No-pack Blankets--Packing Their Troubles AwayFebruary 1998
"Our operation requires frequent product changes," adds Jim Judkins, general foreman. "Rather than stop the presses and repack the blanket, we can just change the plates and begin a new run."
In addition, the papers Quebecor-Hawkins runs are lightweight, typically 20- to 30-lb. stocks. With the Vulcan Com No Pak, Judkins notes that the blanket permitted "excellent sheet release" and resisted "edge cuts."
Reeves attributes the blanket's excellent printability to the super-fine buffed face and improved printing surface—both of which were constructed with proprietary processes that are said to ensure sharp, well-defined dot reproduction.
At the St. Ives plant, similar results have been noted. Twenty-four hours a day, six/seven days a week, the facility runs high-circulation, high-profile magazines (Time and Newsweek) on its two Goss/Baker Perkins presses and two Heidelberg Harris M-1000 presses.
Larry Winn, pressroom operation manager, says that initially St. Ives was skeptical about no-pack blankets: "We knew that we could save time by not having to pack and we could eliminate our huge inventory of packing sheets, but we just weren't confident that we could get the quality we expected or the unit-to-unit consistency from press to press."
But, in June 1997, the Vulcan Com No Pak blanket dispelled that perception. "With our old pack blankets, the operators had to put the blankets on, 'run them in' to get the stretch out, then repack and retorque them repeatedly to keep the gauge where it ought to be," Winn says.
"But with the Vulcan Com No Pak," he attests, "we can install a blanket that is the right size, has virtually no stretch, holds its gauge, gives us excellent dot reproduction and we never have to pack again."