March 24, 2020 By PrintAction Staff
The secret is finally out: for several years now, Gulf News, the largest circulated English-language newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, has been using equipment from printing technology supplier Toray to conserve resources and expand product offerings.
The company, with their facility in Dubai, has been using the Koenig & Bauer Cortina waterless offset press with 12 towers – four which are heatset – and is using the Toray IMPRIMA WA waterless offset plates. The Toray equipment has allowed Gulf News to increase press utilization by adding commercial work serving the retail and magazine markets, including its own flagship weekly magazine, The Friday.
It also converted from tabloid to Berliner format in conjunction with the installation of the new press, a format that is increasingly popular in the international newspaper industry. The company’s state-of-the-art printing plant, located about 40 km from the city center, was opened in 2012 and employs about 100 production staff. Overall corporate employment, including editorial staff, is at 800.
“We are very proud of our highly automated, state-of-the-art plant here in Dubai,” said Robert Renyold, production manager. “Not only is the facility completely climate controlled, but automation is everywhere, from our print room to paper storage and reel handling, mostly done with robots. Being located in the desert, water is a scarce resource, and implementing waterless offset printing in our new facility was an important decision, for us and for the planet.”
Other decision criteria were the reduced waste, lower emissions, and overall lower environmental footprint achieved with Cortina waterless offset printing using Toray IMPRIMA plates, Renyold added.
Quality was another important factor. “This configuration gives us a very high level of quality,” Renyold said. “With the Toray IMPRIMA plates, we are able to produce a very fine dot, and dot gain is very low. We also use a 150-line screen. Together, that delivers exceptional quality.”
According to Renyold, this elevated quality level has enabled the company to become more profitable through ability to produce very high-quality commercial work, which he says they were not able to do before.
“We also value our relationship with Toray,” Renyold said. “We had the task of converting from conventional offset to waterless offset, while at the same time adding commercial applications. So, a fair amount of change was required. Toray worked very closely with us during the implementation process from the inception, helping us produce the best possible quality plates on our Kodak Generation plate setter and marks-3Zet waterless plate processor. It was an extremely smooth implementation with their help, and the fact that our climate requires us to have a completely climate-controlled facility also made implement much easier, with very consistent humidity levels in our paper stock. To achieve the high quality we aimed at with our new waterless offset platform, we needed the consumables – including plates, inks and paper – to be very stable and work well together. Toray worked with us to ensure we achieved that.”
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