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Press Release
ContiTech Sheds Light on the Future of
Newspaper Printing
Around 50 European printing experts at ContiTech in Northeim  Focus on the prospects of modern newspaper production  New strategies in response to growing shares held by digital media
Northeim, July 2013. Newspapers and digital media will continue to exist
side by side in the future. This was the conclusion drawn by the some 50
specialists from the international printing industry that ContiTech Elastomer
Coatings invited to the printing blanket symposium in Northeim. One point
of focus was the future of newspaper printing in the digital era with devices
such as the iPad and other pioneering technologies. In the talks given by
high-caliber guests and the lively discussions, everything revolved around
the question: What prospects are available to modern newspaper production in light of the growing market shares held by digital media?
"Our conclusion is that newspapers will keep their place in the media world
in the years to come. Newspaper printing companies will continue to be
successful and to work economically if they embrace innovative ideas and
new approaches," said Markus Gnass, head of the Metal Back Blankets
unit at ContiTech Elastomer Coatings, summing up the outcome of the
event. In the participants' view, although electronic media are gaining
ground worldwide and will displace a certain share of the market currently
held by traditional printed products in the Western industrial nations, they
will by no means completely supersede printed products in the coming
years but rather complement them. "Publishers need to see themselves as
service providers for their customers and not purely as information mediums. Only by offering their customers added value and exhausting all opportunities will they be able to maintain their share of the industry in the
future. As a strong partner to the printing industry, we are actively supporting our customers," stressed Markus Gnass.
The presentations given by reputable speakers showcased the types of
creative ideas that the industry can implement in response to this challenge.
Innovative products as strong brands
Manfred Werfel from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) kicked off the event. His talk focused on innovative
products in newspaper printing, and he presented a number of practical
examples that have seen success, including the Brazilian daily newspaper
Correio de Bahia, which reinvented itself with a complete redesign and employed unusual marketing campaigns to almost triple the paid circulation
figures and its share of young readers within just three years. The Allgäuer
Zeitung established a foothold as a local brand with campaigns under the
name of Griaß di', which had a powerful impact on the market. The German
daily newspaper has a well-designed online participatory portal for
Griaß di', publishes a free monthly magazine of the same name, hosts
events from Oktoberfest to Hüttengaudi under the brand name, and markets brand products ranging from baby socks and Seppelhüte (traditional
Bavarian hats) to six-packs of beer with a matching mug under the label.
Interesting technical solutions including formats such as half cover or flying
page, open up or bottom down, or even super panoramas are another way
for printing companies to reposition themselves in the market. Unusual advertising methods such as adhesive advertising posters or booklets with
discount coupons are ideas that could respark interest among advertising
customers and consumers alike. In his conclusion, Manfred Werfel argued
that there is one thing that makes newspapers virtually unbeatable: You
can take them with you wherever you go and read them anytime and anywhere in the world.
Economic efficiency and quality go hand in hand
Economic efficiency in modern newspaper printing from the preliminary
stage through to printing was the topic handled by Oswald Grütter, Owner
of the Swiss consultancy firm quality&more. He explained that the name of
-3the game is perfect quality assurance and process excellence. "The goodquality appearance of a newspaper does not start with printing. In fact, it
starts a lot earlier with good photography and suitable editing for the subject. A modern layout must be aligned to the process, the printing ink, and
the format. Separation must be tailored to the process used." In order to
meet the requirements of their customers, printing companies need to master all of their processes perfectly at each stage of production and produce
high-quality and cost-efficient publications. This includes standardizing
work processes just as much as standardizing all output systems. Economic efficiency and quality without doubt go hand in hand, summarized Oswald Grütter. And it is his argument that both must be achieved through
hard work. "However, it is not the technology itself that determines the quality but rather the employees who operate the technology. And economic
efficiency is achieved through excellent communication. He left the forum
with the parting words that "this is a task for management".
"Green" production saves energy and resources
The topic of energy savings potential in the newspaper printing industry
was addressed by Manfred Janssens, production manager at EPC – one of
the most cutting-edge printing companies in Europe with its headquarters in
Lokeren, Belgium. The company uses "green" newspaper production techniques. With its waterless printing process and new technology, internal
optimization measures, and the further industrialization of its processes, the
company has achieved huge savings on its water and energy costs. For
example, cooling of the printing machines using compressors, pumps, and
towers will be replaced by free cooling in a cooling tower – outside temperatures permitting. The air conditioning systems in the rotation hall were
significantly down-regulated after switching to direct cooling, and water
from a lake is being used instead of fresh water. Further savings on
maintenance costs as well as on the consumption of water, energy, and
cleaning substances were achieved through waterless printing. "Waterless
printing represents a new standard of printing and offers outstanding benefits and perfect printing quality," summarized Manfred Janssens.
-4Flexible mailroom technology
Mailroom technology was the topic of focus for Hans Leuenberger from
Müller Martini Druckverarbeitungs-Systeme AG with its headquarters in
Zofingen, Switzerland. "Newspapers not only offer an unparalleled mix of
information and entertainment and constitute an ideal advertising medium,
but they are also a masterstroke of logistics – current, punctual, and updated every single day. Ensuring that this runs smoothly requires flexible systems for printing, processing, and logistics," said the speaker. Intelligent
newspaper mailroom systems cover process development from rotation to
the loading bay, solutions for target-group-specific zoning, systems for finishing and designing semi-commercials, and a comprehensive investment
protection and professional life cycle management program. "Long-term
economic efficiency, productivity, and quality are vital factors here. Modular
systems provide flexibility and offer optimal investment protection," concluded the logistics expert.
Creative advertising formats
Klaus Schmidt from printing machine manufacturer Koenig & Bauer gave a
talk on new opportunities for the printed newspaper in a changing media
world. He postulated that newspapers have a high acceptance in local and
regional environments and that the high credibility and sustainability of
printed advertising is proven, but that both must come across as a brand in
terms of content and visual appearance. "The newspaper industry needs
new, bold advertising formats," commented the marketing specialist. An
example would be the advertising supplement "Give me 5" by Main-Post,
Würzburg – the first of its kind in the world with five advertising formats in
one supplement. By folding, gluing, and perforating, three panorama pages
were combined with two zips designed to be ripped open. "Using this level
of creativity, printed media can secure additional brand advertising," said
Klaus Schmidt with conviction. "Newspaper presses thus increasingly come
equipped with special features for stapling, gluing, super panorama, threefolding, half cover, and zip 'n' buy."
High-quality products
-5Concluding the series of talks, Markus Gnass presented some of the extraordinary services that modern newspaper printing can offer. The head of
the Metal Back Blankets unit at ContiTech Elastomer Coatings unveiled a
newspaper that had been produced especially for the event and offers a
considerably higher standard of quality than traditional publications.
METALBACKNEWS, produced using a waterless coldset printing process,
was printed on high-quality paper and coated. It was printed using a KBA
Cortina at Freiburger Druck – equipped with metal back blankets from ContiTech. "We at ContiTech are also making our own contribution to the
changing requirements within the newspaper printing industry and our new,
high-quality products are providing the ideal transfer media for superior
printouts with optimal feeding characteristics," affirmed Markus Gnass.
ContiTech backs environmental project
Innovative ideas and high-quality products were not the only topics of focus
at the event. The topic of sustainability and nature preservation was also
addressed, with ContiTech launching a new campaign in support of the
Northeimer Mittelwald environmental project. In the spring of 2014, the proceeds from a Europe-wide recycling campaign will be used to plant trees in
the Northeimer Mittelwald. "As an important local employer, we are facing
up to our responsibility to society and the environment and are making a
contribution to voluntary and sustained climate protection in Germany,"
explained Dr. Thomas Perković, head of the Printing Blankets segment at
ContiTech Elastomer Coatings.
Visit to ContiTech in Northeim: Experts from the international printing industry discussed the future of modern newspaper production in the iPad era.
In his presentation, Markus Gnass, head of the Metal Back Blankets unit at
ContiTech Elastomer Coatings, unveiled a newspaper that had been produced especially for the event and offers a considerably higher standard of
quality than usual.
Manfred Werfel from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) gave illustrative examples of successful and innovative
products in the newspaper printing industry.
Printing experts from all over Europe attended the talks given by highcaliber guests at the printing blanket symposium held at ContiTech Elastomer Coatings in Northeim.
In the lively discussions, everything revolved around the question: What
prospects are available to modern newspaper production in light of the
growing market shares held by digital media? (Left: Dr. Stefan Kull, director
R&D Europe, Kodak Graphic Communications GmbH. Right: Jan Jungmann, head of Printing Blanket Research and Development, ContiTech
Elastomer Coatings.)
Photos: ContiTech
-7With sales of €32.7 billion in 2012, Continental is among the leading automotive
suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for
powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving
safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately
173,000 employees in 46 countries.
The ContiTech division numbers among the leading suppliers of a host of technical
rubber products and is a specialist for plastics technology. The division develops
and produces functional parts, components and systems for the automotive industry and other important industries. ContiTech has a workforce of approximately
28,000 employees. In 2012, it achieved sales of about €3.7 billion.
Editorial inquiries to
Mario Töpfer
Head of Technical Media Relations
ContiTech AG
Vahrenwalder Strasse 9
D-30165 Hanover, Germany
Phone +49 511 938-1304
Fax +49 511 938-1305
[email protected]
Dirk Kroll
Head of Communications
Elastomer Coatings
ContiTech AG
Vahrenwalder Straße 9
D-30165 Hannover
Phone +49 511 938-14021
Fax +49 511 938-14025
[email protected]
Press releases and photos are available on the Web at
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