Great West Newspapers (GWN) Orders KBA Colora Hybrid Press

By: Press Release | GWN

Great West Newspapers (GWN) of St Albert, Alberta-Canada, a group of 21 community newspapers as well as a commercial printer and partner of Glacier Ventures International has purchased a new KBA Colora-Hybrid press from German press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) to be installed in their new facility now being constructed in St Albert, Alberta.  

GWN selected Web Offset Services of Sarasota, Florida to work with them on a number of possible solutions to meet their ever growing demands for higher quality and efficiencies along with an eye to future growth which will include the newly signed contract for printing of the Edmonton Journal. This new installation will be replacing an existing facility with a 20 unit, single width pressline currently at about 97% capacity. With such a broad mix of newspaper and commercial work along with extremely tight production windows and high throughput demands, a unique multi-format press concept was identified and developed as the most effective solution.   

Configured for single, double and triple width production
This Colora Hybrid model is comprised of 3 towers, 3 pasters and a KF5 folder that combines a number of ‘firsts’ and unique features that will give GWN a distinct advantage in the marketplace for quality, efficiency and productivity. First, the press is capable of all three newspaper press production formats including single, double AND triple width. This is all accomplished with very little operator invention necessary by utilizing a special fully adjustable and preset-able triple former assembly mounted on a single level.    

Coupled with this is an EAE Semi-commercial control system featuring full integration of auxiliaries from Technotrans, QI, Baldwin and others as well as extensive presetting capabilities including a built in, preprogrammed production ‘catalog’ of 950 different products. Web Offset Service first worked with KBA and EAE to develop this system in 2003 on another press project for the Independent Newspapers Inc, in Dover Delaware with the system then being further refined in 2008 on a triple width installation for Dansk AvisTryk in Copenhagen, Denmark. With such a system, most of the inefficiencies of a typical double or triple width press are eliminated. No pre-planning or job creation is necessary with much of the typical adjustment and changeover eliminated. This leads to quicker turn around times along with a reduction in waste and all with minimal operator intervention.  

Some of the other special attributes for the press are the larger KF5 folder with ¼ fold providing higher production speeds and pagination capabilities, built in stitching, a full triple width slitting and angle bar section for extensive pagination flexibility, QI register and cutoff controls, Technotrans ink and dampening systems, Baldwin blanket washing devices, SMC roll handling equipment and an integrated Prime UV unit for up to 48 pages of heatset capacity.

Efficiency and flexibility – A must in today’s environment
Duff Jamison, President of Great West Newspapers says, “it’s critical in today’s printing and publishing environment to be flexible AND efficient. We are in a relatively small commercial market which requires us to be capable of printing a wide variety of formats and on different substrates. Run lengths can be short as well so the ability to turn jobs around quickly is very important. It may seem counterintuitive to do all this with a large press, but the truth is that software and technology make this press a great deal more effective than the single wide we are leaving.”  

While high automation and the latest advances in production capability were necessary components of the project,  it needed to be done in a safe and effective manner and that is where the Colora fit very nicely said Sam Wagner, President of Web Offset Services. His approach on doing this kind of project is to be on the “leading edge but not the bleeding edge” of technology and in so doing, prefers to use tried and true technologies that combine the best of what different parts of the printing industry has to offer in order to achieve the most efficient and productive system for a given application. Using a stable platform such as the Colora and KF5 to work from and adding proven technology is much preferred than being someone’s ‘guinea pig or beta site.  

New, state of the art print production facility
GWN and Web Offset Services are also working in putting together a state of the art facility to match the press in terms of streamlining workflow and maximizing efficiency. The combination of the Colora Hybrid in the newest print production facility in North America will set the standard for newspaper production in 2012 and beyond and demonstrates how to be a top competitor in an ever tightening marketplace.     

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