Blue Star in $12m heatset investment

Blue Star Group plans to invest a weighty $12m into a fresh manroland printing kit in a bid to boost its existing fleet of heatset web offset presses.

The division of parent company IVE will pour $12m into a new heatset manroland Rotoman DirectDrive press, a move Blue Star says will significantly increase automation, productivity and quality.

The move for a new press comes just as rivals IPMG and PMP look to merge, which will result in older web press technology being decommissioned.

The new technology investment will be housed at Blue Star’s Web division, and once installed will begin pumping out jobs from Blue Star’s biggest clients – including some of the country’s leading mastheads.

General manager for Blue Star Web Darryl Meyer says the addition to Blue Star’s heatset fleet is a sign of the group’s commitment to working smarter and harder for its customers.

“For us the installation is about working smarter and investing in the newest technology that allows us to be more operationally efficient for our customers,” says Meyer.

“We produce product of the highest quality which has enabled us to continuously expand our market offer with new technology to stay at the top of our industry. We are well positioned to provide our customers further benefits with higher quality and flexible production timelines.”

[Related: Blue Star makes biggest Xerox installation

The Rotoman DirectDrive press will arrive at Blue Star Web’s factory late next year, and Meyer says it will start printing in October or November after a lengthy installation process. The press replaces an older manroland Polyman machine, and adds to Blue Star’s existing three manroland presses.

According to manroland managing director Steve Dunwell, the Rotoman DirectDrive press was engineered around Blue Star’s exact printing needs, its automation features ensuring an uninterrupted production process for Blue Star’s non-stop factory floor.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Blue Star Web on this project. Blue Star Web is always one step ahead and the new Rotoman DirectDrive press from manroland contains the most advanced automation and operating systems of any 16pp press in Australia, allowing them to do just that,” says Dunwell.

“The new Rotoman press was designed around Blue Star Web’s specific requirements to meet the needs of a highly demanding and productive business. An array of automation features enable non-stop make-readies, low start-up waste utilising full Autoprint functionality and exceptional high output speed to deliver world class operational performance.”

The $12m investment comes after Blue Star’s ten-colour UV Heidelberg installation earlier this year, the first investment of its kind in Australasia

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