Both the Paarl Media Group and Cerutti organisations announced the acquisition by the Paarl Media Group of a Cerutti publication gravure Aurora press at the annual meeting of the European Rotogravure Association in Munich, Germany, this week.
In a move shadowing the evolution of the print media industry, Cerutti has promised a full production date of 01 September 2012. Given the logistics around this three storey, 400 ton press, this will be an amazing achievement.
Given that the R3.5bn recapitalisation of the Paarl Media Group over the last three years has been centered around web offset technology, the question can be fairly asked as to why a R150m investment in new publication gravure technology.
The first explanation is as follows: the support of the South African retail market of the print industry in both their local and Sub-Saharan African ventures has been stupendous. This industry deserves an investment from a South African printer to support their requirements. The latest publication gravure press available in South Africa is a previous generation model housed by the Paarl Media Group at Paarl Media Cape. It was commissioned in 1996. All other publication gravure presses in South Africa are more than two decades and two generations old. This acquisition by the Paarl Media Group takes South Africa to the forefront of technology in as much as quality, lead times and formats are concerned. The technology is so new, it is only the second press of its kind to be commissioned in the world.
In the second instance the Aurora press offers a 21 % increase in production speed, taking output to 3.5 million pages per hour. Energy consumption is down 12 %, waste saving is registered at 33 % and change-over speed is accelerated by 50 %. Just what the industry needs to curb costs, be first to market and to remain relevant.
The acquisition takes the publication gravure capacity of Paarl Media Cape to 54 000 tons. This is represented by 12 000 formats made possible by 1400 cylinders.
This is an unwavering support of the Paarl Media Group of the retail, catalogue and weekly magazine market. Idle rhetoric and presentations on retail is not what the market requires, but what is required is an investment into the future. The Paarl Media Group has placed its confidence in its clients with this R150m investment and would like to thank its clients for making this possible.
This project is combined with Paarl Media Cape’s soon to be implemented steam generation project. This project will see Paarl Media Cape being carbon negative through steam generation and will deliver printing that is more efficient in terms of production, as well as being more environmentally sustainable. “Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important from both a green perspective as well as in response to rising Eskom costs for power. Our R160m investment in this steam generation project will allow our clients to meet both objectives” notes Christoff Botha, Managing Director of Paarl Media Cape.