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.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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