From mind to mailbox

Learn how our new press works

Story by Amy Denney | Illustrations by Angie Calderon | Photos by Randy Robinson and David Weaver | Videos by Randy Robinson

WELCOME TO COMMUNITY IMPACT PRINTING

In September, Community Impact Newspaper opened its own printing facility adjacent to its Pflugerville headquarters. Community Impact Printing prints the company’s 22 newspapers for the Austin, Dallas and Houston metros.

TAKE A TOUR

The company’s Goss Magnum Compact printing presses are unique because there are only four in the world­—in Mexico; Sri Lanka; Staten Island, New York; and Pflugerville.

THE PROCESS

1

THE CONTENT

The production process begins with reporters and editors conducting interviews with sources and writing articles for each newspaper. Sales reps meet with clients to sell advertisements.

Content

Design
2

THE DESIGN

Next the reporters meet with graphic designers, who use information provided by reporters to lay out pages and create infographics. Designers also create some of the advertisements for clients.

3

THE PREPRESS

When the paper is laid out, the designer sends a digital copy to the prepress technician, who prepares the pages to be engraved onto aluminum plates that will transfer the digital files to the newsprint.

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4

THE PLATEMAKER

One plate can hold up to six pages from a newspaper. Four plates are created for each six-page section because newspapers are printed in four layers of colored ink­­—cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Each of the two platemakers can create 24 plates per hour.

5

THE LASER

A laser engraves digital files onto the plates. The autobender bends the edges of the plates and adds a holepunch so the plates may be loaded onto the press. The press has an autoloader that can load up to 24 plates within 90 seconds. Without this automation, it would take 30-40 minutes to load the plates by hand.

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6

THE ROLL

A technician loads the rolls of paper, which are 50 inches wide and weigh 1,700 pounds. The press can go through up to three rolls of paper in 20 minutes.

7

THE INKING

Once the press is loaded with the plates, rollers apply the four colors of ink and water onto each plate. Each plate will stamp a reverse image of the newspaper page onto what is called a blanket, which is similar to a rubber stamp. The blankets transfer the original view of the images onto both sides of the newsprint.

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8

THE ALIGNMENT

The press also has an auto-registration feature, which uses cameras to look for colored marks printed on each page to make sure the four colors are being printed in proper alignment. The press notifies the computer that operates it if any marks are out of focus and makes adjustments.

9

THE FOLDER

The long webs of paper are directed into their proper order before the chopper cuts the paper every 21.5 inches, or the width of two pages, and folds the pages. The two-page sections now resemble a book.

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10

THE STITCHER

The folded sections are dropped on a chain and gathered to create the complete paper. The stitcher then binds the sections together with staples.

11

THE TRIMMER

Next the bound paper is put into a three-sided trimmer, which trims the excess paper to provide smooth edges. The trimmed waste is then sent back to the paper mill to be recycled into new paper.

trimmer

12

THE STICKY

At the insert machine, a small adhesive advertisement is added to the cover while the papers are being loaded.

13

THE INSERTER

Next the inserter drops in the inserts, or detached ads, into the center of the newspaper. The inserter carries the papers on a conveyor with grippers to print the address on the back covers of the papers.

14

THE STRAPPER

The papers are then bundled into stacks by ZIP code and postal carrier route. A cover sheet with details for the postal carrier is placed onto the stacks before two plastic bundle straps are added.

15

THE MAILBOX

The press facility has a Detached Mail Unit in which a clerk from the Pflugerville Post Office verifies and weighs the bundled papers before delivery. Newspapers can go straight to the post offices that will deliver the papers instead of going to a sorting facility with the rest of the mail.

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lauren

LAUREN BROWN

Circulation Manager

Ariel guerrero

Material Handler

Ray cortez

Material Handler

kim hanson

Circulation Specialist

Keiman green

Material Handler

David Ludwick

General Manager

Ronnie hampton

Press Room Manager

FRANK MATA

Reel Setter

Eric Koehlmoos

Material Handler

CHuck patterson

Press Operator

LLOYD LYNCH

Press Mechanic

MATT STALZER

Bindery Operator

JAMES MCCHESNEY

Bindery Operator

DANNY PATTERSON

Prepress Technician