Tribune Co. and QuadTech Team Up for Largest Press Control System InstallFebruary 14, 2012
The Tribune Co.’s Freedom Center is the largest newspaper web-offset printing operation under one roof in North America. Its 10 MAN Colorman and Goss Metrocolor presses manufacture 2.85 million products each day, printing a host of major newspaper titles, including the Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily, Chicago Sun-Times and over 20 regional and specialist business titles.
“This investment is being made to gain efficiency, uniformity in our press operations and improvement print quality for ours and our commercial clients’ products. We are confidently investing in the future of print. The installation of QuadTech’s technology represents our commitment to delivering consistent quality and minimizing our cost structures, especially for our customers in the short-run market,” commented Brian Karnick, Chicago Tribune vice president of operations.
Karl Fritchen, QuadTech president, commented, “With the advent of the digital age, readers and advertisers alike are less tolerant of defects, including variations in density, color reproduction and registration. We are delighted to form a strategic partnership with the Chicago Tribune to overcome these challenges and deliver to the same exacting standards of reproduction as rival media alternatives, with this landmark agreement.”
QuadTech’s AccuCam combines color control and web inspection capability, all from the same sensor. Its proprietary spectral sensor for L*a*b* image-based color control eliminates the need for color bars or gray bars. A closed-loop system, AccuCam analyzes the entire image and automatically obtains target aim point values from a high-resolution prepress file to maintain accurate color, by automatically adjusting ink keys throughout the production run.
The system also controls and optimizes the ink ratchet for high inking performance, creating better color, reduced waste and minimized operator intervention. All surfaces are inspected and common print faults such as scumming, blanket smashes, incorrect plates and color variations, are detected. Early spotting of inconsistencies allows for corrective action before defects become a costly problem.