The Nishinippon Shimbun, the widest read newspaper on Japan's third largest island of Kyushu with a daily circulation of more than one million copies, recently ordered two Mitsubishi DIAMONDSPIRIT presses. The new presses will be installed in February 2013 and replace existing 16-year-old equipment at the publisher's flagship plant in Fukuoka City, the largest city in Kyushu.
The history of The Nishinippon Shimbun dates back to 1877, the year that Tsukushi Shimbun was founded. The name of the founding publication was eventually changed to the Fukuoka Nichinichi Shimbun and in 1942 it merged with Kyushu Nippo to create The Nishinippon Shimbun. The first issue under its current name was published 70 year ago on August 10, 1942.
One of The Nishinippon Shimbun's creeds is "to walk together with the local society and support its independence and development." In line with this creed, the company hosts a variety of events annually throughout the entire Kyushu region. These include, for example, the All Japan High School Judo Tournament started in 1926, the All Japan High School Kendo Tournament begun in 1927, and the world's longest relay race (ekiden) known as the Prince Takamatsu Cup Nishinippon Round-Kyushu Ekiden, which covers a total distance of 1,064 kilometers and has been run every year since 1951.
Renowned for its high-quality journalistic contents and social action programs, residents of Kyushu have grown well acquainted with The Nishinippon Shimbun, allowing the paper to maintain its number one position throughout the island for many years now.
When The Nishinippon Shimbun set out to select its new presses, press efficiency and reliability were its two most important considerations. Under the tough current market conditions, even for a number one newspaper, a higher ROI ratio was required to justify any new press investment. After detailed comparisons of several different press models, the Mitsubishi DIAMONDSPIRIT was recognized as the best press to meet the publisher's demands. The fact that the Mitsubishi DIAMONDSPIRIT is the only 4 x 1 press in Japan being operated at 80,000 cph in daily operations helped sway the selection process as did Mitsubishi's proven state-of-the-art technologies.
The Mitsubishi DIAMONDSPIRIT presses for The Nishinippon Shimbun are rated at 80,000 cph with a cutoff of 541mm (21.3 in) and a web width of 1,626mm (64 in). Each press will be configured with two 4/4 tower printing units, three 2/1 tower printing units, one 2:2 double rotary folder and five reelstands. The presses will be operated by the Mitsubishi press control system with automated features that include highly accurate ink presetting with CTP interface, various press presetting, automatic webbing up, automatic dual web tension control, automatic color register control and DIAMOND EYE Jr. – the newly developed color quality defect detection system, which can be readily upgraded to the automatic closed-loop color control system "DIAMOND EYE" at any time. The plant will also be equipped with Mitsubishi's SPR (Splicing Preparation Robot) operating in conjunction with an AGV system for full automation of reel floor operations.