By: Mark Vruno
As more publishers contemplate switching newspaper formats from broadsheet to compact, single-wide, press vendor Manugraph DGM says it has a folding solution that would allow users to toggle back and forth between trim sizes. Its ST-40 add-on empowers existing press folders to produce smaller, sectioned broadsheets at speeds up to 40,000 copies per hour (cph) — and save paper in the process.
Showcased last September under the Newsprint Pavilion at GRAPH EXPO in Chicago, the ST-40 folder produces a 15- to 18-inch-height broadsheet product with ½-inch current cutoff page width (variable height and variable product capability), easily optimizing existing legacy equipment to the shorter cutoffs. It also maintains flexibility for alternative formats, allowing seamless transition from standard broadsheet, tabloids, and quarter-folded products to new sectioned tabloid products. The folder includes a slit and angle-bar section, positioned 90 degrees to the device, which folds the web into a Berliner or compact-sized product (see E&P December 2011). The ST-40 also can produce two to five sections with variable page counts in all sections.
Additionally, the DGM ST-40 applies to the entire installed base of 4×2, 2×2, and 2×1 presses and doesn’t require a plate conversion on 2×1 or 2×2 configurations. Production speeds are substantially increased, as two-around presses can run straight and produce the same capacity as running collectively. Single-width users can double their capacity, because each ribbon becomes a web (two ribbons per web), allowing 64 per page per four-section broadsheet with no new tower additions required. Manugraph DGM will exhibit at the drupa show in Düsseldorf for the first time this year.
Also at May’s über trade fair, Swiss manufacturer Hunkeler will feature its POPP (Printer Online Paper Processing) technology. Designed to finish variable, print-on-demand tabloid and broadsheet newspaper output from digital, continuous-feed printing systems, the unwind/cut/collate solutions are modular and can be used either offline or inline. Operating at maximum speeds of 500 feet per minute (fpm) with up to a 26-inch web width, the concept underlying the POPP technology allows publishers to extend their content reach by enabling the geographically independent production of up-to-date newspapers. In Dayton, N.J., for example, an AlphaGraphics franchise is digitally printing copies of London’s Daily Mail and other international newspapers for distribution partner Newsworld (see E&P July 2011). A print-bind combination of a Screen Truepress Jet 520 is used together with the turnkey Hunkeler finishing solution, which employs a drum collating module that gathers the duplex printed sheets of variable size, such as broadsheet or tabloid. The papers leave the collating module as an electrostatic fixed stack. This proprietary approach to sheet assembly works continuously, without printer stop regardless of the number of sheets to be collated.
First introduced in late 2008, this solution offers publishers the opportunity to produce as few or as many newspapers, with as few or as many pages as locally pertinent, anywhere in the world, according to Hunkeler. From any location, editors can modify, fine-tune, and revise data to make it completely relevant to specific markets before transmitting it via the Internet to the printing location. In addition, content is edited and advertising is added promptly, even during the printing process, thanks to the digital print system’s dynamic layout capabilities. During off-peak hours, the hybrid system can be used for the versatile production of brochures, book signatures, or mailings. (There is an optional gluing device for dot and line gluing with up to four glue nozzles.)
Digital book crossover
In Düsseldorf, Swiss firm Muller Martini will display a total of 10 machine exhibits, including variable-size web-offset printing presses, newspaper mailroom systems, and digital book production systems. Newspaper printers should take note of such diverse product applications, said consultant Don Piontek of Finishing Resources, Inc. Although wider inkjet web presses have yet to take hold in newspaper production as they have for direct mail and books, that could change as financial pressures lift for U.S. news publishers.
Canadian supplier Magnum Digital Solutions has worked closely with Hewlett-Packard’s Graphics Solutions Business to develop the Flex Book system, which bolts onto the T300 Inkjet Web Press. Flex Book provides an efficient method for producing fused, easy-to-handle book blocks. But Piontek said that such a system could be adapted for newspapers, “if the demand is there.”
Using cut-sheet technology, Flex Book produces a book block sans the common shingling and bottling problems found in folding technologies that employ signature solutions. Blocks can be fed inline to a binding system or offline. Plus, cut sheets minimize standard trim waste requirements. Magnum Flex Book is engineered for 24/7 use and was designed with the future of digital printing in mind. It is capable of a web width up to 43 inches (up to eight-ribbon processing) and speeds up to 800 fpm.
Timsons, in the U.K., is developing similar technology, which it calls the T-Book finishing system, while Kodak and Muller Martini have partnered on an advanced finishing solution for the Prosper 5000XL inkjet web press.
“Finishing is a huge conversation with customers,” said Moisha Clark, North American category manager of HP’s high-speed inkjet web press, which is why a consultative approach is best. The question, he said, is can a dedicated finishing line adapt to different format sizes you may be running?
“We can deliver at full speed, but can said [finishing] manufacturer accept it? A lot can. We have great finishing partners,” Clark told MyPrintResource.com. But again, it depends on what kinds of jobs are being printed. If you run one format frequently, inkjet web operators can dial up the speed and “run the doors off” the press, he said. “It’s not just about the box. It’s the end-to-end solution.”
manroland Web Business Acquired
After selling its sheetfed press operations to British engineering group Langley Holdings in early February, bankrupt manroland proceeded to sell off its Augsburg webfed printing systems business a few days later to the Possehl Group. (Goss Intl.’s parent company, Shanghai Electric Group, had been interested in buying all of manroland.) While more than half the 2,800 jobs at the Augsburg site have been lost, the new company — still one of the world’s top three manufacturers of newspaper and publication printing systems — is expected to generate annual sales of 300 million in the future.
Possehl has proven it is capable of turning around companies that have been in financial difficulties and managing them successfully long term. The most recent example is Böwe Systec, a manufacturer of envelope inserting systems also based in Augsburg, Germany. Following the takeover by Possehl at the end of 2010 and the company’s realignment in line with mid-market principles, Böwe Systec was back in the black just one year after filing for bankruptcy.
Managed by the holding company L. Possehl & Co. mbH, the Possehl Group is a diversified group that currently has 10 independently operating divisions organized within a decentralized structure. The Possehl Group is composed of L. Possehl & Co. mbH and approximately 140 subsidiaries in more than 30 countries. According to preliminary figures, the Possehl Group generated sales of around 2.5 billion in fiscal year 2011 and has more than 10,000 employees worldwide.
“At drupa 2012 we will show our competence as a high-performance business partner standing for innovations,” said Peter Kuisle, who is responsible for sales and service at manroland web systems GmbH. (Also see drupa, p.27.)
The Miami Herald
The Miami Herald Media Co. (MHMC) is moving its headquarters to a two-story building in nearby Doral, Fla., and will build a new printing plant on the property it is buying next door. President/publisher David Landsberg told employees to view the relocation as a sign of hope for the company’s future. Construction is expected to begin on the new plant in April, and the move is slated to be completed by late May 2013, the newspaper reported.
Three of the Herald’s existing presses will be refurbished and relocated to the 119,000- square-foot production building, Landsberg said. The three-story, 119,000-square-foot production facility will be built using prefabricated panels. The Herald plans to begin installing the presses in December. “It’s really tight to do what we want to do, but it’s really doable,” said Craig Woischwill, senior vice president of circulation and operations.
The new plant is expected to allow the Herald to improve its printing quality and approximately double the number of color pages. In addition to The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, MHMC prints and distributes The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, New York Post, and El Pais, among other publications.
The new offices will allow the company to create a newsroom for the digital age, said Miami Herald executive editor Aminda Marques Gonzalez. “We’ll be able to build a modern newsroom around a central hub that truly integrates our multimedia operations, including our print, website, radio, video, mobile news, and tablet platforms,” she said. “We’ve been visiting and studying other newsrooms to incorporate the best ideas around the country into our new space.”
manroland customer El Colombiano — the company’s first in Colombia — is marking its 100th business anniversary by adopting a new design with a European format that offers readers more convenience with perks such as color, images, multimedia, and immersion experiences in its contents. Last January, El Colombiano also began using the manroland Uniset 75 printing press, which at 45 meters in length and 11 meters in height is capable of printing more issues in a fraction of the time. The publisher edits two daily newspapers and one weekly for the city of Medellín and the surrounding area.
These newspapers contain a wide range of magazines and supplements. The constraints in formats and color with the existing press equipment led to customers virtually insisting that the printing plant be modernized. “We decided in favor of the manroland Uniset with a web width of 1270 mm because it meets all our requirements concerning quality and productivity,” said managing director Luis Miguel de Bedout.
Three major objectives lay behind this decision, the firm said: 1) Product format flexibility, which makes it possible to produce different formats of broadsheet and tabloid publications as well as magazines; 2) The highest four-color quality and a more modern and attractive design for readers; and 3) The ability to offer contract printing to other publishers and enter into commercial printing to improve press utilization and profitability.
More Color, Subcontracting
Beijing-based newspaper publisher Guangming Daily has ordered a new Goss Universal press to increase color capacity and to pursue more subcontract printing in the Chinese market. The new single-width, double-circumference (2×2) press will mainly be used to print the 150,000 copies a day of the Guangming Daily and 250,000 copies a day of the tabloid Xin Jin Bao.
“It is … imperative that we meet the demands of our readers by employing technology of the highest print quality to match our impactful journalism,” said Zhao Ping, deputy general secretary and factory director at Guangming Daily. “We look forward to a new level of technology and productivity with the installation of the Goss Universal press in the first half of 2012.” The new press is to include three four-high printing towers, three reelstands, and two 2:3:3: jaw folders. The system also will include closed-loop color registration controls, an ink leveling system, blanket washers, two counter stackers, and an in-line stitcher. Rated at a maximum of 80,000 cph, the press will generate higher productivity and more color pages for the national daily central government newspaper.
Launched in 1949 by the China Democratic League, the Chinese language Guangming Daily considers itself a newspaper for intellectuals. The paper also is printed in the cities of Shenyang, Shanghai, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Xi’an, Lanzhou, Chengdu, and Kunming. With correspondents residing in many countries worldwide, it has a large global circulation. As well as printing Guangming Daily, the publishing group publishes three other newspapers, four periodicals and a website.
Graphics of the Americas
From March 1-3 in Miami, Goss Intl. presented its latest web-offset press technologies suited to the American markets. Its 1,200-square-foot booth highlighted the enabling technologies and press models that are fundamental to its leadership position in North and Latin American newspaper, semi-commercial, and commercial sectors. These include Goss M-500, M-600, and Sunday commercial presses as well as Community SSC, Magnum, Universal, and Uniliner newspaper presses, and Pacesetter saddlestitchers.
As part of the Goss exhibit, there also was updated information and technical details on Akiyama sheetfed presses and some of the company’s newest product offerings for worldwide markets. These include a new compact newspaper press, the Colorliner CPS, and the Sunday Vpak variable repeat packaging press models, as well as new high-speed single-wide newspaper press developments.
Two Months Until drupa
Viewing the quadrennial trade show in Germany as a vital international event for printers, publishers and technology, Goss Intl. is investing in a major presence at drupa 2012. The Colorliner CPS compact-tower press and 96-page Sunday 5000 press will be among the featured Goss systems that offer new performance capabilities for current and emerging requirements.
“drupa is the one place where suppliers can showcase new technology for a worldwide audience and where printers and publishers can evaluate a globally diverse range of solutions,” said Goss Intl. president and chief executive officer Jochen Meissner. “Regional shows and events remain important, but having this truly international show is vital for our industry.”
Goss will occupy a 19,590-square-foot booth in Hall 17 to present commercial and newspaper printing and finishing systems as well as its new web offset presses for packaging. The company announced full details of its drupa 2012 exhibits at a pre-show news conference in Düsseldorf Feb. 29.
Meissner projected that attendees will arrive at this year’s drupa show questioning conventional definitions of which printing processes produce which products. He said he expects printers and publishers to be particularly interested in pursuing how they can use different processes — or combinations of processes — to provide their customers with more powerful and cost-effective printed products. “The long-term value and effectiveness of print are not in question, but pressures to stay competitive and profitable are intensifying in every sector,” Meissner said. “By collaborating with a strong, visionary supplier and by replacing outdated equipment with advanced web-offset solutions, printers can address those pressures and take significant cost, time, and inefficiency out of their workflows.”
America East Show
More than 600 attendees — some 150 of them production executives — will come to see nearly 90 exhibits at America East, the annual newspaper technology and operations conference co-sponsored by E&P this month, in Pennsylvania. In the keynote presentation, “Innovation Among Legacy and Digital Products,” a panel trio of Mark Aldam, president of Hearst Newspapers; Dave Carlson, executive director of the University of Florida’s Center for Media Innovation & Research; and Steve Yelvington of Morris Publishing Co. share their insights on innovation, sharp thinking, and swift action — in print and online. On March 13, Dave Preisser, operations vice president at Enquirer Media, identifies what you need to consider when contemplating a move to a three-around press or other new printed formats. Awards for the “Print Quality Contest” will be given during a special March 14 breakfast.
NAA mediaXchange 2012
One breakout session at mediaXchange next month, titled “Print Innovation,” contends that newspaper innovation is not only happening in the digital space. Examples of newspapers applying new thinking to engage readers and advertisers with core and new print products will be highlighted by Lana Champion, sales vice president at the Florida Times-Union; Mark Cohen, chief operating officer at Pioneer Newspapers; Mike Martoccia, advertising sales and marketing manager at the Charlotte Observer; and Philip Pikelny, vice president/digital and chief marketing officer at Dispatch Printing Co.