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Blue Star logs on with Rima

Friday, 07 September 2018
By Patrick Howard

Blue Star’s presiding technocrat, Darryl Meyer oversaw the Rima installation.

Australia’s most significant post-press web printing installation in a decade cements Rima’s dominance of the sector. The yearlong installation of state-of-the-art finishing and automated technology at IVE Group’s Sydney printing sites proved to be a definite win for Tom Ralph’s Graph-Pak.

Blue Star’s decision to refresh its manroland high-speed web presses in Sydney sparked a campaign to reequip the finishing department with the latest log stacking, trimming and palletizing equipment from German company, Rima. The new post press equipment represents the biggest investment Blue Star Web has made in its finishing area for some time and encompasses not only the Silverwater site but also the new Huntingwood green-field catalogue production factory. Five Rima RS610 post press lines and palletisers, along with new high speed rotary trimmers and log stackers ensures the two sites are among the most automated production facilities in the country.

According to Darryl Meyer, group general manager web offset at Blue Star Web the upgrade came about when the company replaced its original manroland Polyman with a new Rotoman. “We took the decision then to completely automate our bindery at the same time. Rima has been a Blue Star partner for many years, and during the course of our technology evaluation it became clear that the Rima technology was the best fit for our post press requirements,” he said.

“Also important was the service and support from Rima and local supplier Graph-Pak. The Blue Star Web site has five heatset presses running 24 hours a day, three manroland webs and two Goss lines, so we need to know our equipment supplier has the service levels to support our operation, which Graph-Pak has proved it has.”

Tom Ralph, owner of Graph-Pak, says Rima provided a lot of support right throughout the installation. Axel Tuebke, the German-based owner of Rima, along with Jacky Ng, its Asia director, came to Australia in the early part of the sales process. A good mix of nationalities among the installing engineers over the 12 months reflects the group’s international status. Rima has manufacturing facilities in Germany and the USA and both sent members of their installation teams to support Graph-Pak’s own support staff to ensure the installation went ahead smoothly and on time.

Improved performance throughout

Now that the five lines are up and running, Blue Star is already reaping the benefits in every part of the production process.

“Rima gives us the reliability and flexibility we need. We worked with the company to design the workflow concepts for the log stackers, palletisers and rotary trimmers. The aim’s been to create seamless performance in the collation of the magazines from white reel, through printing and post press. The new post press solutions from Rima have enabled us to achieve this. We’re seeing the increase quality in our internal performance, and have less downtime and less engineering demand. Uptime performance of our post press operation is increasing. Press performances have increased and press stoppages have decreased.

“We actually installed five Rima log stackers; three in Blue Star Web and two in the new Franklin Web facility in Huntingwood. We’ve transferred some long run magazines from Silverwater to Huntingwood as that plant is more suited to that type of work.”

The new Franklin site at Huntingwood runs two 80pp manroland Lithoman presses, feeding into the Rima log stackers.

Blue Star Web produces everything in house. As well as the five heatset presses it has a new ten-colour low energy UV Heidelberg sheetfed press to produce covers, and has its own saddle stitch and perfect binding lines. Blue Star Web is part of the publicly owned diversified IVE business.

Tom Ralph’s relationship with Rima stretches back over 17 years to the time when he was working with Edward Keller. When he formed Graph-Pak in 2005 the equipment brand proved a natural fit. Since then Rima and Graph-Pak have won most of the web finishing equipment contracts in Australia and New Zealand. The IVE Group installation is a typical example, with Rima replacing another brand’s finishing equipment.

“I believe this is the largest post press installation in the country in the past ten years,’ says Ralph. “We brought in fifteen forty-foot containers and used 450 meters of conveyor rollers in the process. We’ve a very good relationship with both IVE Group and with Rima. It’s a great match,” he said.




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