“Read all about it!“ – New belt hot off the press

Habasit’s Regional Service Centre – North West located in Warrington experienced newspaper industry deadlines first hand when they worked at News International in Knowsley.

Working between 7.30am and 5.00pm on seven separate site visits members of Habasit’s Regional Service Team replaced eight conveyor belts used in the production of The Sun newspaper. The belts were originally fitted by Habasit ca. 10 years ago and needed replacing due to wear and tear.

But this was no ordinary job. The eight PVC belts are each over 25 m long, ca. 1.5 m wide and used as high-level waste systems located 8 m from the ground!

So it was a case of ‘working at height’ and to a tight deadline. “The newspaper presses have to be up and running every day at 5.00pm,” explains Habasit’s Steve Caveney. “We had to ensure the customer was confident the newspapers would get printed and out to the newsagents in time following each of our site visits.”

During this experience, Habasit also discovered the real meaning of the term ‘hot off the press’ – it takes the newspaper press about 20 minutes to cool down after printing. And accessing the belts was not easy. As well as the height issue the conveyors are in very deep troughs making joining the belts difficult.

“However, the conveyors are designed as sturdy walkways and we used mobile access equipment, such as a Genie articulated boom on wheels with basket, to access the press and trestles,” says Steve. “Luckily, I’m not afraid of heights and it’s a job that won’t need repeating for at least another 10 years.”

The Habasit light conveyor belts at Knowsley play a key role in News International’s massive print capacity of 430,000 of a 120-page tabloid newspaper every hour. The belts are used in several key industry segments, including distribution centres, loading, unloading and sorting and supermarket check-outs. Special features include: anti-glare, anti-static and low noise application suitability.

Knowsley is part of a news printers’ network offering print and distribution solutions for national and local newspapers. Habasit’s conveyor belts support the 19 triple-width Manroland Colourman presses which provide unparalleled production speed and pagination options. The presses offer Broadsheet pagination (12 to 60 pages) and tabloid pagination (16 up to 120 pages) and the capability to give publishers the scope and flexibility they need in an ever-changing market. (LC)

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