Westfalen-Blatt Invests in a KBA Commander CL
Friday, June 29, 2012
Prominent German newspaper group Westfalen-Blatt in Bielefeld is joining the ranks of users who are upgrading production with a new Commander CL from Koenig & Bauer (KBA). A contract was signed at the end of June for two double-wide 32pp presses configured as four four-high towers with four reelstands and two folders. They will form the core of a new printing plant which will go live late next year in Sennestadt, a suburb of Bielefeld, near autobahns 2 and 33. The group is investing a total of €28m ($35m) in the new plant and equipment.
Old-established newspaper publisher with local roots
The origins of this broad-based media house date back to 1839, when the first edition of the eponymous regional title hit the streets of Warburg. Other local titles followed, among them the Herforder Kreisblatt, founded in 1846, and the Westfälisches Volksblatt (1848) in Paderborn. Today, Westfalen-Blatt is one of the biggest regional newspaper groups in Westphalia, with a total circulation of around 120,000 copies. Alongside daily titles, successful frees and other printing and distribution activities the group's affiliates produce and market books, diaries, CDs, gift articles and events. Westfalen-Blatt also owns an internet agency and a chain of travel bureaux with eleven branches in eastern Westphalia.
Michael Best, managing partner of the Westfalen-Blatt newspaper group, says: “This major investment underscores our belief that, even in the age of the internet, printed newspapers are - and will remain - an indispensible cultural good and the information medium of choice for local events. The Westfalen-Blatt, with its regional titles Westfälisches Volksblatt and Herforder Kreisblatt, represents a clear commitment to the eastern Westphalia region, and to Bielefeld as a publishing centre. With our 27 local editions by local editorial offices we are firmly rooted in the region.”
Flexible technology offers new options
He goes on: “The new production capabilities afforded by the Commander CL, such as full colour throughout, will enhance the appeal of our newspapers and enable us to offer advertisers new design options.”
The Rhine format Commander CL will have a 510mm (20in) cut-off and a maximum reel width of 1,400mm (55.12in). Adjustments to the circumference can be actuated at the reelstand for the wide range of page counts that have become routine.
“The Commander CL's higher output will allow us to include late-breaking news,” says Thilo Grickschat, the Westfalen-Blatt managing director in charge of print production. “The environment will also benefit. The new Commander CL will run up to saleable colour faster, generate less waste and thus reduce paper consumption. Heat insulation and recovery will cut energy consumption at the new plant by some 20 per cent compared to the existing plant. And our press crews - and neighbours - will be glad to hear that noise insulation will be much better.”
The four Pastomat reelstands for the floor-mounted press will be supplied with paper by a KBA Patras A automated logistics system with stripping station. The four towers will feature partially automated plate changers with the option of upgrading to fully automated. Automatic roller locks, blanket- and inking-unit washing systems, ink-pumping systems, colour-register controls, web-edge and web-centre controls document the press's high level of automation and quality.
Four turner bar assemblies, two folder superstructures with two formers, two KBA KF5 jaw folders, cut-off register controls and half-cover web leads will further enhance production flexibility. The press will also boast a double-out (duplicate) production capability, whereby the web is slit down the centre and delivered via both the folders. Provision has been made to add saddle stitchers and gluing units for four-page centre spreads at a later date.
The Commander CL will be controlled via three ErgoTronic consoles incorporating KBA EasyStart for automatic start-up and EasyClean-up for faster, automated run-down. The press will be embedded in a KBA PressNet production planning and press preset system and have a designated proofing system.