April 10, 2003 -- Following Newsquest (Media Group) Limited's recent commissioning of a six-unit MAN Geoman press for its Oxford printing plant, the company today announces that Baldwin Technology Company, Inc. is its chosen supplier of blanket cleaning and spray dampening systems for the press. A total of 48 Baldwin IMPACT Global automatic blanket cleaners and 48 Baldwin LithoSpray Optima spray dampening bars will be installed on the double width press, capable of printing 96 tabloid pages in full colour. The LithoSpray Optima system will be the first in the UK to feature Constant C –a new internal cleaning system launched at IFRA last year.
"With the continually increasing pressures on press utilisation, we needed blanket cleaning and spray dampening systems that could add to our efficiency and not hinder it," says Geoff Harvey, printing services manager. "They need to be low maintenance, have low running costs and be environmentally sound. Baldwin's products meet these requirements." Installation of the new press, and the Baldwin equipment, will begin at the Oxford site, which is undergoing a major extension, at the beginning of 2004 and replaces an old Crabtree press. "We are commissioning the new Geoman to give us increased colour capacity," explains Mr Harvey. As well as a variety of regional colour titles already printed at the Oxford site, the new press will also print additional Newsquest titles. The total weekly circulation of newspapers currently printed at Oxford - including The Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times, the city's leading daily and weekly newspapers respectively - exceeds three quarters of a million.
"We are particularly excited to be the first LithoSpray Optima user in the UK to benefit from the new Constant C technology," says Mr Harvey. "It results in the LithoSpray system being almost completely maintenance-free, saving time and cutting down water and ink usage." The Constant C internal cleaning system has been developed to keep the spray dampening system's nozzles free from blockage and maintain a uniform water spray. The first of its kind in the world, it passes an air curtain over the nozzle tip preventing clogging from ink and dust, and significantly reducing maintenance requirements of the dampening system. The elimination of nozzle clogging and the resulting even water distribution ensures consistently high print quality.
Newsquest researched all possible solutions and having seen Baldwin's IMPACT system in operation at other UK sites, found it to be "the most efficient and low maintenance system out there," says Mr Harvey. "This will obviously save us a great deal of time. With the large number of make-readies we do, it is not efficient use of manpower to manually clean blankets between each run. We no longer have to go through the lengthy process of stopping the press to clean the blankets, our turnaround will increase, and we'll reduce paper waste. This equals an increase in production and reduction in costs."
The IMPACT system uses PREPAC wash cloth rolls impregnated with an environmentally-friendly low VOC cleaning agent, so keeping the agent completely contained in the roll and totally eliminating solvent handling. The cloth rolls ensure that only the exact amount of low VOC cleaning agent required is applied to the blanket and retains ink and lint residues after cleaning.
In addition to PREPAC wash cloth rolls, IMPACT also uses water in the cleaning process to completely dispose of all traces of ink and paper dust residues. Furthermore, with no solvents being sprayed, and no waste solvents or excess paper waste being created, IMPACT is the most environmentally-efficient blanket cleaning system available today.
In addition to Baldwin's IMPACT and LithoSpray systems meeting Newsquest's cost and efficiency criteria, the company also benefits from efficiency of service. "Not only is service record excellent, but we benefit from having to only deal with one supplier for both products. Installation, maintenance and ongoing service are all made so much easier."
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