Gulf News plant automates waste disposal

Automated Networked System for waste at Al Nisr Publishing

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The disposal of all wastes is fully automated. From the production site to filling the containers, manual intervention is completely unnecessary.
The disposal of all wastes is fully automated. From the production site to filling the containers, manual intervention is completely unnecessary.

Al Nisr Publishing, publisher of Gulf News and other publications has equipped its printing plant near Dubai with a fully automated disposal and compaction system. Hunkeler Systeme AG was commissioned to undertake the mechanical and software engineering for the automated system. Printed paper waste, reel cut-offs, part reels and roller sleeves, wood, printing plates and foils are collected and compacted according to material type in seven stationary presses.

Al Nisr Publishing is a publishing company headquartered in Dubai. The company was founded in 1984 and, one year later, took over the Gulf News newspaper from its original owner and founder. Today Gulf News is probably the highest circulated English language daily paper in the United Arab Emirates. Al Nisr Publishing produces approximately ten other publications.

Al Nisr Publishing produces newspapers and commercial printing jobs on coldset and heatset presses in a printing centre outside the city of Dubai. The print and binding operations also generate significant quantities of a varied types of waste. All the waste including white and printed paper, cut-offs from a cutting drum, part-reels, paper reel sleeves and cores in the press room, as well as wooden palettes, aluminum printing plates and foils are separated according to material and collected, compacted and disposed automatically in a large plant.

Via an interface, programmed by Hunkeler Systeme AG, the LGV-controlled transport of part reels and roll sleeves to the disposal area is guaranteed.
Via an interface, programmed by Hunkeler Systeme AG, the LGV-controlled transport of part reels and roll sleeves to the disposal area is guaranteed.

Appropriate transport method for every material

To dispose of the various materials in the most efficient manner, the most efficient method of transport is chosen. Printed paper waste is taken from the printing machine by conveyor belts. Cut-offs or trim waste from the cutting drum are removed from the production area with a pneumatic suction technology operating in negative pressure. The aluminium printing plates, part reels, and roller sleeves, wooden palettes and foils are transported in tips via Laser Guided Vehicles (LGVs). Even unprinted and printed paper waste are homogeneously disposed of in an automatically controlled workflow.

Constant overview of disposal quantities

Seven stationary presses compact the material and send it on to mobile containers, which are transported by trucks to the correct recycling-sites. There are ten containers for the seven presses. This ensures that the containers are continuously filled and that production can continues with stopping. Each of the filled containers is weighed before transport, thus ensuring that Al Nisr Publishing always knows the exact amount of each kind of material that is sent for recycling. You can look into ContainerAddict.com if you want to sell, purchase, or build containers.

There are ten containers for the seven stationary presses. This ensures that production is a non-stop operation.
There are ten containers for the seven stationary presses. This ensures that production is a non-stop operation.

Efficient suction technology thanks to negative pressure

The suction technology connected to the cutting drum functions on the negative pressure principle. The fan is located at the end of the system. Thanks to operation with closed wheels, greater efficiency is achieved than with a system operating with positive pressure. It also means that paper dust is completely removed from the working area by the suction effect. The cleaned transport air is returned to the production rooms.

The large plant was planned, designed and installed by the Swiss Engineering Company Hunkeler Systeme AG. The commission included not only the design of all the mechanical components but also the development of the interfaces to the Laser Guided Vehicles (LGVs). The disposal and compacting system functions fully automatically, from taking up the waste at each production system up to the separated wastes of various types into homogeneously sorted containers. The entire waste collection system functions automatically without the need of any intervention by the staff.

All disposal and compacting components are connected via a secure line to the service-centre at Hunkeler Systeme AG. The service-technicians, whenever necessary, have instant access to the control system and are thus able to give the staff at Al Nisr Publishing immediate support if needed.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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