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Panpa Bulletin : May 2011
www.panpa.org.au Sky's the limit THE A$9 million expansion of a Fairfax Media press centre has started its second stage, to keep pace with booming regional newspapers and demand for high-quality colour publications. The single-run capacity of the press allows its 64-page output to be increased to 96 pages, as a boom in advertising pushes up the size of newspapers published by Rural Press and local independent publishers in Perth. The revamp of the Mandurah print centre, 100km south of Perth in Western Australia, comes only six years after the plant was established at a cost of A$21 million. It now has additional heat-set capacity to cope with demands for glossy pages, advertising and commercial work in a high-quality print environment. As part of the revamp, a new roof had to be built over the top of the original one, which was then demolished. "That was quite a logistical exercise," said print site manager Stuart Holder. Much of the equipment had to be craned through gaps created in the original roof in an unusual logistical challenge. The centre consumes more than 200 tonnes of paper a month to produce newspapers for Rural Press and independent publishers, such as the Post Newspapers of Subiaco, the Fremantle Herald and the Examiner group of Armidale, Perth. "Regional newspapers are booming," continued Mr Holder. "Some of these papers can go to more than 300 pages. "We have been running at 90 percent capacity or more, and the new equipment will bring that down and give us the opportunity to seek business growth." Potential clients had already expressed a desire to lock in new print jobs because of the expansion. Several Rural Press newspapers -- a chain of newspapers that is part of Fairfax Media -- had been running at 100-plus pages because of advertising demands. Before the expansion, the 33 staff at the print centre had to print some newspapers in two passes, which was time-consuming and expensive. "With four towers, we were doing multiple runs for total pagination," recalled Mr Holder. Now the print centre's Manroland Uniset 75 press has six cold-set towers and a heat-set tower, plus two additional reel splicers and an additional folder. The extra heat-set tower is attached at right angles to the existing press. It also runs the Ferag publishing system with a Rollstream inserting drum. The Mandurah plant dominates the local publishing scene and is responsible for the printing of some 90 percent of independent newspapers in Perth and surrounding areas. "Local newspapers are going from strength to strength," Mr Holder said. "They have a very strong editorial focus; they're not ad catalogues. "Many of the newspapers are very well-read and well-liked." Mr Holder said the expansion had helped bring in one new client, a real estate paper for northern Perth, with a weekly print run of 100,000 copies. He hopes its new heat-set capacity will encourage catalogue companies to commit to using Perth presses instead of shipping product across the continent. Mr Holder said he wanted to "go after glossy publications" and believed his plant could win work that might normally go to rivals in the eastern states. Completion later this month of the heat-set installation will make Mandurah one of only three companies to offer such quality printing, together with magazine group PMP and West Australian Newspapers. Bob Lockley, Chief Executive of Print & Distribution of Fairfax Media said: "This is a major investment in our Western Australia business. "This investment indicates our confidence in the future, both of the West Australian market and the continuing demand for mass produced printed products and publications. "We will be able to provide a much wider variety of products both cold-set and heat-set than was previously possible, with a great deal of flexibility within the plant." Equipment is lifted into the plant by a crane as part of Stage 1 of the expansion. The PANPA Bulletin | MAY 2011 | 17 Fairfax scoops 2 print awards THE big winner at this year's Single-Width User Group print awards is Fairfax Media, for the second year in a row. Its North Richard plant in NSW took two of the three major awards. The awards were the highlight of thegroup's annual conference in Hobart, which attracted 200 delegates from 41 printing sites. Topics included UV printing and digital inkjet printing, plus proactive maintenance and OH&S. Award results: Art Roller Shield -- best overall print quality Winner -- Illawarra Mercury: North Richmond (manroland Uniset 70) Runner-up -- Australian Financial Review: Davies Brothers (KBA Comet) Highly commended -- The Advocate: Examiner Print Centre (Goss Community) Coates Australia Shield -- best overall four colour newspaper Winner -- The Land: North Richmond (manroland Uniset 70) Runner-up -- Shepparton News: Newsprinters (Goss Community) Highlycommended--AustralianFinancial Review: Mandurah (manroland Uniset) Flint Ink Shield -- best coldset commercial publication Winner -- NZ Aviation: Horton Media NZ (Goss Community) Runner-up -- The Eagle Summer 2010: Print Leader Tamworth (Goss Community) Highlycommended--RiverineHeraldReal Estate: Newsprinters (Goss Community) • • • A$9m expansion taps boom market