Digital newspaper printing trials make progress

ALMA MEDIA’S NORTHERN NEWSPAPERS DIGITALLY PRINTED FOR HELSINKI DISTRIBUTION Alma Media’s ’northern’ provincial newspapers Kainuun Sanomat, Lapin Kansa and Pohjolan Sanomat are being printed digitally and distributed in Helsinki in a six-month trial project covering one hundred subscribers. The trial started on 1 October and will end on 31 March, during which time the subscribers will receive their papers every day. The project includes participation by Atkos, UPM- Kymmene, Metso Paper, Finland Post and Man-Roland Finland. The primary objective of the digital printing project is to establish if there is sufficient business potential in the Helsinki metropolitan area for digital printing of the provincial newspapers. This would require an optimized production and logistical process from editing to the digital printing plant, and from the plant to the newspapers’ subscribers. The project involves printing certain of Alma Media’s provincial newspapers six days a week for six months at the Atkos printing centre in Vantaa. Without digital printing these newspapers would not reach their subscribers until the following day. The newspapers have been chosen to ensure optimum transport and distribution in postal codes in the centre of Helsinki. Printing of Kainuun Sanomat and Lapin Kansa started on 1 October; Pohjolan Sanomat will be added on 8 October. The newspaper pages are 85 per cent the size of a normally printed newspaper, and printed throughout in four colours on UPM Digi Brite (70 g/m2) manufactured by UPM-Kymmene’s Voikkaa paper mill. "In the future digital printing capacity can be used for example to print newspapers delivered to airports, or for local printing of domestic and foreign newspapers if such a decentralized model can be made cost-effective," said Ms Maija-Liisa Pennanen, circulation director of Alma Media’s Alpress business area. In a six-month pilot project extending from September last year to February this year, Alma Media digitally printed the Saariselkä edition of its Lapin Kansa newspaper in Lapland. During that period the newspaper was printed throughout in four colours for 70 subscribers in the area. The partners’ goals in the project "Atkos intends to create profitable new business models by digitally printng newspapers and other printed products. We are especially interested in commercially exploiting methods of printing information that changes rapidly," stated Mr Olli-Pekka Pitkänen, unit manager at Atkos. UPM-Kymmene’s Voikkaa paper mill has developed a special grade of paper suitable for digital printing. UPM’s goal in the project is to test the functionality of this grade in production-scale digital printing. The mill also plans to develop the logistics necessary for successful digital printing. Metso Paper Oy’s aim is to establish the development and business potential of new printing technologies and prepare for their application in paper machines in the long term. Finland Post will determine how the normal newspaper distribution process needs to be adapted for digitally printed newspapers and participate in developing the appropriate operating conditions. Man-Roland Finland plans to find new applications for digital printing, a technology that enables newspapers to have greater individuality and be updated more efficiently. The company will also establish the development potential of the newspaper pre- media process and optimization of the production schedule. Further information: Pasi Ahonen, Paper Technology Manager, Metso Paper Oy, tel +358 (0)20 482 6079 Harri Nummenpää, Product Group Manager, Finland Post Oy, +358 (0) 204 51 5328 Maija-Liisa Pennanen, Circulation Director, Alma Media/Alpress, +358 (0) 3 266 6301 Stéphane Petit-Gras, Project Manager Marketing Development, UPM- Kymmene Oyj, +358 (0) 204 150 627 Olli-Pekka Pitkänen, Unit Manager, Atkos Oy, +358 (0) 205 388 541 Jarmo Rissanen, Product Manager, Man-Roland Finland Oy, +358 (0) 40 823 1814
  • Date: 2.10.2001, 08:00
  • News type: Press release

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