First Goss Flexible Printing Systems to Independent News & Media

By: E&P Staff

Independent News & Media PLC, a media and communications group with interests in Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom, will install the first Goss Flexible Printing System (FPS) press in Northern Ireland, where it is expected to be in production next summer.

A second FPS sale was made to F.D. Hoekstra Boom, Emmeloord, the Netherlands, after the family-owned company successfully tested its own IFRA/ISO-standard print form on the FPS in Preston, England.

To be installed in an existing warehouse building with no structural modifications except floor reinforcement, Independent News & Media’s five towers, with heatset and coldset capabilities, will produce a range of product formats and several newspaper titles, including the Sunday World.

Independent News & Media Chief Operating Officer Gavin O’Reilly said in a statement that the order is significant not only for local capabilities but also as “a groundbreaking approach to flexible production.”

His company’s FPS will consist of three four-page wide, two-around printing towers and two five-page wide, two-around towers, running 1,484mm and 1,855mm webs, respectively, and feeding two 2:5:5 folders equipped with quarter-page and stitching capability. Printing capacity will be 176 full-color tabloid pages. The configuration also will enable printing as many as 96 pages coldset and 80 pages heatset in combination.

Unique FPS features include independent inker units that slide apart on rails from the plate and blanket cylinder section.

Fast bed-mounted installation, compact size (slightly higher than a Goss Community four-high), reelstands perpendicular to a press line but in-line with printing cylinders, slide-apart inker assemblies, changeable cut-off, quick plating, presetting, and short distance between color impressions, the all-color FPS aims to future-proof newspapers with respect to press run, format and commercial-printing requirements.

Owing to unit orientation relative to the press line, new cylinder assemblies for cut-off changes can pass through the center of the press, between the inkers on both sides. The units’ right-angle orientation to the press line also facilitates press alignment and web tension control.

The 5-by-2 towers on the first Independent News & Media system will produce coldset, heatset and combination products and will be equipped with Goss Ecocool dryers with integrated chill rolls. Five Goss Contiweb FD reelstands also will be installed, two of them fitted with automatic reel loading. Combined with a Ferag mailroom system, the press will supply a combination of untrimmed, trimmed, stitched or unstitched heatset and coldset products for extensive output flexibility.

Alan Lambert, plant manager for the new Independent News & Media site, said that while DigiRail inking, self-learning spraybars and autostart enable high quality and low-waste start-up, the most innovative features of FPS are its automatic de-plating and semi-automatic plate loading.

“The ability to de-plate the whole press fully automatically in less than one minute as the inkers slide apart from the plate cylinder section, and to automatically tuck the trailing edges of the new plates as the unit closes, will enable full press changeovers in less than 10 minutes,” he said in a statement.

Kieran Matthews, assistant managing director for Independent News & Media’s Belfast Telegraph, said FPS was chosen “for its groundbreaking print quality and advanced automation levels. We also recognize that newspapers will face change in the future and that the FPS provides the most flexible and future-proof technology platform available today.”

Shane Lancaster, Goss general manager in Preston, England, pointed to the ability to install the press in a warehouse building, which cuts project lead time, cost and normal planning approvals.

Hoekstra BoomBauke CEO Jaap Hoekstra said FPS capabilities support his company’s aim of being “best positioned to be able to seize new opportunities and explore unanticipated avenues in the future.” The Emmeloord plant prints approximately 1.8 million copies of 70 regional newspapers every week. Two subsidiaries at other sites print a combined 1.5 million copies per week.

To be housed in a new, expandable, low-profile building adjacent to the press hall where a Goss Universal 70 press now handles print requirements, the FPS will be prepared for changeable cut-off on the units and folder.

The new press will comprise two four-page-wide four-high towers with 58cm cut-off and 1680mm web width, two Goss Contiweb FD pasters and a 2:5:5 modular jaw folder equipped with stitcher, skip slitter and quarterfold capability. Fully integrated Goss controls will include presetting, predictive maintenance and self-learning technologies.

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