Blue Star opens Huntingwood site

IVE-owned Blue Star Group has officially opened its Franklin Web NSW site in Huntingwood, in Sydney’s west, the biggest investment in Australian print in recent memory.

Completed across the short timeline of 144 days of construction, work on the web offset print facility started production in October 2017 with the final phase now completed with the commissioning of the second 80 page manroland Lithoman press. IVE now has world-class catalogue production plants in both Melbourne and Sydney.

Franklin Web hosted clients and members of the industry to tour through the site yesterday, and pointed to its high levels of automation. Despite going through some four tonnes of ink per day, the factory is typically staffed by less than 20 people, with most repetitive manual labour now completed by robots, and quality control measures handled through software. All prepress for the facility is completed off-site, with the digital plate files then sent over, with IVE calling it a true “lights-out” print site.

To ensure production from the two 80 page Lithoman presses is not limited by finishing bottlenecks, IVE has installed a Muller Martini Corona binding line, capable of handling 15,000 cycles per hour, along with two Rima log stackers, supplied through Graph Pak.

The Huntingwood site is designed with catalogues in mind, but is also built for large-run magazine production.

Warwick Hay, managing director, IVE Group says, “The new Huntingwood plant’s capacity, when combined with Franklin Web’s site in Melbourne, gives us the production flexibility to meet customer demands across the nation.

“IVE Group has invested $50 million building the new production facility to support our customers  as catalogues are proven to be Australia’s most effective media channel.

“Franklin Web is the cornerstone to our expansion into the catalogue market. The final phase of the project delivers a competitive advantage for our customers and expands our world-class operation, future-proofing the business.”

Spearheading production are two new Manroland 80-page Lithoman presses, the first of which was commissioned in October last year. The second press has now been installed delivering unrivalled capacity to the company’s NSW and QLD customers.

The colossal Lithoman presses are an example of first-class engineering and high-tech automation, as seen by Australian Printer first hand. Franklin Web says the presses’ specifications ensure greater quality control and faster speed to market, and that with two identical presses in Melbourne, customers can be assured of consistent production in speed, colour and quality.

Darryl Meyer, group general manager, Web Offset says “The grand opening of the Franklin Web NSW plant is a momentous occasion. We have worked closely with our contractors over the past few months to put the finishing touches to the site. The result is a contemporary, clean and bright manufacturing plant that employs the latest technology from some of the world’s most respected suppliers. Huntingwood is a prime showcase of world-class, high-tech printing.”


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