"[Aging equipment] hasn't prevented us from installing new technology," said Pat Izzo, the Chronicle's director of production operations.Pat Izzo, the San Francisco Chronicle's director of production operations, also oversaw a NewsWay installation during his time at Detroit Newspapers.
Photo: San Francisco Chronicle NewsWay will replace an old version of Intellinet at the Chronicle (Monday-Tuesday, 364,003; Wednesday-Saturday, 419,358; Sunday, 467,216), which Izzo said the newspaper planned to continue running alongside NewsWay through the end of January.
"We're running it side by side to make sure all the bugs are worked out with the system and we're looking at going solo (with NewsWay) Feb. 1," he
Increased efficiency Izzo, who also oversaw a NewsWay deployment while director of prepress operations at Detroit Newspapers, reports more efficiency in production since installing the workflow app.
makes what we have more efficient and productive, and its reporting capabilities keep us better informed," he
Case in point: NewsWay's
ability to track pages through all the various workflow steps.Previously, Izzo
said the Chronicle
had no definitive way of viewing pages on demand and the newspaper was unable to monitor workflow on its Agfa 3850 filmsetters.The older equipment and software make it difficult for the Chronicle
to ensure it is printing what it's receiving, Izzo
said.To that end, the publisher installed touchscreen monitors beside each NewsWay workstation PC so operators can track plates by touching the screen next to the image on the plate.
"Because of the raised image on the plate, reading barcode is difficult for tracking plates in the press area," Izzo
said."This will send information back to the operator allowing us to quickly communicate."
In addition to tracking page flow, the software will record the amount of time it takes to complete certain functions such as editorial release, page transmission, film and plate output, and plate-to-press times, allowing the Chronicle
to streamline production.
"Our technicians are ecstatic; we can now do things, such as remote proofing, that previously were not possible," Izzo
Monitoring the Chronicle's
transmission devices has in some cases alerted the publisher of problems in the workflow even before they arise.For example, alerts are given in instances where film is low or where someone has failed to properly close one of the door panels on a filmsetter.
will send error messages back to the operator at the main plant so they can monitor those things," Izzo
"Now it's a very hard manual process," Izzo
will do that automatically for us."
Challenge not impossible
In terms of updating the publisher's workflow, Izzo
said many vendors viewed the old presses as an insurmountable hurdle.
"But I looked at it and it wasn't," he
said the Chronicle
has talked with MacDermid Printing Solutions about the possibility of converting to CTP
admits that is not something that's in the publisher's immediate plans.
"Making that big of a commitment with our current presses right now wouldn't make sense," he