Archive for April, 2013|Monthly archive page

Quantum Leap in Digital Finishing

In Finishing on April 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm


Digital inline finishing is evolving at lightening speed. In Augsburg, manroland web systems presented the world premiere of its FoldLine finishing system for industrial digital printing. Of equal interest to guests: the book block solution FormerLine and the necessary efficient workflow solutions to go with the equipment.

Ultra-short “regional” runs for newspapers, targeted advertising, and print-on-demand in book printing: digital printing systems create added value for successful publishing. Alwin Stadler, Vice President of Digital Printing at manroland web systems, explains the company’s innovations: “We are establishing finishing as a central system component in digital printing systems and ensuring integration into the customer’s workflow.”

FoldLine for digital newspaper production

The FoldLine finishing system for industrial digital printing celebrated its premiere at this event. The system is able to produce newspapers in any format (tabloid, broadsheet, Berliner) in both in-line and off-line operation. Also included in the FoldLine portfolio are brochures, magazines, and individual book signatures.

FoldLine is designed to produce up to 96-pages (48-pages broadsheet) with a web speed of up to 300 meters per minute and a web width of up to 1,060 mm. The system can output up to 2,700 broadsheet newspaper copies with 32-pages; 9,100 bound brochures; or 14,000 16-page signatures per hour.

FoldLine can quickly be prepared for new jobs. The makeready times for format and paper changes are minimal, and changes to volumes can be made without interrupting production.

The presentation of FoldLine demonstrated what efficient and creative digital newspaper production looks like today. The first product was a 32-page tabloid newspaper in 420 mm x 600 mm format. Eight sections of four pages were collected and folded. The delivered result impressed the visitors: ultra-small print runs under 100 copies can be produced one after another, without any interruptions, even if the total number of pages, or the book structure of the individual editions vary. This tabloid newspaper featured an added variant, a fold for delivery. This means the newspaper was given a quarter fold as a third fold and delivered at a right angle to the folder via the A4 delivery.

FormerLine for digital book production

Producing with print-on-demand to optimize costs, and being fast on the market: these are the challenges of digital book production. The FormerLine system provides for both inline production and offline finishing of pre-printed reels. Together with the VBC collator from manroland web systems, the system generates stacked signatures of up to 6,000 auxiliary-glued books, up to 100 mm thick, per hour.

On show in Augsburg, the FormerLine system displayed its flexibility in offline finishing by producing both book and magazine work. The products varied in format, folding needed, and collection structure, and were placed on a pre-manufactured reel for mixed production. 38-signatures, 8-pages each, were collected for the “Innovations” technical book with 304-pages (bleed size 240 mm x 190 mm; double parallel folding sample). 100 books were produced one after another. Then production was switched to a 42-page specialist magazine in a matter of minutes without manual intervention on the folder or cutter. Consisting of 7-signatures, 6-pages each, the print run included 300 magazines (bleed size 230 mm x 334 mm; accordion folding sample), which were delivered as auxiliary-glued books blocks.

Well networked: printnetwork Bridge and DigiLink

printnetwork Bridge uses a JDF/JMF link to create a complete and efficient digital production workflow. The software connects production preparation, the printing process, and post-press. The system then allows for automated finishing, automatic production change, low printing substrate use, increased productivity, networking with the production environment, and data transfer and reporting to an MIS system.

DigiLink connects the product planning of digital printing and offset printing. Currently, productions are mostly planned and run separately, depending on the process. This can easily result in inefficiencies, higher storage costs, and over-production. DigiLink is a software module from manroland web systems that is available as an upgrade or to complement an existing PECOM PressManager. DigiLink allows planning of offset and digital productions from a central workplace, including parallel monitoring of production during printing and in the mailroom.


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Benson Brings Coating Plate Production In-House

In Packaging on April 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm

BensonPlates1Benson Group, one of the UK’s leading privately owned printed folding carton manufacturers, has announced details regarding the installation of coating plate production equipment from Dantex at its Benson Gateshead food-packaging factory.

The Team Valley site had previously used a mix of its own hand-prepared cut-out blankets and plates provided by an external supplier. The new Aquaflex 900F plate processor utilises an environmentally friendly washing process to provide the greenest solution to coating plate creation currently available. Plates are originated by producing a negative image on a standard Epson inkjet device, which is driven by specialist RIP software. The negative is exposed onto the Flexo NVO 114 water-wash coating plate, Aquaflex Varnica, via a regular exposure frame before being processed through the Aquaflex 900F unit. A dry, ready to run plate can be created in approximately 40 minutes using this state-of-the-art system. Older solvent-based plate production systems could take over two hours in the drying process alone for one plate.

Commenting on the new installation, Lee Appleby, Operations Manager for the North East, said: “This system gives us a tremendous advantage in terms of the time it takes to create a plate for the coating unit. Using an outside supplier it would not be uncommon to have a 24-hour turnaround – that’s not too bad if you have sufficient advance warning of the need to create a new plate, but that is often not the case. With our customers having ever more demanding delivery schedules it is a significant benefit to have control over the production of this part of the process. The plates produced are also highly durable – we have already had one plate running in excess of 1 million impressions – and produce excellent, consistent quality on the run.

“The installation will allow us to cater for the more exacting coating demands from customers and our own Benson Group design department. The UK’s major supermarkets are seeking ever more attractive and striking pack designs to tempt their customers to pick goods from the shelf. Coatings are playing an important role in that process, with a variety of textures being asked for.”

The new plate production system offers a range of environmentally friendly features. “Whilst the water-based plate processing takes the headlines, the significantly shorter drying time is also a major plus in environmental terms, with far less power being consumed. On-site production also reduces the amount of “driving miles” associated with each individual plate,” added Lee Appleby.

Plates are used on the dedicated coating units of the Gateshead plant’s four Komori B1-format litho presses, which include the UK’s first Lithrone SX40 press.

Equipment installed by Dantex at Benson Gateshead comprises a 900F Inline Flexo Plate processor, A1 Plus Exposure Unit, Bag and Ceramic Filtration Systems and a Dry Film System – comprising an Epson 9890 Large Format Inkjet Printer and specialist Software RIP.

About Benson Group

Benson Group is one of the UK’s leading privately owned printed folding carton suppliers, producing packaging product for both the food retail and healthcare industries for a wide range of UK and European customers.

The business manufactures packaging product at four production sites covering in excess of 400,000 sq ft. Benson Group continues to grow and expects to achieve annual sales for the current financial year in excess of £120 million. Food product manufacturers are the main customers at Bardon and for the company’s two North East facilities in Newcastle and Gateshead. The fourth site in Crewe serves healthcare and consumer care markets. In recent years, investment in new plant and equipment across the four sites totals in excess of £22 million. The group employs in excess of 900 personnel across all four production sites.

Benson Group creates packaging for many well-known companies, brands and retailers. Key account clients across the Group include Two Sisters Food Group, Reckitt Benkiser, Greencore, and Samworth Brothers. The company is an approved supplier for all of the UK’s leading retail chains. Food and healthcare packaging is exported to customers in countries throughout Europe.

For further information visit the Benson Group web site.


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News Limited: Retrofitting Success Story

In Newspapers on April 21, 2013 at 8:07 pm

ControlCenterNewspaper publishing companies around the world are still facing many challenges. Print runs have stagnated or are in decline while advertising customers are investing considerable amounts of their budget in electronic media, which is also permeating more and more editorial content. This is exactly where the dilemma starts for many media companies. Turnover and profit need to be secured, but with what strategic, competitive solutions?

manroland web systems, one of the world’s largest newspaper publishing companies, together with News Limited in Australia, a company of the international media business News Corporation with headquarters in New York, have come up with a solution.

Retrofitting and modernization replace reinvestment

News Limited has taken the decision to invest in retrofitting, both to ensure its printing equipment at the Brisbane, Sydney and Townsville printing locations remains up-to-date for the next 10 to 15 years, and to actively strengthen the business. The upgrade process is also fundamental for the headquarters in Sydney to generate valid, standardized print data reporting. All locations within the group can now be controlled in an integrated framework, and production processes made more efficient in the future. The sophisticated autoprint functions from manroland web systems were a decisive reason for the investment.

Together with the printing press manufacturer from Augsburg, a long-standing partner of News Limited, the newspaper publishing company is now taking another step forward through modernization and retrofitting instead of reinvestment. The company is poised to equip all of its print lines with the latest technology. All four NEWSMAN (COLORMAN) lines at the Brisbane production site have delivered results consistently and reliably for the past two decades and will now be upgraded with a number of innovative automation and reporting features.

This retrofitting project is particularly interesting because it offers a real alternative to the common belief that a machine park that is no longer up-to-date requires costly reinvestment. Thanks to the latest automation solutions and a trend-setting operating concept with manroland web systems’ state-of-the-art ControlCenter, another highly automated and high-performance printing system is ready for use.

For News Limited, this means greater production reliability through the use of modern electronic components and autoprint functions, reduced production costs as a result of more efficient production processes, plus better print quality – and thus a watertight investment for the future. This comprehensive retrofitting project will take off in Brisbane from the middle of 2013 providing News Limited with the opportunity to further cement its top spot on the Australian newspaper market.

Potential for improvement realized through automation

In the future, automation and reporting of a printing system will be crucial factors for constant and reliable production and production planning, in addition to hardware and software. Module performance and intuitive operation are playing an important role here. News Limited is replacing all central control consoles with the new ControlCenter from manroland web systems. Highly automated, coordinated autoprint functions control the complete production process from the automatic start-up of the presses to the finished printed products in the delivery system. The ControlCenter guides the printer through the entire printing process, as easily and conveniently as a navigation system. The printer no longer manually intervenes in the printing process, but is instead responsible for simply monitoring the production process.

At the same time, new manroland web systems components, with their comprehensive and modern control features for convenient operation, are replacing the out-dated control units from Reliance. News Limited has made the conscious decision to go for a tailored, embedded solution from manroland web systems. Its perfectly coordinated hardware and software ensure optimum function and availability of the print systems.

Network solutions for the entire workflow increase efficiency

The printnetwork Monitor facilitates a detailed and transparent assessment of all production data, from pre-press to paper handling, through to printing and finishing.
The advantage? Greater production efficiency in terms of both technical and commercial aspects as the error ratio is virtually zero, leading to remarkable savings potential. Furthermore, the new printnetwork Mobile ensures absolute mobility. The user is kept updated with the latest production data on his mobile phone and is thus able to conveniently monitor on-going production, without needing to be on site. This has been made possible by the DataCollect function that, based on log-book recordings, collects and analyzes all press data. For comprehensive reporting allowing for human involvement, data can also be recorded manually. DataCollect offers an ideal basis for quality analysis, in order to fully exploit the potential for continuous improvement in the production process.

Through the integration of new automation features, such as the Inline Control systems, quick start, as well as the production planning tool with monitoring and reporting, News Limited will manage to considerably reduce waste, as well as increase production efficiency.

In line with this “press facelift”, News Limited is also using the improved tools of the TSC (TeleSupportCenter). The remote access function, for example, allows manroland web systems to directly access the functions of the NEWSMAN installations online, across the entire production line from the reel splicer to the folder delivery, and 24/7. The printing system is thus ready to go again after a press stop in no time at all. Long and expensive downtimes have become a thing of the past.

All of this means far greater efficiency for News Limited. More streamlined processes create potential for leaner production, thus resulting in considerable cost savings.

Cooperation with competent partners

The extensive retrofitting project will be carried out by News Limited in close co-operation with ABB Printing. ABB supplies all drive control systems for the main drive control of printing units and the folder for all four print lines. Proven solutions from manroland web systems and ABB are providing News Limited with the ideal foundation for achieving ultimate efficiency.



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