The Mitsubishi installations are a part of the five press order, announced by the leading daily earlier, in the year 2013. The first Mitsubishi was deployed at its Kozhikode unit, with the remaining two being slated for installation by the end of the next quarter at Kollam, Kerala.
More for less with new Mitsubishi
The SA 4x1 is lighter and more energy efficient than the conventional DiamondSpirit. With lesser automation, the system is claimed to be more economical. “It is 30% lighter in weight and consumes 30% lower energy,” said George Jacob, executive director, Malayala Manorama in its press release. Rated at 75,000 copies per hour with a printing capacity of 40 broadsheet pages, the new SA 4x1 is designed for the Asian (especially Indian) market demand for a single-circumference double-width faster but cheaper press.
Manorama prints on 1,400mm wide reels with a 546mm print cut-off. The SA 4x1 presses are configured with five reel stands, four 4-Hi towers for printing 32 broadsheet pages in full-color, and another eight pages in black and white on a mono tower. It can print four sections simultaneously, with two balloon formers, so that the main edition and three supplements can be produced at once at the single folder with double formers.
The new press can print on 42gsm newsprint, even in four-page broadsheet supplements together with the main paper. These can also be printed in tabloid format. With these features, the new printline addresses all the current requirements of Manorama – adding capacity, adding colour pages, and eliminating inserting.
Manorama’s new-gen mailroom system
The printed newspapers and supplements will be evacuated to the mailroom, bundled, wrapped, labeled and strapped, by the Muller Martini single-gripper NewsGrips systems, deployed at all its three units in Kerala.
"Malayala Manorama opted for the solution from Muller Martini owing to financial and technical feasibility,” said Mammen Mathew, Manorama’s chief editor, in an exclusive interview with PrintWeek India. “We calculated the total cost of ownership of all the proposals we received and Muller Martini stood first. The maximum speed of 90,000 cycles per hour for the mailroom exceeds that of our new printing press by 15,000 copies. This means the mailroom system is not producing at its highest capacity, which lowers the maintenance cost and increases its economic life-time,” he added.
In addition to the good after-sales support by Muller Martini India, Manorama also received a feedback for the new solution from another Indian Muller Martini customer. “I enquired at The Hindu about their experiences with the Muller Martini systems and heard only positive reviews from them.”
“Printed newspapers continue to be the main source of our company's revenue and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future,” said Mathew.
Malayala Manorama produces 3,50,000 copies of its 40-page broadsheet daily at Kottayam in 12 editions – nine editions for the Kottayam district and three editions for the Idukki district. Established 126 years ago, the newspaper registers a readership of 99.12 lakh with a print circulation exceeding 2.3 million copies, the highest among the Malyalam dailies.