After baring the follies of Australia's news publishers to delegates at this year's INMA World Congress, Melbourne academic Mark Ritson is set to face the local industry at the end of this year's Inform News Media Summit.
Colour capacity at News Limited’s Mile End, Adelaide, plant is to be upgraded with the addition of towers displaced from the group’s Sydney site and an innovative approach to extending run lengths between blanket washes.
The two initiatives will extend back-to-back colour capacity by 64 pages to 96 pages tabloid, and improve the print quality of ‘The Advertiser’ and ‘Sunday Mail’, local editions of ‘The Australian’ and the 11 titles in the Messenger Community Newspapers series.
The upgrade – set for completion by March 2010 – was announced by News chairman and chief executive John Hartigan on Wednesday. In addition to the increase in colour capacity, Advertiser Newspapers has purchased magazine production equipment which will double the company’s newsprint magazine publishing capabilities.
The major investment will benefit readers and advertisers alike, he says. “Over a million South Australians read our national, metro and community papers each week and they will all benefit from higher quality, more vibrant publications.”
Eight-couple Newsman (Colorman) units displaced by the current upgrade at News’ Chullora, Sydney, plant are being added to the Adelaide pressline in an operation which will deliver up to 96 pages of back-to-back colour capacity.
Units which have been in storage following the installation of new manroland Geoman tower presses in Sydney – the second-last of which is currently being installed – are to be refurbished by engineers working for the German maker. They will then be added to the Mile End line, which was the first of News’ four original colour newspaper sites to be commissioned in Australia.
Group technical manager Barry Johnson says Baldwin’s Jetstream web cleaning system will also be used in conjunction with the original Newsman satellite units enabling them to print full colour unit-to-unit on normal edition press runs.
“I had the idea that the Baldwin cleaning units might make it possible for us to print back-to-back colour on a press not designed for it,” he says. “We can do it on preprints where we’ve got time to stop and wash up, although the units were designed for another purpose.
“Now we’ve trialled the Baldwin system on the common impression cylinder, and it’s been very successful, enabling us to print runs of more than 200,000 papers without a stop for washing.”
The innovation, using a recently-released product overcomes problems which would occur when a web was run from one unit to another, leading to increased set-off and preventing ink transfer.