NEWSPAPER PRESSES -- Pressing Issues
Newspapers may upgrade their existing press equipment or take the plunge and purchase new presses better suited for the so-called "semi-commercial" market, Kerns adds. Typical upgrades, he says, include the addition of motorized plate cylinder register, remote ink fountain control, automatic color-to-color register guidance and spray dampening systems.
"The concept of printing insert type work themselves allows newspapers to offer 'one-stop-printing' to their customers, rather than the customer finding an insert printer and having the product drop-shipped," Kerns explains. "We've long been aware of this trend in Europe, particularly in Scandinavia (Solna's home market)."
Characterizing it as a "universal soldier," Vince Lipinski, vice president of sales and marketing at MAN Roland in Westmont, IL, agrees that the newspaper press of today also must be versatile enough to produce commercial work. He points out that the folder is a key component in meeting these requirements, since it must be able to deliver the desired products.
It should come as no surprise that individual manufacturers have different takes on what press configurations are best suited to meet these production trends. One area where there is a degree of consensus, though, is on the advantages of shaftless drive designs.
No More Getting the Shaft
Shaftless engineering has been the most significant technological advancement in recent time and continues to be a strong factor in press sales, asserts Gary Owen, director of marketing/newspaper sales at KBA North America's Web Press Division in York, PA. "Shaftless technology is having an impact on users in the newspaper market because of the flexibility it offers in terms of press arrangement, productivity (with flying plate/edition changes), color registration and controls." All KBA presses come standard with shaftless drives in the one motor per couple format, Owen adds.
According to Owen, KBA brought another commercial printing innovation to the newspaper market with the DRUPA 2000 introduction of its waterless and keyless offset press—the Cortina. He expects the press to starting having an impact on the market beginning next year when it is slated to go into commercial production.