German newspaper printer and publisher Mittelhessische Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft (MDV) has placed an order with market leader Koenig & Bauer (KBA) for a compact and highly automated Commander CT to address shifting demands in the newspaper sector driven by changes in media consumption.
The 48pp press line with three Pastomat reelstands, three double-wide towers and one KF 5 folder is slated to come on stream early next year, replacing two non-KBA presses installed in the 1990s. It will be embedded in an automated reel-logistics systems.
MDV managing director Dr Jan Eric Rempel says: “Even in today’s more diversified, multimedia environment printed regional titles have good prospects, and they will remain one of our main business lines in the 21st century. However, we must cater more efficiently to the rising demands of our readers, advertisers and print customers, while at the same nailing down costs. This has led to the biggest investment in printing technology and intelligent workflow systems – for example reel logistics – in our 65-year history. With its advanced level of automation and superb full-colour quality the Commander CT will dramatically enhance our product profile, presentation and cost efficiency. The prospective cost savings, and thus rapid RoI, played a major role in making this flexible compact press our final choice.”
Leading regional title with 185,000 readers
Still a family-controlled enterprise, MDV was founded in January 1946, and launched the Giessener Freie Presse that same year. Today its daily titles are distributed in a region extending from Alsfeld via Grünberg, Giessen, Bad Nauheim and Friedberg to Bad Vilbel north of Frankfurt. Its regional titles – the Giessener Allgemeine (Giessener Freie Presse until 1966), Alsfelder Allgemeine and Wetterauer Zeitung, with a circulation of around 53,000 copies – reach some 185,000 readers on weekdays. MDV also prints over 700,000 copies of diverse frees and contract titles per week. Its regional information competence is evident on its website, which has central Hesse’s biggest appointments section. Alongside an ad alliance with the Butzbacher Zeitung MDV has also teamed up with other Hessian newspaper publishers to create major regional advertising networks for Hessian newspapers and the central Hesse press.
In addition to MDV’s own daily titles, frees and inserts, which include a monthly events magazine, Streifzug, the KBA Commander CT will contract print various newspaper titles and semi-commercials.
Shorter makeready, easier operation
Says Dr Rempel: “The robust KBA PlateTronic automatic plate changers, which have proven their efficiency a thousand times over in the press room, in conjunction with towers that split down the centre for easier maintenance access, KBA RollerTronic automated roller locks and remotely adjustable KBA NipTronic bearer units, are outstanding examples of the Commander CT’s innovative technology. When this investment package has been implemented we shall have the most advanced newspaper production line in the entire region.”
The double-wide press has a maximum rated output of 90,000cph, a 470mm (18.5in) cut-off on a 940mm (37in) cylinder circumference and a maximum web width of 1,260mm (49.6in). It will be controlled from KBA ErgoTronic consoles incorporating KBA EasyStart and EasyStop modules for automatic press run-up and run-down, a job-scheduling and press-presetting system, and a page-monitoring system. Other features will include colour and cut-off register controls, inking-unit and CleanTronic blanket washing and pre-former web guidance. Three turner bars, a folder superstructure with two formers, a half-cover guide and a section stitcher will guarantee a high level of product versatility. Provision has been for the later addition of a number of optional extras such as a variable perforator (“Zip’n’Buy”), a four-page centre spread capability, a skip slitter and a ribbon stitcher.