The Villages, Florida, USA

The Villages Daily Sun

Fast, automated, process-free Kodak platemaking powers The Villages Daily Sun's nonstop operations


Specialist newspaper and commercial printer in central Florida, with high-volume, coldset web offset production


Keep platemaking speed, capacity, and flexibility up to the high demands of a fast-paced daily newspaper operation

Kodak Solution


SONORA Process Free Plates

"We needed faster output speeds for a wide-format plate, and GENERATION NEWS was the only choice for our new facility….It was a clear choice for us because the other equipment that we looked at didn't meet our needs for speed and output."
Steven A. Infinger, Director of Operations, The Villages Daily Sun
The Villages Daily Sun production facility
The Villages Daily Sun’s 100,000-square-foot production facility in central Florida


The Villages Daily Sun made their name growing a small hometown newspaper into one of Florida's largest dailies. They now run a high-volume operation printing in a variety of newspaper formats as well as providing commercial print services. To keep platemaking up with business demands, they rely on a high-speed, versatile CTP solution from Kodak.

The Business Need

No one knows better than The Villages Daily Sun: a popular daily newspaper printed on a web offset press goes through a lot of plates. And the CTPs that the central Florida-based printer had been using for years were no longer keeping up with current needs. The printer runs a Koenig & Bauer Commander CT web press with a 96-plate capacity that churns out 90,000 copies per hour for the business's newspaper runs as well as additional commercial work for outside customers. They needed to boost their platemaking capacity and throughput with a CTP solution that could accommodate the press's 72-inch, double-wide plate cylinder configuration and a variety of print formats. And while they had long ago simplified operations by eliminating plate processing, they weren't always thrilled with the quality of their current process-free plates, which sometimes had emulsion and graining problems. The newspaper printer turned to Kodak, who recognized that high-speed CTP automation and a plate upgrade were in order.

The Kodak Solution

The Villages Daily Sun added two KODAK GENERATION NEWS Platesetters, the only CTP they found that would accommodate their 36-inch plates at the throughput they needed: each platesetter images 115 plates per hour in top Z-speed mode. The platesetters have a capacity of 1,600 plates across four cassettes of different sizes, with fully automated loading of each job's correct plate size—for long periods of imaging with no operator intervention needed. The printer also switched to KODAK SONORA Process Free Plates, and quickly discovered that the plates' "develop-on-press" method cleanly removed surface emulsion within a few sheets, free of the manufacturing defects they had encountered with other brands' process-free plates.

The Outcome

Their new CTP setup gives The Villages Daily Sun the volume and versatility to meet brisk workload requirements. The two GENERATION NEWS Platesetters' large size and multiple cassettes easily accommodate the business's full range of formats, from 10-, 11-, and 12-inch broadsheet and tabloid formats to 18-inch long tab and other quarter-folded products. The platesetters' fast, steady output and labor-saving automation ensure uninterrupted production of 200 plates per hour at 1,200 dpi. And the robust, clean-running SONORA Plates that the printer now uses exclusively have significantly reduced the startup waste they'd experienced with other plates, further enhancing prepress performance. As their business evolves and they see changes in circulation and run lengths, their flexible Kodak solution will help The Villages Daily Sun stay fast, nimble, and adaptable.

"We moved to thermal process-free plates many years ago. We preferred the quality, the reduction of maintenance, and the overall performance of process-free plates. SONORA, for us, was a better option than what we were running."
Steven A. Infinger, Director of Operations, The Villages Daily Sun

Contact Us

Contact a Kodak sales representative to learn how our products and solutions can help grow your business.