Great West Newspapers orders KBA Colora

Most effective solution for newspaper and semi-commercial production

(PresseBox) ( Würzburg, )
Canada's Great West Newspapers (GWN), a group of 21 community newspapers as well as a commercial printer and partner of Glacier Ventures International, has purchased a new Colora press from German press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) to be installed in a facility currently being constructed in St Albert, Alberta.

GWN selected Web Offset Services of Sarasota, Florida, to work with them on a number of possible solutions to meet their ever-growing demands for higher quality and efficiencies along with an eye to future growth which will include the newly signed contract for printing the Edmonton Journal. This new installation will replace an existing facility with a 20-unit, single-width press line currently at about 97% capacity. With such a broad mix of newspaper and commercial work along with extremely tight production windows and high throughput demands, a unique multi-format press concept was identified and developed as the most effective solution.

Configured for single-, double- and triple-width production

This Colora press configuration comprises three towers, three reelstands and a KF5 folder combining a number of firsts and unique features that will give GWN a distinct advantage in terms of quality, efficiency and productivity. First, the press can handle all three newspaper press production formats including single, double and triple width. This is all accomplished with very little operator invention by utilising a special fully adjustable and presettable triple former assembly mounted on a single level.

Coupled with this is an EAE semi-commercial control system with embedded auxiliaries plus extensive presetting capabilities including a built-in, pre-programmed 'catalogue' of 950 different products. Web Offset Service first worked with KBA and EAE to develop this system in 2003 for another KBA press destined for Independent Newspapers in Dover, Delaware, and the system was further refined in 2008 on a triple-width Commander 6/2 installation for Dansk AvisTryk in Copenhagen, Denmark. The system eliminates most of the inefficiencies of a typical double- or triple-width press, as well as the pre-planning or job creation associated with adjustment and changeover. This shortens turnaround times while reducing waste -all with minimal operator intervention.

Some of the other special attributes for the press are the larger KF5 folder with quarterfold allowing higher production speeds and pagination capabilities, built-in stitching, a full triple-width slitting and turner-bar section for extensive pagination flexibility, QI register and cut-off controls, Technotrans inking and dampening systems, Baldwin blanket-washing devices, SMC reel-handling equipment and a Prime UV unit for up to 48 pages of glossy paper.

Efficiency and flexibility: a must in today's environment

Duff Jamison, president of Great West Newspapers, says: "It's critical in today's printing and publishing environment to be flexible and efficient. We are in a relatively small commercial market which requires us to be capable of printing a wide variety of formats and on different substrates. Run lengths can be short as well, so the ability to turn jobs around quickly is very important. It may seem counterintuitive to do all this with a large press, but the truth is that software and technology make this press a great deal more effective than the single-wide we are leaving."

While high automation and the latest advances in production capability were necessary components of the project, it needed to be done in a safe and effective manner and that is where the KBA Colora fitted very nicely, says Web Offset Services president Sam Wagner. His approach to doing this kind of project is to be on the "leading edge but not the bleeding edge" of technology and in so doing prefers to use tried and true technologies that combine the best of what different parts of the printing industry has to offer in order to achieve the most efficient and productive system for a given application. Using a stable platform such as the Colora and KF5 folder to work from and adding proven technology is much preferred to "being someone's guinea pig or beta site".

New, state-of-the-art print production facility

GWN and Web Offset Services are also working on putting together a state-of-the-art facility to match the press in terms of streamlining workflow and maximising efficiency. The combination of the Colora in the newest print production facility in North America will set the standard for newspaper production in 2012 and beyond, and demonstrates how to be a top competitor in an ever-tightening marketplace.
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