A 72-page LITHOMAN, the new flagship of Swissprinters, started up in December 2010 in Zofingen. Shortly after that the gravure printing system previously used was shut down, ending 96 years of gravure production. Roger Bourquin, Plant Manager in Zofingen: “This was really a radical move. Within two weeks we switched from gravure to offset with the LITHOMAN. The first January issue of the Schweizer Illustrierte was completely printed by offset. A tremendous performance by the Swissprinters and manroland teams”. Bourquin now has Switzerland’s largest web offset printing system with a web width of 2,060 millimeters at his disposal. How does it feel? “We at Swissprinters are very proud to have such a high performance press but it is also our responsibility to ensure we get the optimum level of production efficiency and print quality from the LITHOMAN.”
The LITHOMAN produces up to 3.6 million four-color A4 pages per hour which no other offset printer in Switzerland can match. This volume and the high degree of automation provided by the fully automated APL plate changing system ensure short makeready and production times. Besides efficiency, the equipment of the press at Swissprinters ensures a high degree of flexibility as well. The folder superstructure and folder permit a wide range of additional production variants. manroland project manager Thomas Knaier is extremely satisfied with the way the project went and press start-up: “The team worked together in a very professional manner. The customer’s staff was comprehensively trained in operation of the new press and print production is running smoothly.”
The finishing equipment for the LITHOMAN is scheduled to be fully functional by the end of March. Modernization of its printing systems is another future-oriented step on the part of Swissprinters who with around 1,000 employees is the largest printing industry group in Switzerland. It is a subsidiary company of the media houses Ringier, NZZ and Edipresse, and has production facilities in Zofingen, St. Gallen, Zürich and Lausanne.