NEWSPAPER PRESSES -- Creating Commercial Niches
A gearless, oil-free printing unit with a dedicated AC drive for each cylinder offers ideal conditions for flying plate changes and later integration into computer-to-press systems, according to KBA. With an eight-high tower (height approximately 7m), flying imprint changes during 4:4 production are more cost-efficient than ever before. The tower glides apart to afford easy access for maintenance tasks. KBA officials believe that eventually the Cortina will offer an ecological alterative in the market.
However, how the market responds to this and other developments remains be seen.
Publishers "Spine Glue" In-line
Major media outlets are adding in-line finishing technologies to their high-speed newspaper presses. Instead of outsourcing the T.V. Guides, coupon books and catalog stuffers to trade binders (usually saddle-stitched), they are now spine gluing these components in-line. The Denver Post and the Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT) recently installed a Valco Cincinnati Robond fluid application system on their web presses. The Indianapolis Star is currently in the installation process.
In-line fluid application systems have traditionally been used on offset presses where high-quality products are produced. In addition, offset presses usually create products that have a longer shelf life than a daily newspaper. The rugged, fast-paced environment of a daily newspaper has traditionally been prohibitive for in-line spine gluing. However, new application technology permits quick setup and the durability necessary to thrive on a newspaper press.
The system being used at the Denver Post, Standard-Examiner and, soon, the Indianapolis Star is microprocessor-controlled and custom-engineered for precise dispensing of adhesive and fold-softening fluids.
Motorized cross-web bridges with mounted dispensing valves enable quick setup. New programming capabilities allow the press operator to quickly configure every aspect of the glue/softening system. Fast and easy positioning of gluing and softening patterns permits quick changeover for the next job.
Newspaper material also presents a very rough application environment. Fortunately, newly developed contact nozzles reduce web friction and clogging, and prevent buildup of foreign matter while gluing. Even at high machine speeds of 1,000 m/min., fluids can be applied either on an intermittent or continuous basis. Glue and softening volume adjusts automatically with machine speed.