|East Victorian independent the ‘Bairnsdale Advertiser’ is set to be Australia’s first of a new generation of single-width UV newspapers as a project to upgrade the existing Goss Community there reaches fruition.
Earlier this year, a fourth Goss four-high tower was added to a line which was first commissioned in the 1970s, and other recent additions have included motorisation and QuadTech colour registration.
The UV upgrade – which involves curing lamps from US specialist Prime UV, and new inker rollers supplied by Brissett – should be complete by January and will enable the family-owned publisher to print a range of work on glossy and coated stocks.
Managing editor and fourth-generation publisher Bob Yeates says that if the project is a success, he hopes to convert two towers, enabling the company to print up to 16 tabloid pages of glossy four-colour.
He says director and production manager David Zagami visited several sites in the US, where the Prime system is in use on a variety of single-width presses, and came back “full of enthusiasm” for its potential.
“We’ll be able to upgrade many of our supplements and quarterfold products with UV and offer it as a service to our commercial customers as well,” he says.
It’s not known at this stage whether the development will require towers to be dedicated to UV, but Yeates says he is hopeful it will be possible to switch readily between UV and coldset inks.
The Bairnsdale plant prints the flagship 'Advertiser', the 'Snowy River Mail', 'Lakes Post', 16,000-circulation free title the 'East Gippsland News', tourist publications and contract work, as well as two newspapers now owned in Victoria’s north central region.
Always on the move, the group has four-colour sheetfed and digital print facilities, as well as the web press (and another it owns in Huon, Tasmania).
And with even the capacity to print 32 tabloid pages of colour “not always enough”, Yeates says the next development is likely to be an upgrade of inserting facilities.
UV curing has been in and out of favour as a retrofit option for single-width users since the 1970s when inkmaker Lorilleaux showed a UV-equipped Creusot-Loire Gazette press at a Paris trade show. However, it has taken the development of more user-friendly inks and lamp systems for the technology to spread.
Prime has equipped more than 80 four-high towers around the world, mostly on Goss and DGM installations in the USA. Australian agent Andy Stephens of Global Press Technologies has been working on the Bairnsdale project.