Production: Hybrid Inkjet Solution Delivers 40,000 Folded Newspapers In 300 Minutes
Posted: 7/16/2012  |  By: Mark Vruno
An integrated solution from manroland web systems and Océ is yielding 40,000 digitally printed and folded newspapers within five hours for French contract printer Rivet Presse Edition, the first official customer, the partners reported at drupa in May. Under terms of the contract, distribution-optimized newspapers are being produced in different formats — broadsheet or tabloid; long grain and short grain. Both national and regional dailies, as well as foreign editions, are printed for delivery to outlets in a defined area around Limoges, France, some 90 minutes from a new, 960-squaremeter, €10-million production plant.

Printing is achieved on two Océ JetStream 4300 color inkjet presses with 30-inch reel widths that produce offset-like-quality digital newspapers at speeds of 200 meters per minute. But postpress finishing is the key to speed in this process, which is where manroland’s back-end expertise comes into play.

“Publishers across the world are increasingly looking to digital color printing with all its efficiency and cost benefits as a vehicle to produce additional income streams, particularly for advertising, in an increasingly tough marketplace,” said Sebastian Landesberger, executive vice president of Océ Printing Systems. “Rivet Presse Edition is among the innovative commercial printers who are using world-beating systems (of) Océ and manroland to open up many new doors for very targeted, niche, regionalized, and personalized products produced whenever they want. This is something the newspaper industry has been waiting for. It’s here, it’s now, and we’re right at the forefront of developments.”

Called the Synapse project and developed in cooperation with Rivet Presse, which publishes the regional French daily L’Echo, the cutting-edge business model may open up new editorial opportunities for publishers. The newspaper of the future can be built on variable content to create a “new and stronger” relationship with readers, according to manroland and Océ, and help rebuild circulation and advertising revenues as well as improve interaction between print and new media.

The digital process offers a new economic model supporting “editorial innovation,” said Christian Sirieix, director of Rivet Presse Edition. Some of the leading names in France are expected to sign up for the commercial operation. In the future, newspapers will still have the same core news and features, but readers can receive their own personal content according to their own specific interests or their region of interest.

In the fold
manroland has devised a groundbreaking format-newspaper folding device to create the fully automated production lines that can produce up to 40,000 newspapers in variable formats in five hours. The fully variable, digital, pin-type folder VPF 211 offers the possibility to produce broadsheet or tabloid newspapers in long grain and short grain with different structures. Printing digitally on demand offers publishers a new way of working and enables costs of production and distribution to be reduced, according to the OEM partners. Rivet Presse Edition also is beginning complementary printing activities during the day shift. These commercial applications, based on variable data, help balance the business model.

“It is a unique project for newspapers anywhere in the world,” Sirieix said. “On the same production line, several different titles can be printed and released in the exact order required by the distributor. Better still, on the same basis, the production line will be able to publish newspapers à la carte; that is to say, some having a common core of content where topics can be added or removed from one day to another according to the reading interests of each subscriber. This new process is revolutionary. “We certainly don’t aim to limit competition but rather lead by example,” Sirieix continued.

“We expect production costs and the distribution cost should be considerably lessened by the fact that national newspapers can now be printed at localized print plants for their local subscribers. manroland and Océ … understood our needs: a full flexibility in the folding technology to achieve sectioned broadsheets as well as the production of tabloids. For commercial production, the additional possibilities of a quarter fold are essential for us.”

Peter Kuisle, executive vice president of sales, service, and marketing at manroland web systems, said, “It’s exciting to see that our hard work in continuous research and development activities and our common expertise pays off in this future-oriented project, which can change the way some newspapers will be printed and distributed in the future.”  

Digital “Newsprint”

UPM offers two papers for newspaper printing on digital presses. Its Digi Brite 76 is suitable for laser and inkjet printing for low ink coverage. UPM Digi Matt is a new concept that is 100 percent personalized with colors, advertising, or all data — a daily communication with added value for laser or inkjet production, according to the paper maker.  

QuadTech Reports Global drupa Sales

Press control technology leader QuadTech has announced recent sales coinciding with the drupa 2012 show in May:

Mexican Printer Orders Goss Press

With one Goss M-800 press in operation at its facility in Mexico, commercial printer Grupo Ajusco placed an order for a second at the drupa trade show. The fourunit M-800 system with a 4x4 32-page cylinder configuration will be installed later this year. Grupo Ajusco has invested in the press to add capacity for a wide range of high-quality heatset commercial, tabloid newspaper, retail insert, and book products.

“The overall performance of our first M-800 press, and in particular the high print quality, led us to invest in the second one,” said Sergio Torres, owner of Grupo Ajusco. The company also operates two Goss M-600 16-page web presses. Torres said having two 16-page presses and two 32-page presses with compatible web widths will provide exceptional versatility and efficiency.

Goss International will equip the new M-800 at Grupo Ajusco with a Contiweb CS splicer, Ecocool dryer, and JF70 collect folder as well as automated Omnicon control technology. The M-800 press, which prints up to 2,200 feet per minute, uses conventional flat blankets but incorporates several high-performance features from gapless Goss Sunday presses, including inking and dampening systems, multidrive, and an inline cylinder stack. The JF70 folder delivers up to 35,000 32-page signatures per hour in collect mode or up to 70,000 16-page signatures in straight production.