Shaftless Sales Sampler p.34

By: JIM ROSENBERG BETWEEN THIS FALL'S arrival of the first in a pair of shaftless Wifag presses in Tulsa and the 1999 installation of shaftless MAN Roland presses in Des Moines, the new drive technology offered in various forms by four manufacturers from three countries should be operating at newspapers on five continents.
All the suppliers have European customers for such presses. Sales in the last 18 months have been especially brisk in Norway and Finland, traditionally high-circulation newspaper markets, where two of the eight pressrooms awaiting new equipment lie scarcely four degrees below the Arctic Circle. Two of the three companies supplying shaftless-drive presses to North American customers also are putting such presses into Asia, while another press maker has sold shaftless into South America and Africa.

Switzerland's Wifag has sold shaftless presses representing more than 600 print couples to 14 customers, which now include pairs of papers in Northern Europe. Among them, Norway's Stavanger Aftenblad is getting the new OF 470 GTD, consisting of single and stacked 10-cylinder satellite units, and two Finnish dailies will add OF 370 GTD color towers to their existing OF 9.2 Wifag presses.
Wifag's domestic customer, the Neue Luzerner Zeitung, recently bought a second 370 with PCU to swiftly handle changes among several cantonal editions in a new plant early next year.
The company also has sold two 370s to print China's Guangzhou Daily and two larger 370s to print Korea's Joong-Ang.

Wifag's first sales were an add-on in Germany and presses for three French newspaper printers. The latter include an OF 370 with PCU+ options for making nonstop changes to the content and number of pages at Montpellier's Midi Libre and a huge order (15 tower footprints in lines of two and three presses with open positions for five more towers) for the OF 570 with "ultrashort" keyless inking from Les Editions Amaury, publisher of Paris' largest daily, Le Parisien and two national newspapers.
Besides a Berlin customer's hybrid drive (arch unit motors and a disengageable shaft), MAN Roland installed two different shaftless presses in two small but well-known European enclaves.
On the Dutch side of a former duchy famed for its Belgian half's fragrant fromage, Heerlen's Limburgs Dagblad bought four eight-couple Geoman towers, with each couple individually driven. Besides the region's daily, the 70,000-cph press also will print copies of Japan's national dailies Nikkei Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun, Spain's national sports newspaper, Marca, and various commercial jobs. The press is equipped with six presettable motorized turner bars and a double folder ? jaw and rotary.
A little farther south, Impremerie Saint-Paul ordered a bigger, faster Colorman, also with individual motor drive, to print a variety of publications, chief among them the daily Luxemburger Wort, read by two-thirds of that grand duchy's population and carrying about three-quarters of its advertising.
Unlike the blanket-to-blanket Geoman in Heerlen, this shaftless Colorman consists of stacked 10-cylinder units (one impression cylinder per pair of print couples) that MAN rates at up to 85,000 cph. The installation includes much of MAN's Aurosys materials handling automation and an online video link to the press maker's service headquarters in Augsburg, Germany.

Headquartered in W?rzburg, Germany, KBA has well over a dozen customers for its shaftless presses. In its home market they include the Allg?uer Zeitung, in Kempten (six eight-couple Express towers of stacked H-type blanket-to-blanket units) and the Ditmarscher Landeszeitung and related publications in Heide (two Journal towers of stacked H-type blanket-to-blanket units).
Like Wifag, orders last year came from Norway and Finland. Trondheim's Addresseavisen bought an Express configured as two towers of non-reversible nine-cylinder (common impression) satellite units and two freestanding H-type units, which will be configured with four existing KBA Commander units after it stacks the latter as two four-over-four towers. Honeywell is to supply the drives and controls.
Across the sea and far to the south, Editorial Perfil will install KBA Colora towers with one drive for each pair (or level) of blanket-to-blanket print couples. The press should allow the Buenos Aires printer of color weeklies and monthlies (which also prints other publications on web-fed rotogravure and commercial web-offset presses) to take on work from color dailies later this year.
A cast iron substructure will support four towers over six KBA reelstands, with space for two more towers and reelstands. Three towers are dedicated to four-over-four color leads; the fourth can print four-over-four or run three monochrome leads. For color imposition flexibility, a turning deck with bay-window rollers will allow color webs to be inserted between black-only webs. The installation includes webbing-up, electrical infeed and web-tension controls with four measuring rollers per web.

After several Spanish papers bought shaftless versions of the KBA Comet, the two-around, single-width press with shaftless drive has found buyers in England, Denmark, South Africa and Kenya.
Soon after the Comet's success, KBA reported the first sale of its new, one-around Continent press. Finland's Salon Seudun Sanomat ordered the four-page, 50,000-cph press with a three-phase drive for each of its 11 four-couple H-type units, configured as five four-color towers and one monocolor unit over six Amal reelstands, arranged for later addition of two heatset dryers and a chillroll stand. The folder has quarterfold capability.

Goss Graphic Systems also benefited from Northern Europe's boom in plant projects and new-press orders. By the beginning of last year it had a major order for its top-of-the-line Colorliner 80, with digital inking and drives distributed at each level of 22 four-high eight-couple towers, and on another five units ? all arranged in lines of two and three presses, with 27 Goss two-arm reelstands (five split-arm), two Goss jaw folders with balloon formers and automatic register and cutoff.
Mounted on concrete in a new plant in Oslo, the 80,000-cph centrally controlled presses will replace 25-year-old Goss Metros that print Schibsted Trykk's Verdens Gang tabloid and its Aftenposten and late edition Aftenposten Aften broadsheets.
An imposition plan can drive the press' automated web lead system, reel settings and arm positions, turner bar and folder settings, web tensioning and various print settings. Page data from the RIP will preset the inking system.
Distributed drives also facilitated press extension with two Colorliner 80 towers at the Chronicle and Journal, Newcastle, England.
In consolidating multisite production in a new plant in Sein?joki that prints its most widely read, namesake daily, Illkaprint ordered Finland's first Goss HT70 press, consisting of four four-high, full-color towers with distributed drives, six Goss reelstands and Honeywell Printa control system.
Last year a second Norwegian printer placed a huge order. When Orkla Media Group ordered the biggest semicommercial Goss Universal 50 in Europe, it also was buying the world's largest single-wide shaftless press. Like Schibsted, it prints both tabloid and broadsheet papers, though of smaller circulations.
Orkla's new plant also will handle a substantial amount of commercial work.
Its 88 units with distributed drives will be configured as two presses, each with 11 four-over-four towers (with one tower on each prepared for the later addition of a dryer), two folders (with one folder on each able to perforate and quarterfold) and 12 identical MEG reelstands (in contrast to traditional righthand-lefthand reel pairs).
A shaftless two-around, 70,000-cph Universal 70 (five four-high towers) will go into Sing Tao Ltd., printer of Hong Kong's Sing Tao and Standard, as well as the International Herald Tribune and USA Today.
Goss' latest probable order may be for the biggest shaftless press yet: six four-footprint, 21-couple Newsliner inline presses on which some level
of drives distribution is expected. The letter of intent is from its hometown Chicago Sun-Times, this country's largest letterpress holdout. Owner Hollinger International's production vice president, Jack Ferguson, discounted a motor-per-couple drive system.
?(First Wifag )F 370 PCU/PCU+at acceptance test) [Photo & Caption]
?(Montpellier Midi Libre engineering director J.J. Marchand (left) at reel level during test) [Photo & Caption]
?(Locking up a plate on a silenced PCU cylinder while the press continues to run) [Photo & Caption]
?(Example of stacked, direct-drive 10 cylinder MAN Roland units ordered by Imprimiere Saint-Paul) [Photo & Caption]
?(First KBA Continent, for Finland's Salon Seudun Sanomat, showing Drivetronic motors and connections) [Photo & Caption]

?( E&P Web Site:
?(copyaright: Editor & Publisher June 21, 1997)


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