News UK's 'plastics pledge' leads to tight upgrade schedule

Feb 06, 2020 at 11:05 pm by Staff

A commitment to eliminate single-use plastic in newspaper products has seen News Corp's Newsprinters operation in Knowsley, Liverpool, package the Sun TV Magazine and inserts with the main paper, rather than shipping separately in polywrapped bundles.

UK's largest newspaper printer, Newsprinters operates in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh, with each of five triple-width presses discharging to separate Ferag mailroom lines consisting of three MultiStack stackers.

A separate postpress area for processing supplements and other magazine-type publications has two Ferag lines, both able to trim main products and feed up to nine inserts via a FlyStream system. While one line was already equipped for bundling, polywrapping and inserting, the second had lacked inserting capability.

News UK's commitment to cease polywrapping its newspapers and supplements by mid-2020 on environmental grounds led to a meeting at Knowsley to examine technology alternatives and a live inserting demonstration at Ferag's factory in Hinwil.

The Sun TV Magazine - with Saturday editions - of 76 pages (68 pages in Ireland) is buffered on MultiDisc after printing, and then trimmed to 265 × 333 mm, with the magazine opened by air blast for subsequent inserting of supplements.

The present production window - Sunday morning to Wednesday morning for 1.8 million weekly copies - needed net output "approaching the upper ceiling" of the EasySert's engineered speed of up to 30,000 cph with the two current processing lines.

After a "very successful" live demonstration, Newsprinters placed an order in July 2019 to modify the second line and adapt the UTR lines in the PFD area. A seven-week installation window from late September was timed to have full capacity back on stream before pre-Christmas business, but meant one line needed to process 1.8 million copies rather than 900,000.

Adding an extra two days to the start of that window meant programme schedules for countless TV stations had to be available earlier, and a smooth cooperation between News UK, Newsprinters and Ferag ensured the project stayed on schedule. With News UK's promise met, inserting into supplements sheds complexity, which in turn added its own advantages and efficiencies.

Sections: Print | Mailroom


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