Going green: Dainik Bhaskar, ABP Publication and Amar Ujala

The possibility of waste is a very real scenario in a newspaper production. There are so many different cogs to the wheel of newspaper printing, from newsprint to ink to colour registration to glues to plates to the machines themselves, that at every stage there occurs possibility of losses. To top it, there are the issues of the environment, from deforestation due to newsprint to dangers of pollution from hazardous chemicals used in inks. Within this complex scenario, what are the newspaper hou

13 Nov 2014 | By Rahul Kumar

The newspaper printing industry the world over is going through a critical phase and all the big players have resorted to every possible cost reduction initiatives. “Toeing the line, we at Dainik Bhaskar Group have also initiated various cost-saving measures to make ourselves as lean as possible as an organisation,” says Dinesh Sharma, associate vice-president, DB Corp.
In this cost-saving initiative, the prime focus remains the newsprint, the most expensive component (about 50% of total production cost) of newspaper printing. “It being a big ticket item, there has been a great amount of focus right through the process, from handling of newsprints from the mills to final production,” says Sharma. The group works closely with all stakeholders in the process to ensure that the newsprint rolls are handled carefully until they are delivered at plants for production as per pre-defined standard operating procedures (SOPs). “During the course of production too, utmost care is taken so that the layer waste and print waste is contained to a minimum,” he adds.
To make this happen, the group has taken several initiatives. There is a special monitoring team responsible for newsprint waste reduction at all 51 print locations of Dainik Bhaskar. All SOPs are followed during loading and unloading and subsequent handling on the production floor. “On the presses, we adopt best industry practices to keep the cold and warm start up wastages to its lowest level. We have been able to achieve the desired results by standardising our inputs. We also offer continuous training to our press crew,” Sharma says. “We have also improved the floor condition of the warehouses and production halls, wherever needed.”
For the ABP Publication, whose Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika is published from three locations, Kolkata, New Delhi and Mumbai, one of the initiatives on newsprint waste control is the reduction in double handling of newsprint reels. “Earlier, from containers, newsprints would go to outside warehouses, and later, would be transported to in-house warehouses for storing,” says Snehasis Roy of ABP Publication. “Now, it is transferred from container to in-house warehouse directly.” The group also removes only two to three layers of top sheet to makeready for production (average 500gm/MT).
Other waste control initiatives from the publishers of the largest circulated single-edition regional daily in India include reduction of core-end diametre by precision control, core plug removal after strengthening the core pipe, auto blanket wash on the fly on required individual towers only, image-based automation in cut off control to help reduction of start-up wastage, reduction of cut-off from 546 mm to 533 mm and pre-inking programme to quick start-up.
For cost reduction, Amar Ujala, publisher of the country’s fourth largest Hindi-language daily of the same name, uses low gsm newsprint. “We use 42gsm newsprints in several imported as well as recycled brands. This reduces waste and also is environment-friendly,” says Atul Kumar Goel, assistant general manager, production, Amar Ujala. The company also uses indigenous newsprints to the maximum. “Amar Ujala uses approximately 90% of indigenous newsprint, as virgin newsprint directly effects deforestation. This is also a big saving for the group,” Goel says.
After newsprint, printing ink has the biggest share in the production operational expenditure. “We keep a close watch on its optimum consumption. We ensure that there is no wastage of ink,” says Sharma. A dedicated team ensures that every last gram of ink in the bucket is used for printing. “Ink mileages are regularly monitored. We have also installed ink saving applications which helps reduce consumption without any compromise on print quality,” he adds.
ABP Publication too has taken several measures to reduce ink consumption and waste. These include colour management software to standardise and reduce ink consumption. “FM Screen instead of AM reduces total ink consumption,” says Roy. The company has also focused on reducing TIC (total ink coverage). “Profile management (customised open profile), and also, use of high solid and high strength to reduce ink film thickness reduces ink consumption,” he adds.
Other ink reduction methods are PCC-grade virgin newsprint, which reduces the porosity, thereby reducing ink consumption and less aggressive neutral pH fountain solution, which reduces ink consumption by reducing emulsification.
Sharma says over a period of time, Dainik Bhaskar has standardised all the consumables that has not only enabled the group run its operations error-free but also has yielded very good mileages, thereby reducing consumptions.
In cost-saving measures concerning plates, ABP Publication has initiated reduction of plate size against image width. It also uses local chemical or chemical-free plates.
Power contributes close to 15% of the operating cost, assuming a significant cost reduction opportunity. “Besides, it also helps us conserve energy in the larger interest of society and nation on the whole because power saved is power produced,” says Sharma.
For this, Dainik Bhaskar, which publishes daily newspapers in four languages, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and English, has introduced several measures. The group has installed LED lights at all new plants built in the last two years. “Recently, we replaced all the lights in our Bhopal office with LED, which has resulted in 30% energy saving,” Sharma says. The company has also installed Ambiators for KBA presses in place of air-conditioning. This has resulted in saving 50% of energy. “We have saved more than one million units of power in the last one year at our Jaipur and Ahmadabad presses,” he says.
While they have deployed motion and occupancy sensors in cabins to switch off lights and AC when the cabin is vacant, they are also recycling RO waste water in toilets, and the toilet waste water is used for gardening after treatment. The group conducts energy audits of offices and presses by an external agency to identify opportunity areas and improvement. “We have saved more than 15% energy after the energy audit at our Bhopal office,” Sharma says. The company has also migrated to VDI environments in the newsroom and offices and have also improved power factor using latest technology, reducing power consumption and system losses. “We are working towards usage of solar energy to save on cost and become environment-friendly,” Sharma adds.
Optimising presses
According to Atul Kumar Goel of Amar Ujala, using webs with high mileage (bigger size) is another way of reducing waste. “Mostly, webs have one-metre diameter. We have custom-designed reel-stand that can handle webs up to 1.25m dia, causing reduction in scheduled breakdowns,” Goel says.
Amar Ujala has also undertaken several other cost-saving measures. For the weekly supplements, the newspaper uses online gluing system, which, Goel says, is an alternative to binding, thus reducing time taken in binding as well as help reduce waste. 
Goel says scheduled stoppages due to change in webs can be minimised by using auto reel changer (ARC). He says all new machines in Amar Ujala are equipped with ARC. Again, shaft-less AC driven machines have approximately 30% less power consumption compared to DC drive.
Goel says with the use of auto registration systems, operators can focus on other web control activities. This results in early production of good copies and more client satisfaction. Another waste reduction measure, according to Goel, is recycling of fountain solution. “Fountain solution left unused in water trays is recycled back to the machine. This reduces drain of chemical and helps save the environment,” he says.
Green initiatives
Waste control measures in a newsroom are intricately linked with its impact on the environment. With industries across the board growing environment-conscious in the recent years, newspapers especially have a strong duty towards nature.
Not only printing uses paper which essentially comes from wood, it also uses chemicals and inks, which can be hazardous to the environment. Therefore, along with controlling waste in a printing press, newspaper houses also must look towards other environment friendly measures, such as eliminating the use of fibre from endangered forests, maximising the use of recycled and FSC-certified fibre, minimising the use of toxic substances during the production process, reducing greenhouse gas emissions where possible, and other such measures. 
Dainik Bhaskar has undertaken various steps to ensure that its systems are environment-friendly and 5S-enabled (5S refers to Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. It is a workplace organisation method and the words describe how to organise a workspace for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the new order).
The group has migrated to green technology using Viogreen chemistry-free plates at most of its plants, which, Sharma says, saves water and generate less disposal. The group has also migrated to LED lights and use Ambiators instead air conditioning. “We have also installed ETP/STP at our major print facilities,” Sharma adds.
The group also harvest rainwater at plants and maintains 100% usage of recycled newsprint. “We encourage and promote green environment at all our plants and offices through internal competitions on Go Green initiative.
In its efforts to go green, ABP Publication uses VOC-free vegetable soya oil based ink and also uses Neutral pH Fountain Solution. Maximised use of 100% recycled newsprint is another measure that ABP is taking very seriously. The group, known for its flagship Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika, also uses agriculture-based FSC-certified virgin-grade newsprint with maximum PCC. The group has started using lighter gsm newsprints. From 45 gsm, it went down to 42 and subsequently, to 40 gms, to reduce total newsprint consumption, thereby saving energy, heat and water.
Roy says the company also uses VOC-free coconut oil-based aliphatic washes instead of hazardous aromatic solvents. The paper also runs rainwater harvesting and effluent treatment while the hazardous wastes are removed only through PCB-appointed agencies. 


Green publishing at the Maraimalainagar plant of The Hindu: A report

The flagship production plant of The Hindu, located at Maraimalainagar in Chennai, started its operations in April 2007, and is spread across 20 acres of lush green environment. The plant has all the facilities to support the printing of a newspaper, from pre-press to press to post-press.  
Despite the fact that The Hindu prints the papers on heatset, it is committed to the cause of the environment. The following are some of its green publishing efforts.
Water conservation
The company has developed a shallow pit at the plant site into a large open pond to harvest rainwater. With rainwater harvesting systems installed at every five metres, water is stored at the pond as an effective way to increase groundwater level.
Energy saving
When we talk about environmental protection, the primary concern remains how to minimise energy consumption. The Hindu has undertaken the following measures
1. Installation of AMF for 500 KVA DG set and using DGs only during power failure. By implementing the best practices, The Hindu has reduced diesel consumption for 2012-2013 to 90,000 litres, thus saving 3 lakh litres of diesel.
2. Voltage reduction by reducing the tap setting of distribution transformers.
3. Modified usage pattern of comfort chiller units and circulating pumps. The paper has achieved optimum level of flow rates by closing the unused chiller valves and by reducing the circulation pumps.
4. Installing variable frequency drives for AHUs. The Hindu operates AHUs fans up to 50% reduced speed depending upon the actual heat loads. A reduction in speed by 10% decreases power consumption by 27%.
5. Replacement of lower efficiency domestic water pumps with suitable size of higher efficiency pumps. The Hindu has replaced earlier pumps with higher efficiency pumps of 4Kw capacity.
6. Installation of lighting voltage control transformer.
7. Replacement of conventional light fittings with LED/induction fittings.
8. Modifying downstream machines in the mail room ‘on’ time. The paper has modified the machine ON time, by introducing some modifications, so that it gets switched off automatically after seven minutes every time the press is stopped.
Controlling air pollution
A regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) is an industrial process for the treatment of exhaust air. The system uses a bed of ceramic material to absorb heat from the exhaust gas. It then uses this captured heat to preheat the incoming process gas stream and destroy air pollutants emitted from process exhaust streams at temperatures ranging from 815°C to 980°C. The Hindu uses RTO to stop exhaust gases from the print drying equipment from going out in the air. The plant is equipped with two 30-metre exhaust stacks. The exhaust from diesel generators and RTO are connected to these. Thus, all the exhaust gases are released at heights as per state pollution control norms.
Waste management
Disposal of both hazardous and non-hazardous wastes is a major issue in all newspaper printing presses. Material used in printing presses, such as, oil and grease, cleaning solvents, printing inks, CTP developer and fixing chemical, can create problems to groundwater when the wastes are disposed in the drainage systems.
The Hindu has constructed an open pit behind the press, which collects the hazardous effluent from the press and computer-to-print plate processing area as well as the solid residue collected from the blanket wash solvent recovery system.
The sewage water from the press, administration and canteen buildings are treated using the paper’s sewage treatment plant.
Since newsprint wastes are recyclable materials, they are segregated according to the category like white waste, wrapper waste, rubbish waste, print waste and core waste, and are stored in the rooms beside the press hall. Aluminum printing plates are bundled after use and sold to the external contractor for recycling.
Materials: reduce, reuse, recycle
1. Newsprint: The total consumption of newsprint for the year is approximately 22,000 tonnes. With the advantage of heatset process, The Hindu has started using lower grammage 42 gsm paper. This is done to reduce the consumption weight of newsprint, thereby reducing the carbon footprint, and also to minimise the cost of production. The plant has a huge newsprint warehouse with a capacity to store nearly 16,000 tonnes of newsprint and the dock leveller to store and handle the reels to minimise the transportation cost and newsprint surface tear waste, thereby reducing the usage of diesel and its associated costs.
2. Newsprint waste: The reason why the wastage could be higher for heatset is web breaks associated with smaller paper defects which breaks when it passes through the hot air drying unit and also the length of the paper flow in the press due to the presence of auxiliary units to support the heatset process. Still the waste figures of the newsprint from this plant are comparatively competitive to other newspaper industries adopting the coldest process.
3. Printing inks: The Hindu has set up a printing ink manufacturing plant in the Maraimalainagar Industrial Area, which is about 1-km from the printing press. This close proximity reduces the transportation cost.
4. Printing ink waste: The Hindu has installed a huge ink tanks for each colour with the storage capacity of 5,000 kgs to avoid ink waste, which cannot be avoided in the case of ink drums of capacity 200 kgs. This ink tanks are mounted on the weighing scale to note the weight of ink consumed and replenished accordingly.
Green energy
Rather than saving the energy consumed, Kasturi & Sons has planned and adopted the green energy generation to reduce consumption of non-renewable energy. The company has installed various wind turbines, which are operated and maintained by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation. The wind turbines have generated 19163000 KWh of electricity till July, 2012. It has resulted in reduction of CO2 emissions by 19163 tonnes.
 The company has installed a 5.5 TR AC unit which runs on geothermal energy. When compared to conventional air conditioning which draws 1.3 KWh/TR, this system draws only 0.8 KWh/TR.