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Industry focus on Archant's innovative print plant

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Thirty executives from the world of newspaper printing visited Archant’s print plant at Thorpe St Andrew near Norwich last week for an insight into the innovative printing methods used within the group.

The event was organised by industry trade publication PJ (Production Journal) in association with the Web Offset Newspaper Association (WONA) and Archant Print.

Delegates attended from newspaper publishing and print plants across the UK with both large groups and small independent printers represented. Delegates came from as far north as Dumfriesshire and as far west as Belfast.

PJ editor and publisher Gary Cullum, who is also the Newspaper Society’s technical advisor, said: “WONA has been providing valuable industry networking opportunities since the early 1960s when web offset printing was in its infancy. It continues to get like-minded groups together for seminars and site visits and to learn from shared experiences.”

After a welcome from Archant Print managing director and group operations director Nick Schiller, the seminar, was chaired by director of print Clive Want who spoke of some of the group’s print initiatives and introduced members of the print team who provided an insight into the total operation.

The event was designed especially to help the regional press and Archant has been particularly successful in saving money while not compromising on quality. Under the theme of “Getting the most out of your existing press” the seminar programme covered a number of topics, including new software which enables the press to automatically go into good copy when ready, automatically stops the press when the desired number of copies have been printed, automatic page positioning control, improved registration through image repositioning, automatic on press registration recognition, presetting the correct amount of ink for start up, FM screen profiling for improved image detail, ink mileage measurement and health and safety improvements.

Clive said: “We were delighted to open our doors and show our industry colleagues just how far the regional newspaper press has come with some fantastic creative ideas our people have implemented. It just proves what can be achieved when people work together, and where people feel they can share their ideas and see these ideas turned into reality. Some of the creations our people have come up with were very low cost but have saved tens of thousands of pounds as well as time and making the job easier and improving overall quality. “This seminar has also meant we’ve learnt from others attending as we were able to discuss similar problems and learn how they have overcome them. We have already set dates to visit other regional and national print centres as a direct result of this seminar which can only once again be of benefit to all.

After the seminar, delegates stayed nearby at the Marriott Sprowston Manor Hotel where the group carried on discussion over dinner.

Full event coverage will be published in the January issue of PJ and on the new PJ website at

Pictured above are delegates being shown around the Archant Print Centre by director of print Clive Want.

© Archant Ltd 2013