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FLEXO Magazine : July 2007
w w w . f l e x o g r a p h y . o r g J U LY 2 0 0 7 F L E X O 3 3 nEwspapErs looking at all the options. The choices were to upgrade the plant’s existing offset presses, replacing them with new offset presses, or going with a sustainable alternative—flexo. Some of the other people that helped in the decision to go flexo included Chuck Vincent over at the Concord Monitor (NH) and John Raymer in the Gazette press- room. Raymer once worked for USA Today and became a flexo advocate after spending most of his career working in the offset world. After careful analysis and looking at costs between offset verses flexo, Julien and his team could clearly see that flexo was the way to go. Julien insisted that the numbers were in favor of flexo, and his intent besides printing the daily newspaper was to be more aggressive in the commercial arena, where flexo again proved to be the better choice. Whatever tradeoffs there are be- tween offset and flexo, Julien said, “Efficiency makes it up in all the other ways. This is especially true from a waste point of view. It only takes 20 to 30 copies before you have your perfect, in reg- ister, high quality color print product.” HQP Gets BiGGer The world’s largest flexo newsprint site—with more than 220 printing couples—is growing even bigger in this day of downsizing. HQP (Harsmworth Quays Printing), publisher of the Daily Mail, prints daily 2.3 million newspapers for distribution. Besides the Daily Mail, HQP prints a number of suburban newspapers in and around London. (See FLEXO January 2001, page 30 for a full profile). With that in mind HQP decided to consolidate some of their outlying printing facilities to a new state-of-the-art site in Didcot, Oxfordshire, which is near Oxford, England. At the 2006 Ifra Technical Conference, Phil Dimes, quality control director for HQP presented the company’s plan, which incorporate flexo presses and CTP systems from MacDermid Printing Solutions. “Once the decision was made to go flexo for the new site, we had to determine which flexo press would best fit our needs. At the time, we were aware that Cerutti was installing several S4 satellite presses throughout Italy. Though we knew the manufacturer was experienced in flexo packaging and gravure, we were unaware as to what they could offer flexo newspapers,” said Dimes. What impressed Dimes was the color capabilities, reduced manning and maintenance, com- pact press design, shorter web lead (shorter make ready), high performing shaftless technology, minimized waste, reliable press automation devices, integrated production management, abil- ity to print on high quality paper grades, and very tight control of four-color registration. HQP also liked that it could print up to 80,000 copies per hour. This would speed up smaller-running circulation publications and make for faster changes to print other publications as well as com- mercial work. As of press time, S4 printing couples presses that are being installed and tested, are scheduled to go live toward the end of the year. From a quality reproduction standpoint, Julien felt the sustain- able alternative to offset was definitely flexo. He noted “dead-on accurate impressions from the 30th copy to 80,000 plus copies where you cannot tell the difference between the first and last one off the press.” That is what his commercial clients want and
Golden Anniversary Commemorative Journal