QuadTech Autotron in New South Wales

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By: E&P Staff

QuadTech’s Autotron Newspaper 2800 Register Guidance System, installed at the Rural Press print site (now part of Fairfax Media) in Nowra, a coastal town in New South Wales, Australia, has helped to reduce waste, improve quality and cut production time over the past few months.

The plant prints a variety of coldset singlewidth web work, including regional newspapers and contract work for magazines, TV and real estate guides. It typically produces about 30 editions of 19 weekly, bi-weekly or tri-weekly publications, as well as external work, in sizes from 12 to 56 pages — diverse work that requires frequent make-readies and short runs.

The Autotron was fitted to two four-high towers on the Goss Community press line, which also comprises a three-color UOP, five mono units, and an SSC folder. The retrofit also included motorized registration on one tower.

“QuadTech had already retrofitted other presses in the Rural Press group. Because it was already running at other sites, it was easy to set up here,” Nowra Rural Press Manager Sue Betts said in a statement.

Before merging with Fairfax, Rural Press was Australia’s largest publisher of regional and rural publications, printed on single- and doublewide presses around the country, nearly all of which run some form of QuadTech register control.

While changing job patterns make waste-reduction difficult to quantify, the level did drop and start-ups are quicker. Start-up waste copies are now in the 400-600 range, compated with over 1,000 using manual registration. With numerous small publications, the plant’s runs can be as smallas 800-900 copies. Betts estimated 1%-2% overall waste saving while holding register and print quality for the duration of a run.

With automatic registration, the crew can spend more time on other tasks that contribute to print quality. “It’s considerably easier than running up and down the ladders adjusting the registration manually,” said printer Geoffrey Betts.

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