Blue Star expands postpress to bring inserts inline

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Expansion of Blue Star's drum-based postpress system is helping the Sydney printer cope with an influx of new work.

The Ive Group unit has a staff of 190 producing about 240 magazine titles - a few of them weeklies and most high-end productions with medium and short-runs - on four 16-page and one 32-page heatset presses.

Along with Blue Star Connect and Blue Star Promote, other business divisions - Blue Star Print, Blue Star Display, Blue Star Direct and Blue Star Web - serve print production with different focal points.

In the postpress area, inline finishing has been bringing maximum efficiency and optimum coordination, with Blue Star Web retrofitting the high-speed Ferag UniDrum gathering-stitching system at Silverwater this year with an insertion combo comprised of an EasySert inserting drum and RollStream collating.

Ive also produces mainly advertising supplements and catalogues at affiliate Franklin Web, which has 12 presses of 64 pages or more.

At Blue Star Web, an acquisition drive which brought further printing jobs drove the demand for additional capacity and flexibility. The UniDrum in at Silverwater since 2004 - along with other saddle stitching and perfect binding lines - had only been capable of offline insertion until this year's project.

Here, the existing UniDrum system was a 420-format gatherer-stitcher drum with seven hoppers served manually or by log feeder, an SNT-42 trimming drum for three-sided trimming and unloading of finished products through to a Segbert system for stacking and palletising supplied by WRH Global Australia. The expansion primarily adds the EasySert inserting system, a RollStream pre-collecting and feeding system for inserts and three JetFeeders for manually-fed inserts.

Direct integration with the existing system between the trimming drum and stacking/palletising uses additional delivery stations and conversions to UTR conveyors already in place, and makes intermediate product handling unnecessary.

Collating, stitching, trimming and inserting can now be accomplished at the same high speed, with the shorter runs no obstacle as formats are usually identical.

Installation and commissioning were carried out by WRH Global - which has been providing support for almost 14 years - brought favourable comment from Ive group web-offet general manager Darryl Meyer (pictured): "Everything was very well planned and executed."

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