By: Jim Rosenberg
Serving newspapers worldwide, the Draabe Humidification division of Walter Meier (Climate USA) Inc., a part of Switzerland’s Walter Meier Holding, exhibited for the first time at Nexpo earlier this month after completing its first North American newspaper installation, at Seacoast Media, Portsmouth, N.H.
Ottaway Newspapers’ Seacoast Media two years ago erected a 70,000-square-foot plant and office that houses this country’s first two-around Goss Magnum press, and it was the first site to combine Goss newspaper press and post-press equipment since Goss acquired Heidelberg in 2004.
Although Ottaway parent Dow Jones & Co. was familiar with Draabe, explained Sales Director Wafik Kouchouk, an engineering company hired by Seacoast Media approached Draabe for the Portsmouth project.
Draabe’s one other newspaper-related site in the U.S. also is in New England. It installed high-pressure humidification and a standardized process water system in the 8,000-square-foot customer demonstration center at press maker KBA’s North American headquarters, in Williston, Vt.
“We came to North America just four or five years ago,” said Kouchouk, standing below and between small mist clouds created by silently operating humidification units perched above the corners of Draabe’s booth.
Kouchouk said Draabe has a stronger presence in Europe and among sheetfed printers, for whom humidification is espcially important. Draabe operatinos are based in Hamburg, Germany. Its U.S. offices are in Lexington, Mass.
At Nexpo, Draabe promoted its BioSafe low-noise electronic humidification systems, which require no filter cleaning or changing and feature on-board sterilization and swiveling atomizer heads with Teflon-coated stainless-steel nozzles that resist mineral deposits and corrosion. The systems use tap water and, depending on humidification level, an air compressor.