(11/27/2013 / nho)

Q.I. Press Controls: 41 scanners to upgrade Fairfax Media presses

Q.I. Press Controls, developer of innovative automated press control technologies, has announced that it has signed a contract with Fairfax Media in Australia to provide colour register, cut-off and closed loop colour control for all of Fairfax Media’s North Richmond (NSW) print facilities.

This is the second stage of a major installation of Q.I. Press Controls’ technology at Fairfax’s North Richmond site, following a trial installation of mRC+ colour register control and mRC cut-off ribbon control on the UV units of the company’s manroland Uniset press earlier this year. This second stage is an extension of that project, fitting out Fairfax media’s manroland Uniset combination heatset/coldset/UV press as well as the manroland Geoman press that is being moved from the company’s Tullamarine plant in Victoria.

This new installation will include 24 Intelligent Density System (IDS) scanners for colour and water dampening control, and 17 mRC+ colour register scanners. These will be installed on the six manroland Uniset four-high towers, two towers of which are UV, and two 4/4 Uniset heatset horizontal webs, with three folders, as well as four towers on a manroland Geoman press, with one folder. Herewith the complete installation comes to a total of 12 webs 4/4 colour control.

This will be the first IDS installation project for Fairfax Media, and will highlight Q.I. Press Controls’ extensive experience and skill in this technology because of its complexity, due to the manroland Uniset press’s combination of heatset, UV and coldset (both single width and double width).

Q.I. Press Controls’ Intelligent Quality Management (IQM) will also be installed for overall monitoring of the system. IQM is a management information system that analyses measurement data from the closed loop systems, and reports continuously to operators on the quality of the printed product.

The installation at North Richmond will commence in January-February 2014, and will take approximately one month. Fairfax Media is investing heavily in new technology as it restructures its print facilities, as part of its “Fairfax of the Future” transition program. This includes closing its Chullora (NSW) and Tullamarine (Victoria) print centres by June 2014, and shifting their workloads to five regional centres, including North Richmond, Beresfield, Ormiston, Ballarat and Canberra. Fairfax Media has also changed the format of its major metropolitan daily newspapers for the Sydney and Melbourne regions, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age respectively, from broadsheet to compact.

Q.I. Press Controls’ chairman and managing director, Menno Jansen, said, “I am extremely happy with this prestigious order for closed-loop colour control at North Richmond. The combination of heatset, UV and coldset in one press line is truly unique, and is great to have as a reference site in Australia. This order will strengthen our partnership even further with Fairfax.”

Nigel Alexander, general manager Ferrostaal Australia and Q.I. Press Controls’ agent: “I’m very pleased to secure the order for the final stage of this project at Fairfax North Richmond. It further demonstrates how Ferrostaal works together with their suppliers to secure these large orders within the Australian and New Zealand markets.  We look forward to our continued association with Q.I. Press Controls and supporting our customers through these exciting times ahead.”

Michael Gee, general manager, Print & Distribution, for Fairfax Media (North Richmond, Launceston, Beaudesert), said this installation will provide Fairfax with both greater consistency in its print products and cost savings in ongoing operations. “This installation on our North Richmond presses will ensure that we have consistency through all our print products, from the first copy to the last copy. We are operating in a very competitive environment, and real consistency in print quality is critically important for us. These systems will allow us to find savings through less ink and water usage, and means we will also get less spoilage, so we’ll find extra savings there,” said Gee. “Our press operators will also be able to save time in set-ups.”

This installation of new technology from Q.I. Press Controls will also provide Fairfax Media with operational flexibility and guarantee print quality and consistency for its approximately 200 external clients. Bob Lockley, Fairfax Media Print CEO, said, “These Q.I. Press Controls systems will improve quality and consistency in our print products, which is critical, especially for our advertising clients, who wish to see consistency across the Group’s products. This technology will help us to achieve that.”

Caption (from left): Menno Jansen (Chairman Q.I. Press Controls), Michael Gee (General Manager, Print & Distribution Fairfax Media), Nigel Alexander (General Manager Ferrostaal Australia and QIPC agent), Bob Lockley (CEO Fairfax Media Print).