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Heatset COLORMAN unites newspaper and magazine

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

The Business Forum on Automation and Enhancement in Newspaper printing was held June 9 in Roselare, Belgium, at the printing facilities of the Roularta Media Group.  The rapidly expanding Flemish coldest and heatset specialist impressively demonstrated what lies behind its credo and business model for "Highest quality for advertisements".

It has been more than 20 years since Roularta Printing started building experience in newspaper enhancement with the first installation of an IR dryer and progressing to the first application of heatset dryers on newspaper presses.  Even then, hybrid print products like coldest webs mixed with full-color heatset webs were being used in Europe to extend the press capabilities into commercial products and the higher quality of advertising.  This latest quantum leap into full color with complete heatset drying expresses the rapid and successful development in recent years.  The demands from the market "insist on even better quality with higher grades of paper," said William Metsu, general director of Roularta Printing.

Higher ad quality brings better prices
Over the past 50 years Roularta has grown from a small local newspaper to       become a multimedia group whose printing operations generate the greatest    proportion of sales in other countries within Europe, and prints close to 100,000 tons of paper every year.  The product range includes almost 100 magazines, free weekly newspapers, Sunday newspapers and city magazines.  These are mostly produced for town and regions in Belgium, the Netherlands and France; the circulation area includes Germany, Norway and Spain.  The highest circulation products are the freesheet De Streekkrant with 3 million copies and the free Sunday newspaper De Zondag, a tabloid distributed through bakers' shops and a print run up to 630,000 copies.

"The aim particularly for the city and Sunday newspapers is to produce them in the highest color quality on high grade papers," Metsu said.  Advertising customers are prepared to pay more for higher color quality, plus superior paper continues to be in demand.  Roularta plans to print as many of the magazines as possible in Roeselare that was acquired through the takeover of Group L'Express – L'Expansion in 2006.

The highest newspaper color quality of the widest range of papers, as well as     capacity expansion, were the objectives of an investment program Roularta began in 2007 and involved a total expenditure of 100 million Euros ($140 million U.S.).  A new 22,000 square meter hall was built in Roeselare and the equipment installed there included a COLORMAN with four webs and four heatset dryers, a 72-page LITHOMAN, and a 16-page ROTOMAN with a UV coating tower for cover printing.

The COLORMAN is equipped for extremely flexible coldest or heatset printing.  It can produce 64 full-color broadsheet pages, 128 tabloid pages or 96 half-tabloid pages, and has a maximum output of 43,000 copies per hour in collect production mode.  The 96 half-tabloid pages are produced in a newly developed coldset-heatset folder (based on proven LITHOMAN technology) with a chopper fold  (magnetic brake) at maximum press speed.  A total of 14,000 printing plates are changed automatically every week by the PPL system.   

"The COLORMAN with heatset dryers can produce almost the same print quality as our dedicated heatset presses," says a convinced Metsu, who added having glossy coated or SC papers was a decisive criterion for him.

Peter Leroy, production manager at Roularta, gave a speech praising the perfect chopper fold that he believes is indispensable for the production of magazine    sections.  He said in choosing the heatset COLORMAN, his company deliberately decided against waterless printing.  A print test with UPM matt and coated papers confirmed the wisdom of this decision.  "We want productivity and no adventures because the press runs 141 hours per week in four shifts."

Peter Kuisle, manroland executive vice president of sales – Webfed Printing     Systems, said newspapers are faced with two special challenges: newspapers in the future will become more like magazines and with media competition the focus must be on cost per copy.  This requires flexible press concepts for smaller       formats, different papers, and for special color effects.  Kuisle emphasized besides newspaper heatset, coldest commercial or UV printing is in worldwide demand.

Anton Hamm, manroland executive vice president of the Newspaper Printing     Systems Business Unit, explained that the new One Touch concept would in the future be expanded to cover the entire product range.  On one hand this approach is based on the APL plate changing system with a robotic arm and automatic plate transport from the CTP system to the printing tower.  On the other, the newspaper press will be controlled by inline systems for ink density control, color and cut-off register, web tension and temperature.  All functions are integrated in one workflow and one control console.  Many One Touch modules are already in practical use and others are under development.  Hamm said 250 blanket-to-blanket printing units were ordered with the new robotic arm since APL was introduced at drupa.




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