With change becoming a way of life for newspaper publishers, there’s much to see and catch up with at this year’s IfraExpo, being held in Amsterdam from October 27-30.
Deputy chief executive and research director Manfred Werfel says newspaper publishing houses now see themselves as media houses that work with print and online, including digital services up to web TV and mobile publishing.
“Editorial departments are being organised as ‘newsrooms’ around the newsdesk and advertising departments reoriented," he says. Ifra’s Newsplex has helped pioneer this area and works with leading publishing houses to manage the change. “As a consequence of this development, there are also new demands being made on modern technical publishing systems that are used by media houses to process and transport their contents via the various publishing channels to the readers and media consumers,” he says. “Ifra recently published a research report on this topic and IfraExpo will comprehensively cover it.”
In the prepress areas, hot topics include ink saving – via a greater application of GCR – as well as possibilities for automatic image reproduction and optimisation based on metadata. “The objective in both cases is to achieve a greater standardisation and automation of the work processes,” he says. The conference will also address questions such as CTP developments and plate technology choice.
In printing and finishing, Werfel says interest is mainly directed towards scope for further rationalisation with the aid of triple-width and compact presses, automatic paper handling systems and more flexible production processes due to new finishing options in the mailroom.
“Modern newspaper presses offer constantly increasing levels of automation for printing and job changeover – including ink presetting, press start-up systems, inline density measurement, automatic ink control, automatic washing of blankets, cylinders and rollers. “There are many systems on offer, in part competing with one another, and it is a case here of comparing and evaluating them in depth,” he says.
With interest in semicommercial printing growing, there is also interest in new consumables and the use of coated paper, as well as heatset and UV inks, their handling and combination possibilities with newsprint and newsinks.
“Only a visit to IfraExpo will permit an intensive look behind the scenes of technical and organisational developments in the publishing industry," he says.
Many of the vendor exhibitors are expected to release new products at the show, and have announced plans for their stands.
Goss International says it will continue its ‘New ways for print’ theme by emphasising how automation, integration, versatility and commercial capabilities can add value and create new opportunities for newspaper publishers.
Highlighted will be the compact FPS press with its slide-apart units, the Magnum’s new three-form inker and shaftless drive options, and recent updates to the Universal and Uniliner. Here features include a semiautomatic plate change option, compact configurations using ‘T90’ layouts (as at Fairfax Ormiston and Christchurch), improved heatset/coldset operation with DigiRail inking and the addition of Sinapse interactive training simulators.
As at DRUPA, KBA’s focus will be on its ultra-compact Cortina (waterless) and Commander CT (conventional) newspaper offset presses, whose extensive automation, flexibility, cost efficiency and user-friendliness are seen as the way of the future. Alongside the advanced press technology and its benefits, the KBA stand will also promote some conventional and not-so-conventional products for coldset and heatset production.
At the end of last month, there were 19 compact press lines totalling 99 towers on KBA’s reference list – 15 Cortina (75 towers) and four Commander CT (24 towers). Included are four 6/2 versions and the first 4/1 version. The first triple-wide Cortina came on stream shortly before IfraExpo at Nordsee-Zeitung in Bremerhaven, while a multi-unit Commander CT 6/2 will ship early next year to the ‘Daily News’ in New York. ‘Gulf News’ in Dubai is KBA’s first order from outside Europe for a multi-unit Cortina, specified with a bank of dryers for hybrid coldset/heatset production.
Baldwin Technology will emphasise its extensive portfolio of solutions to enhance the productivity of their press, whilst reducing wastage and environmental impact. Offerings include blanket cleaning technologies based on both cloth and brush options, as well as the TowerClean system and Jetstream web cleaning units, which can be used separately or in combination.
New technical developments for discussion are the ImpactFusion-F and ProTech2 NP blanket cleaning systems, designed for straight newspaper and semicommercial applications where gas dryers or UV curing are installed.
Trelleborg Printing Blankets will focus on Vulcan Metal News Active, which it says offers the potential for significantly improved productivity and print quality.
With its Italian distributor Printgraph, the company has developed a metal-backed version with a film backing for release next January. European trials on satellite and tower newspaper presses have shown a notable increase in print quality, it says.
With its pioneering Innocure inert UV installation at Herold Druck in Vienna, Eltex was the flavour of last year’s IfraExpo. This year it continues the theme with an additional focus on electrostatic systems. The Innocure system reduces oxygen on the ink surface, and with it many of the unwanted byproducts of the process. The amount of photoinitiators in the ink, energy consumption and the thermal load of the substrate are also reduced.
At Herold, a hybrid product containing UV and coldset pages is being printed at 90,000 cph (11.25 metres/second) on a tower of two nine-cylinder satellite units added to the manroland Colorman press. A two-sided system is being installed above a Wifag OF371 tower at ‘Le Monde’ in Paris, and Transcontinental has ordered the system for a triple-wide Colorman XXL in Montreal.
US manufacturer of single-width presses (a rare qualification these days) Web Press Corporation and its international subsidiary, Web Leader International, will also talk about UV production at IfraExpo.
The company – which has a new Australasian agent in Presslink – will focus on its major seller, the Quad-Stack compact colour tower, which prints with continuous blanket contact.
For Dutch company QI Press Controls, the Amsterdam show will be something of a ‘home game’. Pure white is again the stand’s visual theme, emphasising its systems to help newspaper and semicommercial printers reduce waste and shorten makeready times.
New is the IQMobile management information system which delivers information by iPhone. IQMobile enables a manager to retrieve current waste values anywhere, anytime, or receive an alert if the IQM detects that a predefined limit has been exceeded. Realtime information will facilitate prompt decisions based on facts, the company says.
The French press simulation specialist which now calls itself Sinapse Print Simulators has introduced a new high resolution image display – available for Goss and other presses – which it will show at IfraExpo in Amsterdam.
The Sinapse demonstration will include a Honeywell press control console connected to sheetfed, heatset and newspaper press simulators, together with a Sinapse simulator to show capabilities from 6x2 down to 2x1 format presses.
A full programme of training for new press crews and existing teams addresses the need for new skills. Sinapse simulators will also be shown on Goss and ABB stands in Amsterdam.
ECRM will showcase its latest high-speed automated violet CTP technology, showing the Mako NewsMatic HS, plus for the first time online configuration with the Heights Aztec 65 News Processor.
Eastern hemisphere business vice president Derek Sizer says IfraExpo will provide the ideal forum to demonstrate ECRM’s violet CTP technology for mid-sized newspapers.
“We can now produce up to 100 panorama plates per hour at 1016 dpi,” he says. “A significantly enhanced optical system with the latest violet laser technology means that the NewsMatic deals directly with quality issues associated with larger circulations and increased advertising.”
It can accommodate web widths up to a maximum format of 635 mm x 927 mm, suitable for high plate volume newspapers and printers with presses using Berliner through to double-wide plates.
A FleXarm slip sheet removal system brings automation to smaller and medium-sized newspapers, with sensors tracking slip-sheets through pick-up, removal and disposal. gx