|Monty Hyams (1918-2013): Patent Information Pioneer||home||intro||derwent||personal||downloads||links|
The Production Division's work, 1984
Derwent's Production Division occupied 26,000 square feet at 2, Northburgh Street, around a mile east of Rochdale House. Its systems were optimised for rapid and cost-effective production of a multiplicity of very short runs.
Print/Bindery and Dispatch
Using the latest small offset printing, 15,000 masters/plates were produced each week on 12 electrostatic platemakers and 28 presses, and some 6000 pages generated on three magnetic tape-drive Compugraphic photo-typesetters. Staffing numbers were reported to have stabilised after a two-year programme of introducing fully automatic and perfecting presses, which reduced the number of print operatives from 39 to 26.
The six tonnes of paper printed weekly generated 1.5 million sheets, which were collated on eight single-sheet collating machines and bound on two Sulby Perfect binders. A staff of 25 prepared and bound 14,000 books each week.
Computer-generated advice notes were the basis for assembling materials for shrink-wrapping and dispatch, 85% of it to the United States and Japan.
In summarising this work for the benefit of Thomson Publication Directors, it was noted that within a year or two computer-to-laser printer output would be a practical alternative to current methods (paste-up, plates, offset printer). This radical transformation would have both economic and 'political' implications.
There was a small microfilm department inhouse, but most operations were carried out by a nearby bureau, Microfilm Reprographics, for whom Derwent was by far the largest customer, spending £270,000 per year. More than 2.7 million document pages were filmed annually, producing over 1000 master reels holding nearly 20 miles of silver film.
From these masters, some 30,000 copies were produced for subscribers, using 568 miles of diazo copy film. In addition, COM Index microfiche were produced for a magnetic tape file generating over 2000 master fiche, from which some 166,000 copies were produced for subscribers.