Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Print Automation Showcase Emerging Down Under: Twin-Web Lithoman to Be the Centerpiece of Hannanprint's Lights-Out Production Model

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Print Automation Showcase Emerging Down Under: Twin-Web Lithoman to Be the Centerpiece of Hannanprint's Lights-Out Production Model

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Far from being dead, print can be quite heavy, literally. I don't know about your daily, but with all its inserts my "Black Friday" edition of the Chicago Tribune on Nov. 25 must have weighed nearly five pounds, proving that insert printing still is big business in the U.S. and around the globe.

Down Under, web-offset mega printer Hannanprint is investing some $90 million to further modernize its operations and relocate to Warwick Farm, west of Sydney. The cornerstone of the expansion is Australia's largest heatset web press: The country's first 96-page manroland Lithoman, expected to take up production this July, features twin 48-page webs that employ eight printing units in a stacked configuration.

Already one of the largest printers in the Oceania Region; which includes Australia and New Zealand, Hannanprint runs magazines, catalogs, and newsprint on multiple presses, including two existing Lithoman models (featuring automatic plate loading), one Rotoman, and a Goss M-100. It specializes in octavo, quarto, square-tabloid, and traditional tabloid-sized product formats. As part of the Independent Print Media Group (IPMG), the high-end commercial printer employs more than 500 people in the Alexandria facility, which spans 3.8 hectares and features six heatset webs. The new production site at Warwick Farm is replacing the one in Alexandria, which is going to close by mid-2013. IPMG handles most of the externally printed inserts and magazines for News Limited and Fairfax under long-term contracts.

"We've had a great relationship with IPMG since they bought their first Lithoman press in 1999," said Gerd Finkbeiner, manroland CEO. Steve Dunwell, managing director of manroland Australasia, added: "Warwick Farm is planned to be one of the most advanced and automated sites in the world. We are happy to play a major role here ..."

Web-offset rather than rotogravure

Instead of investing in gravure presses as originally planned, IPMG opted in favor of high-volume heatset web-offset. The decision was due to assessments of future requirements including run length and the ability to blend other sections also produced by offset, and that Hannanprint has some of the best-trained printers and operators already very familiar with the offset process. Its Lithoman will be one of only a few presses in the world capable of printing 96 pages in one pass. It is the second in stacked configuration and is to be operated with the manroland autoprint technology. It is equipped with the Aurosys fully automatic reel transport and reel store administration system. …

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