(07/02/2012 / atz)

Newsprinters invests in QuadTech technology

Newsprinters, the printing division of News International, has announced that it will equip its presses with QuadTech’s AccuCam technology at its Knowsley plant near Liverpool, UK.

The state-of-the-art Knowsley site covers 34 acres, with enough print capacity to produce 430,000 120-page tabloid newspapers every hour. The AccuCam systems will be installed on 25 towers of the plant’s five manroland Colorman XXL presses.

The decision to select the QuadTech Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam was made following a successful trial, which resulted in significant improvements in quality consistency and productivity. Besides advanced image-based color control, the system also provides reliable warnings of many common printing faults such as catch up (scumming), creasing, transposed plates, and tramlines. The research and development efforts at Knowsley also resulted in a new AccuCam water control capability, in which the system monitors and controls press damping levels.

Newsprinters Group Managing Director, Brian McGee said, “We have been working on this project with QuadTech for over two years and are delighted with the results of an excellent partnership. This investment will provide us with cost savings and improve already award-winning print quality, it reinforces our commitment to stay ahead of the game with regard to printing technology, as we do with all aspects of manufacturing excellence.”

“We have developed a great working relationship with QuadTech and this cooperation has resulted in a product that exceeds our initial expectations,” said Mark Ellington, Newsprinters Group Technical Services Director. ”We are confident that this investment will deliver further benefits as the technology develops.”

Karl Fritchen, President of QuadTech, comments: “It is truly an honor to be selected by Newsprinters to continue our relationship and supply our closed-loop color control across the remaining presses at Knowsley. Working together with the team at Newsprinters has provided us the necessary insight to extend our development of a revolutionary product for the newspaper market. The cooperation with Newsprinters improved our AccuCam product and also improved QuadTech as a company.“

The AccuCam system provides fully automatic closed-loop color control by controlling the ink-key settings. An image-based system, AccuCam uses pre-press image files to create L*a*b* target aim point values. Its six-channel spectral sensor measures the printed web and calculates the L*a*b* values of the entire image, then brings the printed image to the specified L*a*b* target values and automatically maintains the color values throughout the production run. The system also provides advanced web inspection from the same sensor, typically detecting defects within the first 170 copies, and continuously throughout the print run.

According to Wayne Thorpe, Quality and Training Manager at Newsprinters (Knowsley) Ltd, “The installation of the AccuCam system provides total peace of mind that defects can be eliminated and gives us the confidence to exceed the most demanding expectations, including on high quality paper grades. This helps us in our mission to be recognized as the best newspaper printer in the world.”

Vince Balistrieri, QuadTech Director of Engineering and GM of Commercial & Newspaper comments: “With Newsprinters as a partner, we shared a common goal to develop an innovative technology that will pay large dividends for Newsprinters and their customers.”

The Newsprinters installation will begin in October and the systems will be fully operational by January 2013. The sale follows successful installations of AccuCam in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, including Sankei Shimbun Printing Co. (Osaka, Japan), Herold Druck und Verlag AG (Vienna, Austria), and a recent large sale to The Chicago Tribune (Chicago, USA).