Upgrade gives Fairfax heatset in WA

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A substantial upgrade of Fairfax Media’s busy Mandurah, Western Australia, print site will include the ability to print heatset/semicommercial publications on glossy paper stocks.

Printing and logistics chief executive Bob Lockley has announced that the much-awarded Rural Press Printing Mandurah site will be boosted by the installation of three new manroland Uniset towers – one of them heatset – plus an extra folder.

The existing press, consisting of four four-high Uniset 75 coldset towers and one folder, prints a range of work including editions of the group’s national, regional and agricultural newspapers, and contract publications. Among these is the WA edition of Fairfax’s the ‘Australian Financial Review’.

The new heatset tower will print up to 16 all-colour tabloid pages at up to 80,000 cph, enabling Fairfax to print its own glossy supplements and compete in a market occupied by West Australian Newspapers’s hybrid KBA newspaper press and commercial web printers.

The tower configuration with its vertical web lead is similar to that at APN’s Uniset/Regioman hybrid press site in Yandina, Queensland, rather than that of RPP’s own semicommercial site at North Richmond, NSW, where the units are configured for a horizontal web lead. The manroland Uniset design – now rated at 80,000 cph – is one of the world’s most popular two-around single-width press designs. Fairfax has a further Uniset installation at Ballarat in Victoria, having disposed of the press it acquired with the ‘Advocate’ newspaper business in Burnie, Tasmania.

The Fairfax RPP Mandurah site has been winners or runners-up most years in the Australian Single-Width Users Group competition and was highly-commended in this year’s PANPA technical excellence awards. In 2007, it swept the board taking SWUG’s best four-colour newspaper and best overall print quality, leaving only the best coldset commercial award for another entrant.

• Pictured: Uniset towers in one of many installations around the world

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