Fenton Press–Web Wonders

Before securing this high quality press, specifically an eight-page web offset unit capable of providing a high fidelity product comparable to sheetfed, Fenton needed to look at the bigger production picture. At that time, 15 percent of total production was already obtained on an eight-page web, while 85 percent was obtained in sheetfed printing. Fenton execs were very close to making a decision in favor of a competing press manufacturer; however, at the last minute, they agreed to visit two operations—one at Straus Printing in Wisconsin and a second at American Spirit in Iowa—both sites of recent Hantish/Zirkon installations.

After witnessing firsthand the high performance in both quality and productivity, Tobiason and Blagaich changed their minds. Tobiason says he and Blagaich had no doubt that the Hantish/Zirkon from Hantish International was the way to go.

Blagaich noted three primary reasons for selecting the Model 6611:

  • Print quality—due to good cylinder stack design; ease of setting up the dampening system; ease of form roller setup that did not require subsequent adjustment; and the use of helical gears in the unit drive, which helps to minimize print disturbance.

  • Durability—the unit is well built and solid, weighing in at 11,000 lbs.
  • Dependability—the 6611 already has around 60 million impressions in about seven months, which helps with scheduling work.

Blagaich, a former pressman who serves on Fenton’s safety team, says the OSHA-compliant guarding that is fitted on the 6611 was also an important feature of the press, as was the unit’s high speed capability of 50,000 impressions per hour.

Other significant features/capabilities of the 6611 that were considered in the decision were: the unit’s segmented ink fountain blade, which allows accurate color setting for customer approvals (from complete standstill through plate change, Blagaich claims color and registration match-to-saved copies normally takes about 25 minutes); good operator accessibility; decreased make-ready time due to the machine’s ability to preset the next job while running the current job; and reduced makeready due to the ability to split the press and makeready the units at the same time as preparing the perforator and sheeter.

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