March 2014

Nils Enlund







Media content provided on different platforms: Environmental performance of online and printed versions of Alma Media newspapers

Yevgeniya Arushanyan1, Åsa Moberg1, Minna Nors2, Catharina Hohenthal2
1 KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Division of Environmental strategies research – fms and CESC Centre for Sustainable Communications, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, SE-10044 Stockholm, Sweden
2 VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Tekniikantie 2, Espoo, P. O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Finland


Environmental issues are receiving increasing attention from various stakeholders and the media sector is no exception. With the introduction of electronic media, the question of whether electronic or traditional media are more environmentally friendly is often raised.

The stakeholders of the Finnish media publisher Alma Media are interested in obtaining more information about the company’s environmental performance and thus commissioned a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study of Alma Media newspapers, in printed and online versions. This paper presents the results for the morning paper Aamulehti and, and the evening paper Iltalehti and to illustrate the potential environmental impacts of online and printed newspapers.
The whole life cycle of each newspaper was assessed as regards its environmental impacts related to printed and online versions. Special emphasis was placed on content production, which has not previously been studied in detail. The online newspapers studied were assumed to be read from laptops and desktops.

Content production appeared to contribute a rather significant share to the environmental impact of online and printed newspapers, particularly an online newspaper with few readers. With the improvements in other life cycle stages, e.g. more energy-efficient and smaller devices, this might become increasingly important. The reasons for content production impact originated mainly from manufacturing of electronic office equipment, business trips, electricity and heating used in the offices.

For printed newspapers, newsprint manufacturing, ink and plates production were the main reasons for the environmental impact. For online newspapers, the end-user device (manufacturing and use) made the highest contribution to the environmental impacts in various impact categories. Online distribution contributed significantly to the environmental impact when the content of the website was heavy and download amounts large.

Comparison of printed and online versions is not straight-forward. Here it was done in two different ways, with the environmental impact generated related to two different functional units: “one reader and week” and “one reading hour”. The overall results of the comparison differed depending on the functional unit used. This shows the complexity of the question and indicates that there is no easy answer to whether online or printed versions of newspapers are more beneficial from an environmental point of view. In either case, media companies need to take action. Collaboration with value chain stakeholders is crucial for improvements, but collaboration regarding online newspapers will most probably differ from that related to printed newspapers, as the supply chain of the electronic end-user devices is not directly connected to the media company, but to its customers. Actions also need to be taken in-house, e.g. reducing the environmental impact of content production through rethinking business trips, introducing energy-efficiency solutions, using cleaner energy sources, placing environmental demands on procurement of electronic devices and extending their service life.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), printed media, electronic media, content production, environmental impact

JPMTR 033 | 1330 Original scientific paper
UDC 655.3.066.12+004.78

Received: 2013-12-03
Accepted: 2013-01-17

Usability study of a Finnish digital public library

Olli Nurmi
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P. O. Box 1000, FIN-02044 VTT Espoo, Finland


This research paper deals with the usability of a digital public library service. In public libraries, the customer base is far more heterogeneous and the usage patterns more diverse than in academic libraries, that have often been the focus of many earlier usability studies. Typically, the users of academic libraries are seeking new knowledge and the user interface is designed to allow the efficient discovery of resources. In public libraries, users do not only have a utilitarian view of reading as a learning tool, but they also read for pleasure.

This paper specifies the user interface of a digital library service for public libraries and measures the usability and general user experience of the service. A digital library system was built according to the derived specifications. The usability measurement tool was developed according to the Nielsen usability framework. A digital collection of Finnish eBooks was made available for Helsinki Metropolian Area library users for the test period and usability was measured by web questionnaire.

The usability of online and offline reading modes were compared. The results show some differences in book lending and reading but no differences on returning loaned digital books.

This study shows that Nielsen’s usability framework can be used to measure the usability of a digital public library. Mostly positive feedback was received and a majority of the users were even willing to recommend the service to their friends.

Keywords: digital public library, eBooks, Nielsen’s usability framework, user experience, online and offline reading

JPMTR 034 | 1403 Research paper
UDC 027:021

Received: 2014-01-30
Accepted: 2014-04-15

Management of press installation projects: method development and case study regarding newspaper press installation during full production

Johan Stenberg
Bold Printing Group Box 36, SE-164 93 Kista, Sweden
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Computer Science and Communication, Dept. of Media Technology and Interaction Design SE -100 44 Stockholm, Sweden


The newspaper industry is under pressure from new digital products and services and most traditional media companies are facing a revenue loss related to print products. In order to survive, many newspapers must assign resources for cost reductions and productivity generating activities. A modern, downsized and efficient printing plant can be a way to survive.

In this case study, modern production equipment has been installed at two sites at the same time as the project budgets were kept at a minimum in order to avoid future fixed capital costs in a decreasing market. To achieve this, a key factor was to re-use the buildings and as much as possible of the expensive infrastructure in terms and press tables, systems for heating, cooling etc., and thereby reduce the size of the investment by approximately 40-50% in comparison with a green field solution. The decisions to go for new printing presses in the old buildings were taken late in 2010 (Akalla) and early in 2011 (Malmö). The decision was followed by a two year implementation project and another year of fine tuning.

A special project method was developed in order to achieve a cost efficient implementation with re-use of as much as possible of the already existing infrastructure in terms of buildings, press tables and piping, cooling etc. This method, CODSIM – Competition Driven Supplier InvolveMent, that requires deep involvement from competing press suppliers and their subcontractors such as printing press project specialists was a key to the success of the project.

Most deadlines and project objectives have then been met according to the initial project definition with a few exceptions
– mainly related to the new control systems including software and parameter settings. The final deadline for closing the project could not be met due to a number of open items, but the presses have been used in daily production more or less according to a project plan worked out during spring 2010. In terms of budget issues, the budget developed after the pre- project has been carefully observed on a monthly basis and there has been no need for additional funding after the initial board decisions. The forecast is that the annual costs in the two plants will be reduced by more than 20% from 2015 with equivalent volumes and the forecast is that the pay-off for the 15-year investment will be reached within five years.

Keywords: newspapers, printing press, printing plant, installation, project method, cost efficiency

JPMTR 035 | 1327 Research paper
UDC 655.3.066.12:681:625.812

Received: 2013-11-02
Accepted: 2014-04-06

Tailored printed primary battery system for powering a diagnostic sensor device

Andreas Willert1, Anthony J. Killard2, Reinhard R. Baumann1, 3
1 Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nanosystems ENAS, Technologie-Campus 3 D-09126 Chemnitz, Germany
2 University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus Bristol, BS16 1QY, United Kingdom
3 TU Chemnitz, Institute for Print and Media Technology, Chair of Digital Printing and Imaging Technology
Reichenhainer Str. 70, D-09126 Chemnitz, Germany


Printed batteries are unique in their capability of providing customized electrical energy to various kinds of applications. A primary battery is fully charged during manufacture and so does not require charging prior to its first use. Therefore, the amount of energy included during production is immediately available for the designated application. Printing as a manufacturing technology enables the production of this type of battery with the ability to tailor voltage, energy content, and layout. One appropriate application for this type of energy supply is in single-use sensor devices used for blood testing. Such systems possess finite and well-defined energy requirements.

In this paper, the development of a power supply based on printed battery technology for just such a sensor system is described. The application of the sensor system is for the measurement of cholesterol in human blood. During the research and development process, the requirement was to support electrical power to two different types of systems: one controlled by a Si-chip and the other controlled by an organic circuit. The first setup required an operating voltage of 3 to 4.5 V while the second setup demanded +/− 15 V. In this paper, the investigations and results for both types of batteries are described. Both types have been successfully characterized to fulfill the application demands.

Keywords: printed battery, primary battery, energy system, sensor, smart system, screen printing

JPMTR 036 | 1402 Research paper
UDC 655:621.38

Received: 2014-01-23
Accepted: 2014-03-10