The daily paper is compiled at the editorial headquarters, known as the prepares centre, in the heart of the city, but printed far away in the suburbs at the printing centre. Here human beings are in the minority as much of the work is done by automated machines controlled by computers. Days paper and the publishing order are determined at head office, the information is punched into the computer and the Legs are programmed to go about their work. The Legs collect the appropriate size paper reels and take them where they have to go. When the press needs another reel its computer alerts the LEG system.
The Sydney Legs move busily around the press room fulfilling their two key functions to collect reels of newsprint either from the reel striping stations, or from the racked supplies in the newsprint storage area. At the striping station the tough wrapping that helps to protect a reel of paper from rough handling is removed. Any damaged paper is peeled off and the reel is then weighed. Once the finished newspaper has been created for the next morning’s edition, all the ages are transmitted electronically from the prepares centre to the printing centre.
The system of transmission is an update on the sophisticated page facsimile system already in use on many other newspapers. An magistrate at the printing centre delivers the pages as film. Each page takes less than a minute to produce, although for color pages four versions, once each for black, cyan, magenta and yellow are sent. The pages are then processed into photographic negatives and the film is used to produce aluminum printing plates ready for the presses. Then one of the four pastes robots moves in.
Specifically designed for the Job, it trims the paper neatly and prepares the reel for the press. If required the reel can be loaded directly onto the press; if not needed immediately, an LEG takes it to the storage area. When the press computer calls for a reel, an LEG takes it to the reel loading area of the presses. It lifts the reel into the loading position and places it in the correct spot with complete accuracy. As each reel is used up, the press drops the heavy cardboard core into a waste bin. When the bin is full, another LEG collects it and deposits the cores into a
Difference Between Classical Music & Modern Music By unguardedly A procession of automated vehicles is busy at the new printing centre where the Sydney Morning Herald is printed each day. With lights flashing and warning horns honking, the robots (to give them their correct name, the Legs or laser guided vehicles) look for all the world like enthusiastic machines from a science fiction movie, as they follow their own random paths around the plant busily getting on with their jobs. Automation of this kind is now standard in all modern newspaper plants.
The boots can detect unauthorized personnel and alert security staff immediately if they find an “intruder”; not surprisingly, tall tales are already being told about the machines starting to take on personalities of their own. The Legs move at walking speed. Should anyone step in front of one or get too close, sensors stop the vehicle until the path is clear. The company has chosen a lassitude function system for the vehicles because, as the project development manager says “The beauty of it is that if you want to change the routes, you can work out a new route on your computer and ay it down for them to follow’.
When an Legs batteries run low, it will take itself off line and go to the nearest battery maintenance point for replacement batteries. And all this is achieved with absolute minimum human input and a much reduced risk of injury to people working in the printing centers. The robots’ principal Job, however, is to shift the newsprint (the printing paper) that arrives at the plant in huge reels and emerges at the other end some time later as newspapers.