The Burgess Industries Booth (1764) here at GRAPH EXPO features an Australian outback theme because things are looking up for President D.J. Burgess—about 18 feet up. That’s how tall the plate transport system is that will be suspended from the ceiling of a 350,000-square-foot printing plant in Australia. Burgess found out right before the show that his firm had won the million-dollar contract, and it’s quite a big deal, literally, in terms of dollar value as well as its magnitude: a 500-foot transport path, more than half of which is a “super plate highway,” reports Bill Campbell, GM of CTP Automation at Burgess and a 28-year company veteran.
After the show ends on Wednesday, Campbell is jumping on a plane for ‘Down Under.’ There’s much work to be done over the next six months, explains D.J. Burgess, before the first major installation begins in April 2012. Burgess’s part of the massive, $100-million project should be finalized by next August or September.
The customer is Hannanprint, an award-winning web-offset printer in Sydney and one of the largest printers in all of the Oceanic Region, which includes Australia and New Zealand. The high-end commercial printer runs magazines, catalogs, and newsprint on multiple presses, including two manroland Lithoman models (featuring automatic plate loading), one Rotoman, and an M-1000 from Goss International.
“Hannanprint has a multiple range of presses and different plate sizes,” Burgess says, pointing out the main difference between this job and a similar mega-project he helped complete a few years ago at the Valpak plant in Largo, FL. “The plate management and handling of the just-in-time process of driving [these] plates to press is more complex. All Valpak does is direct marketing coupons, so all their plates are the same size.” Like Valpak, Hannanprint will feature lights-out production—“from imaging to processing to punch bending to cylinder delivery.” There are no carts or human handling, thanks to the Burgess Plate Manager (BPM) software.
Burgess’ design facilitates flexible production, allowing for last-minute scheduling. With this system, “printers no longer have to do a schedule where they build a job around a press,” Burgess says.