DC Thomson adds inline inkjet capability at printing arm

Simon Nias
Thursday, January 29, 2015

DC Thomson has become the third newspaper publisher in the UK to invest in Kodak's Prosper S-Series Imprinting System, giving it the ability to produce bespoke newspapers with unique advertising and marketing content.

DC Thomson will install a Prosper S30 Imprinting System on the title unit of its eight-tower Goss Colorliner CPS press at its print arm Discovery Print next month, giving it the ability to print a 106mm-wide strip of variable print on up to 16 pages of any publication.

It follows News UK subsidiary Newsprinter's installation of 22 Kodak Prosper S30 printheads across multiple sites in mid-2013 and CN Newsprint's world-first install of a Prosper S10 printhead on its eight-tower KBA Comet in May 2010.

The monochrome printhead, which will be mounted on an adjustable rail to enable Discovery Print to adjust where the variable content can appear on-page, has a 600x200dpi print resolution and a 900m/min maximum print speed.

This will allow Discovery Print to print variable data at the full 90,000 copies per hour running speed of the Goss Colorliner CPS.

DC Thomson and Discovery Print head of operations (newspapers), Guy Forester, who was general manager of CN Newsprint at the time of its Prosper S10 install, said the Kodak technology was "fantastically reliable".

"They've developed the quality of it so much [from the S10] it's indistinguishable now from the litho print – it looks like it's part of the main process," he added. "The reliability is fantastic and that's key because you don't want anything to slow up the press."

Forester said the company would probably use the inkjet imprinting system for marketing content initially rather than advertising.

"There's some simple things we can do to start with, like printing unique numbers, or randomising sports results if there're enough variables. Once we can prove the take-up then we'll have some data to take to advertisers," he added.

Other potential applications include micro-promotions using geo-coded maps, barcodes and coupons and localised information including personalised text and images.

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