New Ifra Service for the Indian Newspaper Industry

(PresseBox) ( Darmstadt, Germany / Chennai, India, )
Ifra India and the Research Institute for Newspaper Development (RIND) have joined forces to start the Ifra-RIND Material Testing & Research Centre, which was inaugurated on 22 January by Reiner Mittelbach, Ifra’s CEO.

The facility, located on RIND premises in Taramani, Chennai, is the first of its kind and offers testing of newspaper printing ma-terials and research services.

“The industry has long called for an independent and profes-sional laboratory where all newspapers can test their printing materials and this Ifra-RIND centre will answer this need. It will be a one-stop centre for newsprint and newsink testing needs,” said R. Mittelbach.

Extensive testing equipment available:
Initially, the following testing services are being offered by the centre:
– Paper grammage; colour of paper substrate; fineness of ink grind;
– Printability tests: ink mileage and consumption, print through, set-off, picking, linting, printing penetration, mottle;
– Optical characteristics: density, tone value increase (dot gain), mid-tone spread, colours, printable colour gamut; screening: screen ruling, screen angles, dot shape.

These tests play a vital role in the quality of the printed paper and if properly controlled, they can result in savings for news-papers.

The centre has the following testing equipment: Precision Bal-ance from Switzerland, Printability Tester from The Netherlands, Spectrophotometer from the USA and Grindometer from Germany.

Other equipment that is planned to be added later will include: a special spectrometer for paper, tensile tester, digital mi-crometer, roughness tester, tear tester, rheometer, tackmeter, abrasion tester and ash content meter for testing Newsshade, tensile strength, sheet thickness, surface roughness, tearing strength, viscosity, ink tack, rub-off and ash content.

The centre is also supported by major Indian newspaper pub-lishers such as ABP, Deccan Herald, Dinamalar, Malayala Mano-rama, Manipal Media Network, Mathrubhumi and The Hindu. Two inks suppliers – DIC Inks and Micro Inks – complete the list of the centre’s initial supporters.

Becoming a ‘Regional Quality Competence Centre’:
In the future, the centre plans to conduct research to improve the overall quality of newspaper printing. It will undertake studies on standardising newspaper consumables as well as trends in Indian newspaper printing. These activities will not be restricted only to newspapers, but will also cover magazine printing and other newspaper-related printing areas on request. As such, the services will be open to any newspaper, magazine or commercial printers offering printing services to the publishing industry. Ultimately, the centre will be a “Regional Quality Competence Centre” for testing newspaper printing materials in the entire South Asian region.

An initiative of Ifra:
The Ifra-RIND Material Testing & Research Centre is an initia-tive of Ifra, the world’s leading association for newspaper and media publishing. Based in Darmstadt, Germany, Ifra acts as a platform for decision makers from the newspaper industry. Its main task is to help its members keep pace with the rapid changes in technology.

The Indian office, Ifra India (www.ifra.com/india), is based in Chennai and helps bring Ifra services closer to companies in India. Currently, there are more than 35 Ifra members in India, including most of the leading publications. Ifra India organises an annual conference, seminars and workshops dedicated to the publishing industry and also offers consulting and training programmes.

Ifra has long followed the growth of the newspaper industry in India and gears its services to reflect the needs of Indian pub-lishers. The ICONS initiative, the standardisation project for Indian newspapers, is one such effort. Also, Ifra is launching a full-scale exposition in India, IfraExpo India 2007. The event, the first of its kind for Ifra outside of Europe, will take place from 4 to 6 September at the Chennai Trade Centre.
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