SPH's new $49m press offers varied print options - Aug 21, 2008 (ST)

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The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

SPH's new $49m press offers varied print options

SPH made the investment in the Manroland Uniset 75 because the firm's 'core business is in print'.

Aug 21, 2008
The Straits Times


SPH chairman Tony Tan (left) and Mr Anthony Cheng (far left), chairman of Media Centre New Press Project, viewing copies of newsletter rolling off the new press. Photo: ST, Mugilan Rajasegeran

A NEW printing press that started running at Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) last night will give the multimedia company greater flexibility in the way it prints its newspapers.

The $49 million Manroland Uniset 75 at SPH's Genting Lane site can print 64 full-colour broadsheet pages - that is the size of a Straits Times page - at the same time.

It has a maximum page capacity of 44 such broadsheet pages or 88 tabloid pages and a top speed of 75,000 copies an hour.

While it has a lower capacity than SPH's printing lines in Jurong, the press, which was officially commissioned by SPH chairman Tony Tan yesterday, offers more options.

It has greater leeway in print sizes, can handle thicker and heavier papers, and can staple the printouts.

SPH made the investment in the Manroland Uniset 75 because the firm's 'core business is in print', said Dr Tan at the ceremony.

He added that the company 'will continue to improve our products and production capabilities'.

The new press, which is one of the longest of its kind in the world, will print publications such as Berita Harian, Tamil Murasu, mypaper, Asahi Shimbun, Nihon Keisai and the International Herald Tribune.

It also employs a new, more efficient computer-to-plate system.

In traditional newspaper printing systems, text and images are first created on film and then transferred onto a plate for the actual printing process.

The new SPH system uses a laser to scribe the text and images to be printed directly on the printing plate. It is faster and helps cut back on manpower.

SPH publishes 14 newspapers and more than 100 magazines in four languages, including The Straits Times. Nearly three million people read one of SPH's publications daily.