The investment by Al-Jazirah Corporation has been driven by a need to dramatically increase production capacity out of its Riyadh center, and in particular to enhance color flexibility and semi-commercial/heatset capabilities. “Middle Eastern newspapers were years ahead of the global hybrid trend and we have been installing press systems with heatset capabilities into Saudi press halls for many years,” comments Stéphane Jaunasse, Goss International Customer Service manager.
“We have a long-standing partnership with Goss International, and they were the obvious choice for this ambitious upgrade project,” explains Nabil Sahl, production manager Al Jazirah Printing. “We have confidence in their continued support and believe that Goss can help us to gain greater visibility for semi-commercial print placement, ensuring the daily title fully reflects the level of expectation among readers today and maintains a market leading position.”
The project for Al-Jazirah will draw on a broad range of expertise from the Goss Lifetime Support team, with the initial phase focused on relocating a 2x1 Goss Universal press comprising 13 four-high towers, two folders and 15 reelstands from north-eastern France to Riyadh. This press will be installed into a modified press hall, refurbished in situ, and configured as two press lines: one of seven towers and one of six towers. The press units will be enhanced with shaftless drive controls. The next element of the project involves transferring two four-high towers from an existing Goss Universal press installed in the Riyadh plant in 1994 to another later-generation Universal press system. As part of this process, the drive system of the two towers will be converted to footprint shaftless and the units will be upgraded to match those of the second press.
Three heatset gas dryers will be integrated with the press lines, and a ‘bay window’ turner bar arrangement will also be introduced to enable full hybrid production, mixing heatset pages within the publisher’s flagship broadsheet daily, Al-Jazirah.
Upon completion of these major modifications and additions, Al Jazirah will be operating a total of 22 Universal four-high towers, with a web with of 914 mm and a 578mm cut-off plus three Goss Universal folders. Operating at speeds up to 50,000 copies per hour, the press system will be capable of delivering a total pagination of 100 pages for producing the daily newspaper and specialized magazines.
“We’re very excited about this project, as it has the scope for us to truly prove our industry leadership, resources and expertise in Lifetime Support services,” concludes Jaunasse. “It also provides the opportunity for us to show what can be achieved by enhancing and reconfiguring presses with the reliability and longevity of the Universal technology platform.”
Established in 1960, Al-Jazirah Corporation publishes 220,000 copies daily of the Arabic newspaper Al-Jazirah, with an average pagination of 48 pages per edition. It also distributes three specialized magazines per week along with the newspaper, namely Telecom and Digital World Magazine, Auto Club Magazine and Cultural Magazine. As well as placing strong emphasis on its printed titles, Al-Jazirah Corporation is at the forefront of digital news production in Saudi Arabia. It was the first Saudi newspaper to go online, in 1996, and was also the first newspaper in the Middle East to successfully launch a mobile phone App, which today has more than 50,000 users. The company is a certified training center in these and other editorial, printing and publishing techniques.