No-pack Blankets — Packing Their Troubles Away
"But with the Vulcan Com No Pak blanket, installation is quick, printability is excellent and we never have to factor in the extra time for packing or repacking."
Gene Price, first pressman, agrees. "Installation with a packed blanket takes about one hour on the Mitsubishi—on a good day," he comments. "With this blanket, our average time has been cut in half—from about 15 minutes per unit to 71⁄2 minutes."
"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.