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Customer Case  | Printing Partners Paal Beringen , BELGIUM  | 20 May 2014

Printing Partners Paal Beringen

Polaris X - N94 VCF - Arkitex Cloud at Printing Partners Paal Beringen

Printing Partners Paal Beringen NV together with Printing Partners Brussels NV both operates in the Belgian group called “Coldset Printing Partners”. This industrial collaboration includes the printing of own newspaper titles and free local papers as well as coldset jobs for external customers.

Today, Printing Partners Paal Beringen, which represents an investment of about 62.5 million euros, is one of the best equipped in Benelux. Eight-time winner of the Ifra Colour Quality Award, Printing Partners Paal Beringen is in a class of its own.
The company prints 30 titles each week, which include 5 million newspapers. Six of the titles are dailies: Gazet van Antwerpen, Het Belang van Limburg, Metro, De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad and The Wall Street Journal Europe. The balance represents a variety of local papers and magazines.

Because of the variety, the complexity and the large number of files coming from the editorial sites in Hasselt, Antwerp and Brussels, the company decided to install the Arkitex workflow system. Printing Partners Paal Beringen wants to communicate in a flexible way with its customers; that is why PDF and TIFF/G4 files are used.

Once the pages have been transferred via the FTP flow, the data are managed by the Arkitex workflow system and sent to one of the four Polaris XTVS platesetters. After the plates have been imaged, they are punched on a Barenschee video punching system.

According to Mr. P. Huybrechts, CEO of Printing Partners Paal Beringen, the company chose the Polaris XTVS because of its reliability, productivity and the positive experience with Agfa Graphics as a systems supplier. "This is already the second generation of Polaris platesetters that we installed in our company."
"We used the Lithostar LAP-V silver plates of Agfa Graphics for several years, but mid 2010 we started testing the new Agfa chemical free plate, the N94-VCF, on one production line. Because of the positive results of these tests we decided to switch our complete production on N94-VCF plates by the end of that year" says Mr. Huybrechts.
"An important reason for this conversion is to make our production more sustainable in order to meet at the requirements of our ISO 14001 certificate.

But also the cleaner processing conditions that result in a reduced maintenance frequency of the plate processors."
"The four Polaris XTVS platesetters have a total capacity of 800 plates per hour. Out of 2250 plates per day, 450-550 are produced between 22 hrs and 23 hrs. Our yearly plate consumption is about 800,000 plates."

Printing Partners Paal Beringen reduced the distance between the Polaris XTVS platesetters and the printing presses so that the time gained in prepress with the automated CtP workflow would not be lost transporting plates to the presses.

The complete platemaking is driven by Arkitex. The page production part runs in the Agfa Cloud. The different Arkitex modules used here are Arkitex Portal, Arkitex OptiInk/IntelliTune and Arkitex Grafix RIP. The transmission of the ripped pages from the Cloud to our local print site is made by Arkitex Courier.
The plate production part runs on the local print site. Arkitex modules used at Printing Partners Paal-Beringen are Arkitex Producer, Arkitex Director and Arkitex Autoplan. The Dynamic Annotation function of Arkitex puts a barcode in the gripper of the plate. This ensures that the plates are sorted automatically in the plate sorter by print group, identifying what page goes where for which title and on what press. This eliminates costly and time-consuming errors.
Arkitex manages every step in the workflow. It generates log files that inform the operator about the status of every page, which plates have been imaged, and which still need to be output. Customers access Arkitex Portal through a straightforward, web-based user interface to upload files that will go through a sequence of processing steps. Online soft proofing and approval helps lower costs and speed production.

Agfa Graphics and EAE, the company responsible for press management and process control, developed an interface that enables automatic ink-key settings.
This results in a substantial reduction of the paper waste during startup.
Most of their newspapers are printed with the cross-modulated (XM) screening technology of Agfa Graphics with a raster frequency of 150 l/inch.

Printing Partners Paal Beringen prints on four coldset König & Bauer Commander presses. The presses print full-colour broadsheet pages with a maximum speed of 42000 rev./ hour. The page size is broadsheet (405 x 570 mm) or tabloid (285 x 405 mm).

About 10 trucks per day take care of the paper supply. From the main warehouse, paper rolls go to the conditioned pre-load room where a 1.5 day supply is stored. The EAE system reads the barcode data such as number, weight and type of paper of every paper roll. The unpacked rolls are automatically transported by the EAE system to the presses.
The mailroom equipped with Ferag transport systems and the pressroom are nearby on the ground level to facilitate shipping.

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