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Customer Case  | Brunswick News, Moncton, CANADA  | 15 March 2012

Brunswick News

Switching to CtP Saves Canadian Newspaper Publisher Thousands of Dollars a Week

The Times & Transcript, the Telegraph-Journal and the Daily Gleaner are all printed at the Brunswick News headquarters in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Brunswick News publishes three dailies with a combined daily circulation of 110,000. To monitor production and ultimately increase process control and scheduling improvements across the board they switched to a total solution from Agfa Graphics consisting of an Advantage DL violet platesetter and a full-suite of Arkitex workflow software (including Arkitex Director, Arkitex Producer, Arkitex GRAFIX RIP, Arkitex NewsDriveX and Arkitex Autoink).

Newspaper Group in New Brunswick, Canada, Makes Significant Workflow Improvement – Without Missing a Beat

It is the goal of all newspaper press rooms to stay one step ahead of all the business and technological challenges they face - from financial issues, to environmental ones and, of course, continuous quality improvement, as well.
It is a big enough challenge when just one daily runs through the shop. How about three of them?

Surveying the Scene

"When I combined my own experience in the newspaper world with an aggressive schedule of checking out and reading up on all the new products and technologies at major industry expos, from vendor literature and in the trade press, I felt I was able to lead my team in the decision making process to help us meet our goals," says Daniel Mlodecki, manager of manufacturing operations for Brunswick News, a multi-newspaper organization based in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
One of those goals was to decide on a new workflow management system to monitor production of all the newspapers in the group. The need was for more control, overview, analysis, and scheduling improvements for the entire process - from submission of editorial copy and ads, through proofing, and all the way to press.
After a comprehensive search, Brunswick News decided to install a total solution package from Agfa Graphics, including Arkitex workflow and the Advantage DL violet platesetter. The company also brought in Arkitex Director, which serves as a control center for the entire workflow, automating complex tasks and monitoring the production all the way to press. Additionally, Brunswick News rounded out the workflow package with Arkitex Producer for straight workflow management, Arkitex GRAFIX RIP for PostScript color interpretation, and Arkitex NewsDriveX for steady data streams to the imagers.
"We were impressed with the ease of use of the Arkitex software," Mlodecki says, "and after we decided on it, we sent a lot of our people to Agfa for training, which was very helpful. The end result was a very smooth deployment."
The three dailies now benefiting from Agfa's Arkitex workflow and CtP are the Times & Transcript in Moncton, the Telegraph-Journal in Saint John, and the Daily Gleaner in Fredericton - all of which are printed at the same facility at company headquarters in Moncton. CtP, Mlodecki adds, shows its economic benefits to the entire organization on a daily basis. "Every time a plate comes out of the system, I'm saving a dollar - because we're not buying film anymore. That translates into several thousand dollars of savings each week."

Page Turner

The workflow improvements have kept all Brunswick News dailies operating at peak efficiency. "The system has proven itself time and time again under the toughest, most hectic conditions," Mlodecki says. "The entire, fully-integrated Arkitex suite was installed in the fall of 2004, and we've had nothing but very positive experiences ever since. The reliability is superb - although if we ever need do need tech help or service from Agfa, they're always available."
Brunswick News is now enjoying the advantages of simplified, automated workflow. The staff there has recognized Arkitex's reliability, intuitiveness, and the user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI), and the value of its modular, scalable design, allowing it to accommodate future needs of the newspaper group. When they opted for Arkitex Director, they knew they were getting the most fully featured system for newspapers available in the marketplace - a virtual control center for workflow, linking all equipment and production processes. It provides step-by-step work status and even identifies potential problems so that production is no interrupted.
Brunswick News also intends to add Autoink to facilitate their ink settings and printing. This advanced Arkitex module saves time and money by calculating exactly how much ink is required for every ink zone on every plate. This is an ideal solution for newspapers looking for faster press start-ups and less paper waste.
In addition to Arkitex for workflow, the new Advantage violet-laser platesetter, which was specifically designed for the newspaper market, is a tremendous bonus for the plant. Noted for its reliability and low maintenance (thanks in large measure to fewer moving parts), Advantage has a smaller footprint than comparable systems, which enables Brunswick News to maximize space usage on the plant floor, and that's important with three dailies being printed.
The new process at Brunswick News is for the three papers to submit their pages over the network via Arkitex Director software to the centralized CtP room in Moncton. That's where they are proofed. They then use standard page templates, graybars for consistency, and automatic impositions.
"We used to do only 60 plates an hour, and now we're up to 180," Mlodecki states proudly. "In addition to other workflow benefits, we don't have to spread out and overlap our output ahead of our editorial deadlines anymore, and we don't worry about backlog the way we used to." "When we selected the new systems," he adds, "we knew what it was capable of doing for us, and we also knew it would completely alter the way we do things, as far as our previous workflow procedures were concerned," Mlodecki says. "But we were committed to doing it, no matter how sweeping a change, because we knew the value it would bring to the entire operation. I don't think many newspaper groups go that far all at once, and so quickly."
The staff noticed quality improvements on the finished product - the newspapers themselves - the day the new CtP system and its automated workflow went on line. Among those improvements are crisper, cleaner colors - a plus appreciated by Brunswick News' advertisers as much (if not more than) anyone else.

Living History

The three dailies in the Brunswick News corporate family go to great lengths to form a tight bond with their respective public and commercial partners. Operating under the philosophy that newspapers provide a community's living history, each one spends quite a bit of effort on local news, events and, most importantly, the people who live in the region.
The Telegraph-Journal has been in existence since 1862 and is the highest-circulation daily in New Brunswick, distributed throughout the province. A burgeoning local arts and sports scene has given it its newest editorial focus, while Salon, its Saturday supplement, has become a very popular feature among readers.
The Daily Gleaner came into existence just 18 years after the Telegraph-Journal - in 1880 - and has been published six days a week in Fredericton ever since. Today it reaches 70 percent of the population during the week, and 86 percent on Saturday. Editors there recognize a strong sense of ownership in the community by the enormously high level of reader contact they have through article requests, story leads, letters to the editor and opinion piece submissions.
The Times & Transcript has surpassed all other newspapers in its class in growth. Recent surveys show that the overwhelming majority of people in metropolitan Moncton regard newspapers in general, and the Times & Transcript in particular, as their primary source of news and advertising. In addition to the southeastern part of the province, its subscribers extend into northern New Brunswick and eastern Nova Scotia. When the Brunswick News team made the jump to CtP and complete automated workflow, they were confident enough to know that they wouldn't miss a beat from one issue to the next. And that's what their readers have come to expect.

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