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Alma Manu: COLORMAN Autoprint Strengthens Market Position

Jun 28, 2013 12:00 AM


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Leading Finnish newspaper printer officially opens new production center in Tampere

“We are aiming to be the best service provider: in the printing, finishing and distribution of printed products.” A clear message from Managing Director Helvi Liukkaala at the official opening of the Alma Manu print center in Tampere on May 23, 2013. In order to meet this ambitious goal, the Finnish company will use a new COLORMAN autoprint from manroland web systems.

In April 2013, a new era began for Alma Manu in Tampere, Finland: the gradual relocation of newspaper production from the old premises was complete. Alma Manu has invested 70 million euros into the ground-breaking production complex, which includes a COLORMAN autoprint and other equipment. Printing of the first products started in January 2013, with the company now running off around 3.2 million newspapers each week. 1.6 million copies of these go to subscribers. Titles include Aamulehti, the second largest daily in Finland, as well as Kauppalehti and Iltalehti, both also major Finnish newspapers. 

Quicker, more efficient production
Three newspapers, which appear seven days a week, are printed simultaneously on the COLORMAN autoprint at Alma Manu. The system can thus be fully utilized during the day and, thanks to its high degree of automation, also produces smaller runs more cost-effectively. The COLORMAN autoprint was selected on the basis of its efficient operation and first-class printing quality, both in broadsheet and tabloid format. Klaus Streit, Regional Sales Manager at manroland web systems: “Alma Manu was looking for a solution that would optimally meet the requirements of its customers, i.e. its readers, the advertisers, and the print customers. The COLORMAN autoprint proved to be ideal for the required printing quality as well as ultra-quick job changes. The comprehensive AUROSYS installation also played an important role.” AUROSYS manages data logistics and the supply of paper to the COLORMAN autoprint. In autoprint mode, the printing process is fully automatic and manual intervention has been reduced to a minimum. Automation features include AutomaticPlateLoading APL, where all data for the new production is loaded at the same time, making the COLORMAN autoprint immediately ready for the next proof. A number of Inline Control systems automatically control the supply of dampening solution, the web tension, as well as the color register and ink density. This minimizes waste and ensures a steady production run.

“Ready and willing”
The state-of-the-art printing and finishing center represents the strategy set out by Alma Manu: to invest in a profitable publishing business while at the same time further developing its digital offering. Furthermore, these efficient new facilities have drawn new print and publishing clients into the Alma Media Group fold. With this investment, Alma Manu has taken up a superb competitive position compared to those with more outdated machinery, as Helvi Liukkaala, Managing Director of Alma Manu, explains “Printing companies with machines that are 25 to 30 years old will need to make investments soon.

We’ve just done it. In our opinion, not all printing companies will modernize and expand their capacity, but will outsource printed products to other businesses instead. We are ready and willing to take on these tasks with our superb production technology in rotary printing and finishing.”

More than newspapers
“We will actively sell our capacities and introduce new printed products to the market,” explains Liukkaala. In addition to newspapers, Alma Manu also offers commercial products that are in strong demand. “With our current production technology, we are in a position to inexpensively manufacture printed products in brilliant quality, on paper with greater whiteness.” The COLORMAN autoprint plays an important role here, combined with advanced finishing and the new mailroom lines. The Managing Director also sees potential in direct mailings, which is why a folding module has been integrated into the processing line.