Six days a week, the Thüringer Allgemeine (TA), Thuringia’s biggest local paper in terms of circulation, and most editions of the Thüringische Landeszeitung (TLZ) are produced at TA-Druckhaus in Bindersleben, a suburb of Erfurt.
If – as it usually does – everything runs to plan, the TA-Druckhaus team need just 3 hours to produce the 22 local editions of the TA and the TLZ, with a total circulation of almost 300,000 copies.
On the 10th anniversary of the company’s foundation, Zeitungsgruppe Thüringen’s parent company, Essen based WAZ Mediengruppe, made a substantial investment in technology at TA-Druckhaus. From Monday to Saturday TA and TLZ readers and on Wednesdays and Sundays Allgemeinen Anzeiger (AA) readers hold the result in their hands. Brilliantly printed newspapers and advertising papers with true colour advertising and pin sharp pictures.
The introduction of computer to plate technology, CTP for short, in 2000 has meant that the interim film production step is no longer required. The four Agfa CTP units are generously sized for processing the approximately 1500 aluminium printing plates for printing in Rheinische format daily.
The newspaper offset printing is spread across a real giant. The 80 metre long, 13 metre high complex, made up of 5 sections with a total of 98 possible print positions is controlled using the latest control centres. Capable of producing up to 160,000 copies per hour, five different editions of the TA and TLZ can be produced on these machines at the same time. To achieve this, TA-Druckhaus relies on the experience of Germany’s oldest printing machinery manufacturer, Koenig & Bauer. The Würzburg company is one of the most renowned companies in the industry.
More than 100 staff at TA-Druckhaus work on the daily production of newspapers, advertising papers and customer orders. In addition to the around 50 printers and specialists, the second largest team is the dispatch department.
The dispatch department is coupled with typical chain belt conveyors, which bring the newspapers directly from the printing machinery, in widely curving paths, to the inserters. These insert additional printed material into the printed newspapers. The dispatch lines bring the newspapers, by now tied into bundles, labelled and counted, towards the loading ramp, where each night a fleet of vehicles waits to bring subscribers their reading pleasure.