SNAP, ISO and divining the difference

Reprinted with permission from Newspapers & Technology, 2010
May 2010
www.newsandtech.com
The premier resource for insight, analysis and technology integration in newspaper, digital and hybrid production.
Le
FigaroISO
ready
SNAP,
and divining
the difference
Making money
with mobile
to exploit plant
BY MARCELO DURAN AND TARA MCMEEKIN EDITORS
By Peter Brehm, and Dennis Cheeseman Special to News & Tech
BY MARY L. VAN METER PUBLISHER
If newspapers weren’t already thinking about
events and real estate listings.
of thesetheir
documents
that is before
carefully
mobile strategies
Aprildocu3, they certainlyroom. “We are developing several other local and
topic-specific apps at The Register and several
mented.are now.

Scanning.
other Freedom businesses will be launched during
Last month’s release of Apple Computer Inc.’s

Digital
file preparation and manthe second half this year,” he said.
iPad galvanized papers large and small to assess
SNAP supports
ANSI
agement
(including
“Advertisers
are information
missing out on aon
huge ophow they can exploit a market that’s poised to
In manyexplode
cases,over
these
Committees
portunity
if they
don’t havewith
a presence
in mobile,”
PDF/X,
which
conforms
the ISO
the ANSI
next several
years.
he said. “In addition to mobile display banner adthe iPad is
onlyknowledge
the latest in a long string ofstandard).
draw on theBut
research
and
vertising, Freedom offers advertisers text solutions
mobile gadgets
competing for consumers’
that is compiled
in specifications
such as wallets.

Proofing.
and mobile Web sites.”
Other e-readers and smart phones, from the likes
SNAP. Inofturn,
these
ANSI
standards
are and 
Platemaking.
The Daily Press in Victorville, Calif., used text
Amazon,
Plastic
Logic,
Google, Microsoft
often drawn
upon
in theare
development
of
as a foundation
of anpaper
advertising
for

Materials,
including
andcampaign
ink.
Research
In Motion,
also vying for position,
and
a localconditions
car dealership(which
that netted
the sale of 16
publishers
want
to make
sure their
ISO standards
that
use
balloting
pro-products are 
Viewing
conforms
cars, Enevoldsen said, while another dealership
available
regardless
of platform.
cesses such
as those
ANSI
uses in order
withinthe
ISO standard).
Orange County received 60 leads from prospecThe numbers justify the push. Borrell Associto createates
international
standards
on
a
tive customers after it retooled its Web site to be
last month said the mobile market will eclipse
specificthe
topic.
The Register’s mobile app.
and ISOon9000
$57 billion mark by 2014, more than 20 timesSNAP displayed
TheISO
Milwaukee
Sentinel
and the Los
$2.7 news:
billion the
sector
generatedwork
in 2009.
Thethe
good
SNAP
supports
What about
9000?Journal
Perhaps
the newsSNAP specs, ISO standards
Angeles Newspaper Group, meantime, tapped Doby ANSI and ISO committees devoted to
paper App
wastoconsidering
implementing
ISO
In a nutshell, Specifications for Newsdevelop software that will allow readers to
Ready to go
formulating
and
publishing
ISO
stan9000
at
its
production
facility.
ISO
9000
is other
print Advertising
Production
(SNAP)
is
PARIS
— Following last
month’s formal
commissioning
of
access news and information from iPads and
Publishers say they’re ready to move. In the last
the
million production
plant used
to print Le Figaro, dards
the
for
coldset
Working
in Com- an acronym
mobile devices.
for the 9000 standard series
the$109
specification
that coldset
commercial
month
or so,printing.
three publishers,
Freedom
facility’s backers are now ready to pursue additional printing
Journal
munications,
MediaNews
Group and Journal developed under
coordination
with the
ANSI Committee
the Communications,
auspices of thewhich owns
printers and newspapers use to assure
and packaging business.
the Journal Sentinel, will also use DoApp’s
Communications,
signed(CGATS),
deals with vendors to
on
Graphic
Arts
Standards
ISO.
The
standard
defines
how a process
reproduction
quality.
As
a
specification,
The L’Imprimerie Printing and Production facility, owned
Mobile Local News platform to support
provide a mobile platform for their
which isnewspapers.
the umbrella facilitating group
should be documented
in
order
theLeSNAP
has
beengroup
created
by
Figaro document
and Italy-based
Seregni
of companies, is
mobile marketingto
effassure
orts at its 14
anchored
by the world’sprocess
largest Koenig
& Bauer
AG 6-by-2for ANSI standards
making
and eight
radio stathat everyone with atelevision
role in that
process
using a consensus
based
on realOthers, such
as USA committees
Towaterless Cortina pressline and Ferag postpress equipment.
tions. LANG
is using
e Wall Street
workingday,
onTh
graphic
artsJournal
topics, SNAP
knows everything he needs
to know
tothe app for
world testing and practical requirements
and The Associated
Press,
representatives
share objective
data plus
Le Figarocomcontinued on page
10
perform their specific role,Mobile
which
actions
shared by newspapers and coldset
continued on page 15
debuted iPad-specific apps,
editorialwhile
commentary
draft ANSI
should be taken and where to find matemercial printers.
The New Yorkon
Times,
CGATS among
as wellothers,
as related
standards
rials documenting the correct workflow.
To assure the broadest range of perwork toISO
further
PHILLY.COM OPENS DOOR TO BETTING
4
developdocuments
their own iPad-specifi
c SNAP
so that these
align with
Included in this standard is
spectives,
the
SNAP
Committee
includes
PHILADELPHIA NEWSPAPERS LLC IS LETTING
apps
(see
sidebar,
page
15).
contents.
A
result:
SNAP
specifications
management
overview of the process to
representatives
from
coldset
commercial
READERS WAGER ON THEIR FANTASY SPORTS
Freedom used its flagship
and theOrange
allied County
ANSI and
ISO
standards
make
sure
instructions
are being followed
TEAMS
USING
SOFTWARE FROM
U.K. DEVELOPER.
printers,
newspapers
andAsuppliers
to
(Calif.) Register as the
are “harmonized:”
They
agree
one
and that any deviations from these dethis industry segment. The group’s missite for its mobile
news
app with
engineered
LEE LEVERAGING WEB CMS FOR EDIT
fined work instructions are documented
sion is to research, compile, publish and 6 another.for smart phone users.
LEE ENTERPRISES PLANS TO ANCHOR ITS PRINT AND
The app,
developed
by Handmark,
This
means
that
a
newspaper
or
and addressed.
explain
technical
and
process
informaDIGITAL EDITORIAL MANAGEMENT AROUND SOFTWARE
allows iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Wincoldset dows
commercial
printer
adhering
Implementation of ISO 9000 is also
tion that
will advance
printing
FROM
TOWNNEWS.COM.
ALL coldset
OF ITS PAPERS,
INCLUDING
OS device users to read Register stories
THE
ST. LOUIS
POST-DISPATCH
WILL
USE THE APP.
to ISO standard
12647-3,
the
quality,
consistency,
and
efficiency.
on their mobile
phones
andstandard
also allows them to supported by SNAP. SNAP specifies coldinteract
with printing,
social networking
such as Facegoverning
coldset
will bysites
default
set aim points and tolerances, along with
By contrast, the International OrgaADOBE CS5 WORTHY OF ATTENTION
20
book and
Twitter.
be
adhering
to
SNAP.
proven best practices, compiled from
nization
for
Standardization
(ISO)
is
an
THE MOST RECENT ITERATION OF ADOBE’S PREPRESS
The Register’s app is part of Freedom’s aggresThe
even
better
news:
In
addition
to
across the coldset platform. An ISO 9000
international
standards-making
body.
The
SOFTWARE BRINGS A LOT OF PUNCH. BUT NEWSPAPER
sive strategy to launch a variety of mobile products
DEPLOYMENT
IS ANOTHER
STORY.
harmonizing
standards,
SNAP
implementation would necessarily draw
American National
Standards
Institute
over thewith
next ISO
several
months, said
Claus Enevolddirector of
marketing at Freedomon SNAP aim points and tolerances, and
containssen,
a wealth
ofinteractive
useful information
(ANSI) is ISO’s American partner. To that
Interactive.
and references
that can be shared with
could benefit from adopting or adapting
end, ANSI oversees standard committees
“We first launched a news app at the
the newspaper
or
commercial
coldset
in full or part SNAP best practices that
that develop American standards. These
Orange County Register and we will quickly
printer team,
committees initiate standards developexpand including:
to more than 20 other properties,” he are also included in the specification. In
said,
thatprinting
Freedom expects
to have all fact, it would be possible for a newspaper
 Design
foradding
coldset
(including
ment efforts based on industry requests,
the apps
groupwide
by the end
guidelines
onrolled
type,outrules,
and photograor coldset printer implementing ISO 9000
and use a balloting process to achieve
of June.
phy).
to cite SNAP in its ISO 9000 materials.
consensus or agreement on the contents

Gray balance
Subtopicsin prepress and the pressSo what’s the difference between SNAP
and ISO?
That’s a question that came to the attention of the SNAP Committee after one
newspaper commented that it was planning to “move beyond” SNAP and instead
use ISO to measure its production quality.
While that may be a laudable endeavor, the apparent misunderstanding
that exists regarding SNAP specifications
and ISO standards suggests a need for
clarification.
1
May 2010
Freedom also expects to launch apps aimed at
specific topics and community interests, such as
Newspapers & Technology
Other improvement areas
Newspapers, coldset commercial printers,
clients, vendors and other stakeholders
sometimes ask for background information about how SNAP relates to other targeted process improvement efforts such as
Six Sigma, SMED, 5S, and TPM.
It is important to understand the
definitions of these efforts.
As described previously, ISO 9000 defines how a process should be documented and the roles everyone needs to play in
order to ensure that tasks supporting that
process are completed successfully.
According to the book, “Six Sigma
Simplified,” Six Sigma draws on teams and
uses a results-oriented, project focused
approach to process improvement, Six
Sigma is a way of measuring and setting
targets for reductions in product or service
defects that is directly connected to customer requirements.
SMED, or Single Minute Exchange
of Dies, describes how teams can analyze processes in order to make process
changeovers — printers would call these
makereadies and version changes — as
efficient and effective as possible.
5S refers to a methodology used to
create a workplace that on a continuing
basis is clearly organized, free of clutter,
arranged so that people can find items
and sparkling clean. The term 5S refers to
the process used to achieve this outcome,
which calls for teams of people to sort, set
in order, shine, standardize and sustain.
Finally, TPM, or Total Productive Maintenance, outlines a maintenance strategy
that optimizes equipment performance,
eliminates breakdowns and, in the words
of the book, An Introduction to TPM: Total
Production Maintenance, “promotes autonomous operator maintenance through
day-to-day activities involving the total
workforce.”
How do these relate to one another
and to SNAP? SNAP defines aim points
and tolerances for good coldset printing,
and shares best practices as it pertains to
workflows and procedures that have been
validated as yielding quality coldset printing in the real world. ISO 9000 outlines
a process documentation methodology
that, as previously reported, can draw on
SNAP. Six Sigma, SMED, 5S, and TPM are
carefully thought-out methodologies that
support and ISO or other internal process
assurance methods.
2
May 2010
All of this means that newspapers
and coldset commercial printers have
access to a variety of programs and efforts
aimed at helping them improve quality
and throughput while reducing waste and
downtime. The key is understanding how
these different specifications, standards,
and process improvement activities tie
together and support or reinforce one
another.
Industry members interested in participating in
this discussion or joining SNAP (no registration
fees or membership dues required) can contact
either Peter Brehm at pbrehm@vertisinc.com, or
Dennis Cheeseman at dennis.cheeseman@usink.
com).
Interested in a speaker on SNAP at your upcoming conference, internal sales or production meeting, or association gathering? SNAP Committee
members are willing and able to help introduce
SNAP and its contents and benefits to industry
groups.
Peter Brehm is vice president of operations support at Vertis Communications Inc. and Dennis
Cheeseman is director of customer service at
US Ink.
SNAP, GRACoL and SWOP
Questions have also been raised about the similarities and differences among SNAP,
GRACoL and SWOP. In short: All three are specifications. They are not standards like ANSI
or ISO documents. The three specifications are not the same and do not provide specifications for the same processes. This means that there can be no such thing as “SWOP for
newsprint” or “GRaCOL for coldset.” Anyone who makes such a claim is confused — and
is confusing others. Here is a review of the role these specs play:
SNAP
Process focus: Coldset web offset (also touches on letterpress and flexography).
Substrate: Newsprint.
Marketplace: Newspapers and coldset commercial printing.
GRACoL: General Requirements for Applications in Commercial Offset Lithography.
Process focus: Sheetfed printing.
Substrate focus: Coated freesheets.
Marketplace focus: Commercial printing.
SWOP: Specifications for Web Offset Publications.
Process focus: Heatset web offset and publication gravure
Substrate: Coated No. 5 and Coated No. 3
Marketplace: Publications
Newspapers & Technology