Tapping into Time Savings
The TAPPI Journal realizes productivity benefits after implementing a new CTP workflow and all-PC platform.
An age-old nemesis haunts magazine publishers worldwide. This supervillain rushes editorial deadlines, cuts off potential advertisers, and makes last-minute changes difficult and costly. His name is Father Time.
At the TAPPI Journal—the official voice of the Technical Associa-tion of the Pulp and Paper Industry, however, the staff is finding ways to meet Father Time without fear during each production cycle.
In the last eighteen months the monthly publication, based in Atlanta, has undertaken two significant changes that resulted in an amazing seven-day gain in its month-long production cycle. By using the Cortron computer-to-plate system at Quebecor Printing Pendell, Midland, MI, and by switching from the ubiquitous Mac platform to PCs, TAPPI has saved time and improved efficiency.
The usual suspects
Before implementing those changes, TAPPI was a fairly typical publication. Editorial content was assembled using WordPerfect on a PC platform and married to art using Macs, while adjustments were made to accommodate a legion of freelance editorial and art contributors. Via overnight mail, the journal sent electronic text and low-res image files loaded on Zip disks directly to Quebecor.
Quebecor retained the necessary fonts and scanned high-res art on-site before proceeding with a traditional film-based workflow. Because the publication caters to the paper industry, "Everyone would think that we really analyze paper or that we get a lot of free offers," states Editorial Director Mary Beth Bennett. "But to be fair to all of our members, I just specify weight, clarity and color, and let Quebecor purchase based on its needs."
Perhaps the most unusual aspect of TAPPI's previous production process was self-designed imposition software. "We constructed our own program in Basic years ago," Bennett relates. "Our book is abnormally large and when we were looking for imposition software, most programs weren't functional for our size. We've converted and updated it over the years and it still works well, so we haven't felt the need to purchase another one."