs)
  • Scalable efficiency (our solutions are used both by local newspapers and publishing houses operating on a corporate scale).
  • Uniform architecture based on the PuzzleFlow technology
  • WWW interface giving access to the whole system
  • Verification of conformity of the received materials with the required edition parameters
  • Materials calculation management mechanism
  • Complete preflight and prepress correction
  • Web growth correcting module
  • Module reducing ink usage
  • Page pairing module

Implementation Benefits

  • Limiting losses caused by human error
  • Limiting operating activity costs by lower labour intensity of prepress processes
  • Centralised management of preparation time of materials for print
  • Simplified integration with the external companies (print shops, advertising agencies)
  • Shortening of preparation time of materials for print
  • Ongoing preview of production status
  • Print quality improvement