At a pre-drupa media event hosted by PrintCity Alliance, member companies hosted news briefings and discussions about what they will show next month in Düsseldorf and the larger issues they see facing the printing industry. Held in mid-February at Schloss Hohenkammer near Munich, the event brought nine member companies and journalists from around the world together in the same room. New products, sustainability, and future trends were a few of the key issues raised by top print industry professionals.
While struggling in the U.S., globally, newspapers in print reach 2.3 billion people every day, according to IFRA. That number is some 20 percent more than the Internet’s exposure rate of 1.9 billion people per day. The world’s population, now at around 7 billion, is expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2050. And while such explosive growth could be a boon to print, the medium’s future depends on all of us in the industry “thinking and working harder,” said Helmut “John” Dangelmaier, president of the 14-year-old PrintCity Alliance. More than 350,000 of those people are expected next month (May 3-16) at the quadrennial drupa printing trade fair, where roughly 1.7 million square feet of exhibit space and vendors from 56 countries will await them.
PrintCity editor Nigel Wells said that purveyors of the print medium tout numerous features and benefits, including research from Stanford University that shows how ink printed on paper can enhance concentration levels. Reading a newspaper with your morning coffee can relieve stress, too, according to the Stanford research, while multitasking is overrated and even counterproductive.
As part of a sustainable “green” print discussion, Thomas Ehrnrooth, vice president of marketing and communications at Finnish papermaker UPM-Kymmene, said, “The forests in Europe are growing by 1.5 million football fields per year.” Ehrnrooth added that UPM, the world’s largest user of recovered paper, is constructing the first-ever biorefinery to produce wood-based biodiesel fuel. The firm’s new “responsibility hub” website launched in March at upmhub.com
When it comes to so-called green printing (see below), “perception is not reality,” Don Carli, senior research fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Communication (ISC) in New York, told MyPrintResource.com recently. After all, the print and paper industries are not what tree-hugging conservationists would have the world believe (think dark, dirty visions of desecrated virgin forests and overfilling landfills). But Carli, who has tracked print-related green advancements for more than a decade, acknowledged that explanations of how paper is a crop that is farmed and highly sustainable falls largely on deaf ears. A highly animated PrintCity discussion on the topic concluded that arguments against anti-environmental accusations sound too defensive, even to those who are willing to listen.
The event’s main attraction was the preview of what member firms will show at drupa next month in Düsseldorf. manroland Web Systems, whose theme is One-Touch Automation, will bring its flagship, mega 96-page Lithoman heatset web press. With speeds approaching 50,000 cylinder rph, the 112-inch-wide press can print up to 4.32 million A4 pages per hour (see E&P February 2012
and October 2011
). Peter Kuisle, executive vice president of sales and marketing, said that in the first two trying months of 2012, manroland did not lose a single customer as the firm emerged from bankruptcy protection.
“We want to open new, economical leeway to the creativity of newspaper producers today and tomorrow,” Kuisle said, pointing to the pressupdate program that focuses on extending machine life and adding value by replacing, refurbishing, or upgrading existing equipment. The program ties in with one of PrintCity’s exhibit areas, called Tune Up Your Press. “Upgrades such as mini-plow and UV dryer provide the technical preconditions,” he said. “A retrofittable QuickStart system enhances productivity and reduces waste rates. Sure to become the highlight for newspaper printers, though, is the new Colorman e:line with its groundbreaking construction objectives: effective, efficient, easy to operate, energy-saving, and excellent quality.” The new modular, blanket-to-blanket Colorman newspaper press also can be seen at drupa. (See E&P December 2011
When it comes to problems on press, only about 35 percent are related to paper, said Mika Valkonen, managing director of Procemex Print, which offers web monitoring products for rotogravure and web-offset presses. Fifty-five percent of press problems can be blamed directly on the press itself. “High-speed presses combined with wide webs leave little to no evidence of paper breaks,” Valkonen said. This is why Procemex’s visual-disturbance monitoring technology works with video cameras that are placed strategically at four sections: 1) after unwind for paper and splice quality inspections; 2) between printing units and the dryer to view automatic wash events and other potential problems; 3) in the superstructure to view how ribbons are cut; and 4) in the folders to spot bottlenecks. With more than 130 presses covered in Germany, Procemex reports new orders for four 96-page presses from Goss and manroland, three more from printers in Germany, and one in Spain. Return on investment (ROI) can be realized within six to 12 months, Valkonen said.
manroland digital print partner Océ (Canon) is introducing a new, full-color inkjet model at drupa: the JetStream 1900. The combination of offset-based paper transport and Océ DigiDot inkjet technology make it ideally suited for transaction, direct mail, books, and newspaper applications, according to the manufacturer. The JetStream 1900 can print 1,714 full-color A4 (1,818 letter) images per minute at speeds of 417 fpm. Océ invites customers and prospects traveling to Düsseldorf next month to visit its new 4,000-square-meter Customer Experience Center in Poing, Germany, which is a one-hour flight from Munich. manroland’s Kuisle said Océ will have a special event at drupa showcasing the two firms’ integration.
PrintCity’s web-centric publications are available at printcity.de/shop
International environmental conference at drupa
On May 10, the Lean & Green Environmental Conference will focus on the duality of mutual economic and environmental benefits as an industry strategy. The conference is jointly hosted by PrintCity Alliance and the World Print & Communication Forum (WPCF). Speakers from both within and external to the printing and paper industry will provide attendees with information and incentives to take a holistic business approach. The conference program will take place in three sessions: Environmental Footprint, Sustainability Challenge, and Labels & Certifications.
“Our research and experience demonstrates that there is a direct correlation from a lean-and-green approach that provides strong benefits across the industry value chain,” said PrintCity president Dangelmaier. “The holistic management of economic and environmental issues is a key to sustainability and also impacts the use of print as a medium.”
NAA mediaXchange 2012
In early April (2-5), some 70 exhibitors and sponsors will demonstrate products and solutions at Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange 2012. The industry’s annual conference and exhibition provide valuable ideas and insights to help newspaper professionals grow audience and revenue for print and digital products. Sessions will highlight leading-edge thinking about media strategies, successes in product and revenue development, new ideas and innovation inside and outside the industry, and tactics and techniques to execute on print and digital strategies. General session speakers include:
New Single-Width Platform
- Bob Carrigan, chief executive officer of IDG Communications, the world’s leading technology media, events, and research firm
- David Perpich, vice president of product management, The New York Times
- Betsy Morgan, former chief executive officer of The Huffington Post and current president of Glenn Beck’s news site, The Blaze
- Rob King, senior vice president of editorial, digital, and print media, ESPN
- Vijay Ravindran, senior vice president and chief digital officer, The Washington Post Co.
- David Westin, former head of ABC News and current chief executive officer of Newsright
With the market for single-width presses maintaining pace and evolving, particularly in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, Goss Intl. has expanded its highly successful Community/Magnum press range with an entirely new platform that delivers higher speeds and lower cost-per-page printing. The new Magnum HPS has a two-page-across, single-around format and is available at speeds up to 70,000 copies per hour. The first two presses have been delivered in Asia, and a printing tower will be featured at the Goss stand next month at drupa.
“The new Magnum HPS model builds on the features of the existing Community/Magnum, the best-selling Goss newspaper press series ever, as well as the current world market leader in the single-width newspaper press sector,” said Jacques Navarre, Goss senior vice president of sales and marketing.
“Our development objective for the new HPS version was to harness the experience gained from over 40,000 installed units to make a positive impact on the bottom-line performance for printers looking for single-width versatility in combination with higher speeds. We are always striving to provide higher value from our products,” Navarre said. “Often the improvements are incremental, but this new Magnum platform has the potential to make a fundamental difference in how our customers approach their newspaper and semi-commercial operations.”
Modifications of the standard Magnum platform include such improvements as an ergonomically designed H-frame configuration to dramatically improve plating access and, hence, job changeover. Also to be featured at drupa is the latest design of printing cylinders with triple race bearings, through bearers, and narrow gap, reel-rod lock-ups. Other performance enhancers include optimum web tension control with synchronized shaftless drives for infeed and outfeed, and centralized control of all essential press operations such as adjustment to ink keys, spray bars, and registration.
“Automation is the key to press utilization, which in turn optimizes a printer’s capital outlay,” Navarre said. “For that reason, in parallel to the engineering improvements, we have included a new version of Goss press controls for the Magnum HPS press, which reduces job setup and recall, as well as giving quality control down to page level.”
The new Magnum HPS press will initially be available with 546mm, 560mm, and 578mm cutoffs and two jaw folder options — J1:3:3 suitable for production speeds up to 50,000 copies per hour, and J2:3:3 for the highest speed production. Both folders have the usual array of advanced features and quarter folder or double parallel options.
Breakthrough Press Control Technologies
The Chicago Tribune Co. is making a major investment in print quality, centered on color control, inspection, and register control technology. In the largest deal of QuadTech’s 33-year history, the publishing group is equipping 52 towers on 10 printing lines with the Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam and the Register Control System with MultiCam at its Freedom Center plant in Chicago. Tribune Co.’s 10 MAN Colorman and Goss Metrocolor presses manufacture 2,850,000 products each day, printing a host of major newspaper titles including the Chicago Tribune
, The Wall Street Journal
, The New York Times
, Investor’s Business Daily
, Chicago Sun-Times Media publications, plus more than 20 regional and specialty business titles.
“This investment is being made to gain efficiency, uniformity in our press operations, and improvement in print quality for ours and our commercial clients’ products,” said Brian Karnick, vice president of operations at Chicago Tribune Media Group. “We are confidently investing in the future of print. The installation of QuadTech’s technology represents our commitment to delivering consistent quality and minimizing our cost structures, especially for our customers in the short-run market.”
At drupa, QuadTech will showcase an assortment of color control and inspection innovations to help printers achieve consistent quality, reduce waste, and improve profit margins. Significant new introductions include the addition of water control to the Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam; introduction of the AccuCam system for the Retail Insert market; and Service Advantage with Proactive Care.
QuadTech’s current product range broadly covers the areas of register and ribbon control, color control, web inspection, and print-data management.
For commercial and newspaper printers, QuadTech’s Register Guidance System with MultiCam is a closed-loop, color-to-color register control system designed to work on the ICON integrated platform with other QuadTech products such as Ribbon Control System with MultiCam. The uniqueness of the MultiCam design is that it can search the entire repeat length of the web, identifying marks as small as 0.36mm (0.014 inches). It can easily process the volume of data generated by a 640 x 480 pixel sensor using unique FPGA-based hardware. MultiCam makes adjustments at press speeds of up to 17.8 meters per second.
QuadTech’s Register Guidance System also provides fan-out control software, automatically keeping the system in lateral register across the width of the web. Other recent enhancements include cocking control, anti-embossing, and ink-guiding capabilities.
These can then be linked to the ICON integrated platform, which provides real-time press control from a single point. Data Central Reporting, which is linked to the company IT system, generates and stores data as it is monitored, optimizing quality control for operators who can then compare productivity and make strategic decisions according to previous and live runs.
The newspaper industry, too, is moving toward higher quality consistency to attract advertisers and build brand loyalty at a time when readers are faced with a growing number of alternative media options. As a result, there is less tolerance for defects, especially in areas such as color reproduction and registration. QuadTech has formed strategic partnerships with several major newspaper publishers to overcome these challenges.
The Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam uses a proprietary six-channel spectral sensor and QuadTech patented technology to provide CIELAB image-based color control. This ensures color control over an entire image, making automatic adjustments throughout the run for consistent high quality and accuracy. It also provides fast detection of scumming, plate verification, and other inspection capabilities from the same sensor. At drupa, QuadTech will unveil an enhanced AccuCam system with automated water control capabilities, ensuring optimal water and ink balance, and further reducing manual interventions during production.
Retail insert printers formerly had to rely on the time-consuming manual process of taking random color measurements with a hand-held device. QuadTech’s Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam solves this problem by providing fully automatic, closed-loop color control. QuadTech accomplishes this by capturing the entire printed image — no color bars, no graybars. The patented spectral sensor provides unprecedented levels of accuracy. The system will also inform the printer of the occurrence of scumming, when plates are accidentally hung in the wrong position, or when other print defects occur.