QuadTech strikes gold at Ballarat

Sussex, WI--September 2007--The old gold mining town of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia has certainly proven to be a rich vein for QuadTech®, the newspaper press controls specialist, which has installed the QuadTech® Register Guidance System with MultiCam® on a nine tower MAN Roland Uniset 75 pressline at the local Ballarat Courier newspaper production facility.

The installation marks one of the most extensive retro-fit projects on a single width pressline in Australia and continues the successful relationship between QuadTech (supplied and installed by local agents, Plunkett & Johnson) and the Rural Press newspaper group (now part of Fairfax Media) of which Ballarat is one of the largest sites.

The installation is significant, not just because of its size but also because the site had previously been running another register control system. However, the demand for more and higher quality color pages, faster start-ups and reduced waste prompted the site to investigate upgrading its register control to a more comprehensive system (the previous system controlled only the top and bottom cylinders on each tower) capable of managing the entire pressline.

The resulting choice was the QuadTech Register Guidance System with MultiCam integrated through the latest ICON™ platform, enabling the whole pressline to be controlled from a single console. According to Michael Condon, manager of Rural Press Printing Ballarat, the QuadTech system was chosen because of its ease of installation, the back-up service in Australia and its cost competitiveness. QuadTech already had a history of working with Rural Press on a number of different sites so the technology, although new, was already familiar to the operators.

Since its installation, the QuadTech system has been proven to be directly responsible for a 1 percent reduction in operating waste, a significant amount at such a large site. Start-ups have been faster with less spoilage, saving both consumables and time, and productivity has improved as a result of having one less variable to worry about on the press.

“We certainly noticed a big savings in waste and those savings are worth a great deal to our bottom line,” said Condon. “The QuadTech technology is a much quicker system. It locks in much faster so the press operators have more time on the press to get their color right.”

The MultiCam camera offers a number of benefits over comparable systems such as the smallest ‘white space’ requirements on the page, fast searching and tracking of the dots, and reduced maintenance. The integrated ICON operating platform also makes it easy to maintain control over the entire system via a single easy-to-use interface. “The camera system is fantastic,” said Michael Condon.

In addition to the six-day-a-week Courier, the site also prints a wide range of other local and regional newspapers including the Geelong Advertiser, Bendigo Advertiser and Wimmera Mail-Times, as well as a range coldset commercial and contract work including the Melbourne Trading Post, Inpress magazine and Beat magazine. According to Michael Condon, since switching to the QuadTech system, clients have noticed the difference in quality and have commented on the fact that pictures appear much sharper.

“Customers can see their registration holds much better throughout the runs and as a result we are able to offer the system as a selling point to them,” he commented.

Staff morale has also improved following the installation as a result of not having to worry about achieving and maintaining register during a print run and freeing up resources to focus on other critical tasks.

About BALDWIN | Vision Systems (formerly QuadTech)

BALDWIN’s Vision Systems division is the world’s leading innovator of advanced color and inspection technology for the printing industry. BALDWIN | Vision Systems sells its automated control systems in more than 100 countries to the packaging and converting markets, web offset newspaper and commercial markets, and publication gravure market. BALDWIN maintains a worldwide network of sales and service operations, and is privately owned by BW Forsyth Partner, the investment arm of multi-billion dollar global manufacturing and engineering consulting firm Barry-Wehmiller.


Craig Du Mez, BALDWIN | Vision Systems
Phone: +1 414 566 7500
Email: craig.dumez@quadtechworld.com

Clare Porter, Bespoke
Phone: +44 (0) 1737 215200
Email: quadtech@bespoke.co.uk