Following the recent acquisition of the printing division of Natal Witness, Paarl Media has made further substantial investments into the upgrade and improvement of the existing printing facility in Pietermaritzburg. These investments see a significant increase in the capacity of Paarl Coldset Pietermaritzburg and introduce a high degree of automation through added technology.
Since acquiring the coldset printing facility in 2012, Paarl Media has undertaken projects totaling into a capital investment of R107 million. The upgrade to Paarl Coldset Pietermaritzburg has greatly improved working conditions and operational efficiency.
Paarl Media CEO, Stephen van der Walt stated: “We are confident our investment will benefit the existing and potential clients of Paarl Coldset Pietermaritzburg and foresee a positive impact on the community in which it operates, through additional employment.”
A new manroland Cromoman press is being commissioned at Paarl Coldset Pietermaritzburg, which will significantly increase the capacity of the existing plant. An automated mailroom system from Muller Martini is being installed to ensure greater efficiency and more potential variables to clients in the finishing department. Substantial additions and renovations have completely transformed the building, production and office environment at this plant.
According to van der Walt the greatest challenge was to ensure that client requirements were absolutely adhered to during the building extension projects and the commissioning of the new press and mailroom equipment. He also stated that the management and production teams at the plant have been expanded. “This is to ensure better control of the business to accommodate the increased production requirements. Thanks to the expansion of the operations we were able to increase the staff compliment significantly. The expanded operations will also require additional services and labour from the surrounding community”.
“The facility has been upgraded to the latest in health and safety standards. The plant received an ISO 9001 certification which demonstrates the high level of efficiency and effectiveness of our operations there,” says Conrad Rademeyer, Managing Director of Paarl Coldset.
Other improvements include: New prepress software which manages page flows from publishers to print, new plate lines that double the speed of the existing ones. The installation of a world class maintenance and production system and the introduction of greater generator capacity to ensure zero down-time.
Rademeyer commented: “As an organisation Paarl Coldset is fully committed to growing the print industry in South Africa. This is reflected through the capital investment in Paarl Coldset Pietermaritzburg. We are also focusing on the expansion of Paarl Coldset’s business offering in the rest of South Africa”.