Power of the press

EVERY day for the past decade the printing presses of the Evening Times have churned out tens of thousands of copies of newspapers and magazines.

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n Prince Andrew opened the print works at Cambuslang on November 28, 2002 and he  is seen unveiling the plaque  in the mail room n edition hot off the press
n Prince Andrew opened the print works at Cambuslang on November 28, 2002 and he is seen unveiling the plaque in the mail room n edition hot off the press

Hundreds of tonnes of blank paper goes through the presses every week to create the brightly coloured newsprint that is delivered to your homes and shops.

And today the presses are celebrating their 10th anniversary.

Our Cambuslang-based presses were officially opened by Prince Andrew in 2002 and they have been printing almost 24 hours a day ever since.

When the factory was built it was a specifically designed, hi-tech mega plant, covering a 6.4-acre site and producing full colour, high quality publications.

Since then, although the basic printing process remains the same, the plant has doubled its output and attracted publications from the media and commercial sectors.

Now, as well as the Evening Times and its sister papers The Herald and the Sunday Herald, the presses print other papers, such as the Daily Mail and the Mail On Sunday, as well as a variety of publications for local authorities and private companies.

A total of 86 staff produce 47 different newspaper and magazine titles a week in full colour on the two presses.

They go through 600 tonnes of newsprint, 20,000 printing plates, more than five tonnes of coloured ink and another five of black ink, printing almost 24 hours a day, every week.

Alistair Gay, production director at the plant, said: "It is an exciting business.

"We still get a buzz from producing products that will turn heads. Everyone is really enthusiastic. The biggest thing is that it is a total team effort."

The 63-year-old, who has worked for the Evening Times for 21 years, has seen the printing process change over the years. He started working for the company when the paper was produced at Albion Street in the city centre.

The staff at the Evening Times moved to Renfield Street, Glasgow, in 2000 and £45million was invested on building new print premises in Cambuslang, although printing continued at Albion Street until the new plant opened in 2002.

Despite its enormous output, the plant has a zero waste policy that sees paper and printing materials recycled.

A lot of the printing process is now automated, and there are laser-guided vehicles that transport the one-tonne rolls of paper from storage to the printing press.

The printing process begins when an electronic version of the paper is sent from our news desks in Renfield Street to the Cambuslang plant. An image of the paper is processed and a printing plate produced, which is loaded on the press.

The ink is then put on the page and both sides are printed at the same time.

The process is called 'web offset, cold set' – web being the name given to the roll of paper and cold set because the ink dries by evaporation.

Mr Gay said: "When we have visitors they say, 'I just can't believe all this happens in this building'."

matty.sutton@eveningtimes.co.uk

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