Saturday, May 16, 2015

Behind the scenes at the Arizona Republic

The local newspaper, The Arizona Republic, is celebrating it's 125th anniversary. Last week, I saw in the paper that they would take a few lucky people on a free behind the scenes tours at their printing plant as part of the celebration. I sent in an email, and was one of those chosen to go! I brought my friend, Penny, along.
The plant is at Deer Valley Road and 19th Avenue. It was state of the art when it was built in the mid 90's and is still pretty close to that. A lot of the printing plants around the country have been modeled on this one.

In the lobby, there is a glass wall and you can see into the main floor. It's pretty cool. Each roll of newsprint weighs a ton. They are moved around by these robot carts. They are pretty cool to watch. When an operating needs some newsprint they signal the robot and it goes and gets a new roll.

The Newsprint is not recycled. They said they found that they had more trouble with the recycled paper.

One of the Robots at work. They all have names on the front.

This is a model of the printing plant. It goes up three stories.

 Newsprint is pulled through at a high rate of speed. They print in color and so the paper goes through each section of color to get it laid down properly.
 There are some people working there. They employ a total of 300 at this plant.
This robot is named Paper Waiter.

When they robots need to be recharged, ,they put themselves into this recharger lane and charge themselves from the power source above.

 In this room, they print the New York Times, Deseret News and other papers that they are contracted to print ant distribute locally. They use different newsprint than the Arizona Republic. That is their stack of newsprint there.
Some of the inserts for the New York Times, printed and ready to be inserted.

This is where they keep their supply of newsprint. They keep 30 to 45 days of newsprint in house and then warehouse another month or so in town. The paper comes from British Columbia by ship and then by rail from LA.

This guy pulls this ton rolls of newsprint down from those tall stacks two at a time. That's two tons. And then loads them into this door to be unwrapped and rolled to where the robots can get them. They try to stay 150 rolls ahead of the robots.

It's hard to see through the reflection in the glass, but this is the tank filled with black ink. It comes in a tanker trunk about once a week.

Papers that have been printed and folded rushing by. There are a couple of guys that look through them to make sure the color is tinted correctly and they are printing squarely on the page.

 This was our tour guide. He has worked for the paper since he was a little boy as a paper boy. He is showing us the proofs. There is one for each color of each page. So if a page is in color, there will be four proofs for that one page.

Our group.

This machine collates all the advertisement inserts and then stuffs them into the folded papers.

 Then they get bundled and banded. The papers that go to the most outlying locations, like Northern Arizona, go out first. Then the ones for single copy sales, and finally the home delivery copies.
 Folded papers whizzing by to be collated with the ads.

Can you see the collated adds going up a conveyer belt right in front of where the man is standing?

Papers on a conveyer belt.

This was what they used to print their proofs on back in the 1920's to 40's. They would lay out the type for a page, run the treadle to print one and then take it to the editor for him to approve. Back before they had computers to look at how it would look.
It was a cool thing to do and I am honored to have been able to go! I love factory tours.

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