Technology keeps rolling at press

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Gus Tonnellier

Gus Tonnellier

Four-hundred-thousand dollars worth of new equipment in the press, located at the rear of the Black Press’, The Verrnon Morning Star building. The company has ramped up the colour quality for the 35,000 newspapers that get sent out every issue to residents of the North Thompson and North Okanagan areas.

“We have three new four-highs (printing units four levels high) and a new SSC folder (the machine that cuts the paper off the end),” said Gus Tonnellier, regional press manager for Black Press, which owns Star/Journal and Clearwater Times.

“They were bought for their colour capacity. All of the papers are asking for more colour these days.”

The Vernon press is used for far more than just the Star/Journal and the Clearwater Times. The press handles 22 different newspapers a month, not to mention around four million inserts.

Among the communities served by the press are Vernon, New Denver, Salmon Arm,  Sicamous, Kamloops, Merritt,  Invermere Kelowna, Lumby, Nakusp, and Lake Country.

“We run 24 hours a day, from Sunday night to Saturday night,” said Tonnellier.

It is a challenge that requires 52 employees to keep it running. The new equipment made it necessary to hire four new employees as well, two apprentices and two labourers.

Trucks are heading out at all hours to bring the publications all over the Interior.

In a technology centric society, it seems an almost impossible task to keep up with the latest developments in any industry. The best you can hope for is to not fall too far behind. “I think this puts us a bit ahead,” said Tonnellier.

Not only is the technology new, the Black Press division is the only one serving the area with the capacity to print as many publications as it does.