Version-change press is part of $12 million upgrade

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A new 16-page heatset press for Blue Star Web in Australia is equipped to change magazine and catalogue editions without stopping.

The five-unit manroland Rotoman DirectDrive is part of a $12 million investment for Blue Star Group, part of the ASX-listed IVE Group.

It will be installed in Sydney and equipped for fully automated version and signature changes with its DynaChange printing units, automatic plate loading (APL) and Autoprint functionality. The combination of five units and DynaChange enables finishing options such as coating and special colours, with each couple equipped with two motors to adjust cylinders so that the web passes can pass through untouched.

DynaChange also manages the change of impression on both sides of the web automatically at high speed. For four-colour products, switching the black form only requires a configuration change with a total of five printing units.

The press will print at 65,000 revolutions per hour and has a web width of 965 mm. In addition the press is equipped with the manroland web's Inline Control Systems for cut-off register, colour register and ink density control.

The contract was signed this month, with the press scheduled to go into production at the end of next year. Blue Star Web general manager Darryl Meyer says the company strives to create industrial products of the highest quality: "Because we have been able to continuously expand our market presence over the last years, we have now decided to make further investments, in order to stay at the top of the Australian printing industry.

"We will be able to optimally position ourselves in the highly competitive Australian print market and provide our customers with further benefits and higher quality, with the new highly automated and extremely flexible production system. Our stable and experienced team is genuinely passionate about the business, and deeply committed to ensuring we continually look after our customers."

Blue Star Web produces and distributes many of the nation's leading magazines, and Meyer says this is the main reason for their investment in the new technology, "to stay on top".

manroland web systems sales vice president Tim Ruth says the customer always likes to be one step ahead: "Now the printer is investing in a Rotoman DirectDrive with DynaChange technology for flying imprint changes. This new efficiency in short run printing is as important as the long-term partnership of our two companies, and underpinned the recent decision for an investment that makes us proud," he says.

Blue Star Web commenced operations in Sydney in 2001, and is now a leading player in the niche domestic heatset web-offset market, with its core expertise in the production of special interest magazines, custom and corporate publications.

Pictured: At the contract signing (from left) Steve Dunwell (managing director of manroland Australasia), Warwick Hay (managing director of IVE Group) and Darryl Meyer

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