Baldwin Impact On Longest Press Line in Southern Hemisphere
Friday, August 23, 2002
August 23, 2002 -- The longest press line in the southern hemisphere - which prints Australia’s highest circulation daily newspaper, The Herald Sun - is being installed with Baldwin Technology Company, Inc.’s IMPACT Global blanket cleaning system. Each of the six MAN Newsman 40 presses at The Herald & Weekly Times’ Westgate Park print site will be upgraded with eight print couple towers, each fitted with IMPACT Global blanket cleaners. Installation of the IMPACT system on the 18 existing print couples has already been completed. The Westgate Park print site, a division of the world’s biggest newspaper company – News Limited – chose the IMPACT automatic blanket cleaning system as part of its AUS $42 million upgrade to increase four colour capability and improve productivity, and in just a few months, the Melbourne site has already seen significant results. "Blanket cleaning on the continuous line of six presses, each approximately 22m long and with a web width of 1620mm, is obviously time consuming and the down time is costly," says production manager, Neil Wood. "Since IMPACT has been running on the current 18 print couples, wash time has reduced from 40 to a staggering seven minutes." Baldwin's IMPACT Global automatic blanket cleaning technology includes compact washing bars, control cabinets with operator’s display and PREPAC supply rolls. The PREPAC wash cloth rolls are impregnated with an environmentally friendly washing agent, so keeping the agent completely contained in the roll and virtually eliminating solvent handling. The cloth rolls ensure that only the exact amount of cleaning agent required is applied to the blanket and retains ink and lint residues after cleaning. For The Herald & Weekly Times, the environmental and cost benefit of Baldwin’s system through significant reduction in use of blanket wash and cleaning agents was a major reason for the choice of supplier. With manual blanket cleaning and use of high VOC solvents eliminated, Westgate Park reduces the risk of workplace injury. "The healthy working environment of our staff promoted by the environmental safety of the product is very important to the company," says Mr Wood. "What’s more, the environmental aspect of IMPACT has allowed us to obtain permission from the Environmental Authority to dispose of the used cloth to landfill. This also has positive cost implications." The absence of complex operating software makes IMPACT very easy to use. Press operators simply select the press units to be cleaned and choose the degree of cleaning required according to the type of work being printed. With a total of 150 blanket cleaners on the upgraded MAN Newsman 40 press line, ease of use is an important issue for Westgate Park. "Following a professional and uneventful installation by Baldwin Graphic Equipment in Balmain, the maintenance and operation of the IMPACT system is proving quick, easy and effective," confirms Mr Wood. The Westgate Park site considered other manufacturers in its purchase but have seen so many benefits, so quickly, from the Baldwin system that it would have no hesitation in recommending IMPACT Global to other divisions of News Ltd. "We don’t operate any other presses on our site, but if we did, we’d certainly retrofit IMPACT to them," says Mr Wood. Mr Wood explains that, having initially installed the Newsman press line to introduce four-colour to the country’s highest circulation newspaper, the press upgrade was in response to demand for further increased colour use in each of the company’s leading full-colour titles. Circulation of the newspaper titles has also increased significantly over the last year. "All these factors gave rise to our need to reduce turnaround times between production runs, lower our overheads and improve the environmental safety of our staff. We purchased Baldwin’s IMPACT system to help us achieve this. And the results prove we’ve made the right choice." Westgate Park is confident that the future is promising for the company, despite the national and international downward trends post September 11. "Our investment, and consequent increased colour capacity and productivity, will no doubt draw in more business and enhance our longstanding reputation for four-colour reproduction of the highest standard," concludes Mr Wood.