Grafschafter Nachrichten (GN) has been based in the Mediapark at Coesfelder Hof in Nordhorn since 1980, with its editorial office, administration, advertising department, sales, printing plant and mailroom. The daily newspaper GN is produced here, as are numerous non-published newspapers, magazines, brochures and books. GN's modern printing centre enables it to produce its own products and those of other publishers. Every week more than 600,000 newspapers are produced in the printing centre, for which some 2,500 printing plates are exposed and 50 tonnes of paper are printed.
GN attaches great importance to close, trusting cooperation between management and employees. The involvement of employees in economic considerations and planning proves time and again to be wise. First of all, because possible changes and adjustments to existing processes were discussed in advance, and also because practical aspects are taken into account accordingly before a decision is made. In principle, all steps are examined under the aspects of quality, ecology and competitiveness and are included in the decisions.
It is therefore not surprising that the GN has considered and implemented reinvestment even in "Corona times". One triggering factor was the unexpected reorientation of a long-standing colleague, which led to processes being reviewed. Even though Agfa and GN have a long-standing partnership, other market players were also included in the considerations. Agfa's total solution approach, CtP lines with Attiro ZH wash-out unit in combination with NELA press brake automation and also the professionalism of the Agfa team convinced GN. In addition, the energy efficiency of the new solution even made it possible to apply for and receive funding from the German government.
The conversion to the new technology, Attiro ZH wash-out unit with cleaning module and the Avatar V-ZH printing plate, went very well. Since the employees were involved in the decision from the outset, there was no fear of contact. At the same time, a production line was converted to the Attiro ZH with Cleaning Module as a beta test, so that processes were already known.
"What convinced us was the close and perfect interaction between GN and above all the Agfa employees from Plate System Support and Sales," says Maik Hofsink, Operations Manager GN. "An excellent partnership with ideas and solutions that were developed through dialogue, so that our needs and requirements were taken into account thanks to our exchange of experience, and innovative approaches and ideas were also developed". In addition, the Arkitex workflow will be further expanded so that in future, "just-in-time" loading and further processing of the printing plates will be carried out with NELA, thus taking a further step towards automation.
The internal transfer of knowledge works perfectly, the employees share tips and tricks with each other and the maintenance and careful handling of the equipment is a matter of course. In plate production today, pure CtP personnel is no longer required and the utilisation of staff is optimised.
"Naturally, our customers also look to sustainability and environmentally responsible action," explains Maik Hofsink. "With the new investment we have significantly reduced our chemical content, thus saving disposal costs and protecting the environment".
In addition to the printed newspapers, Nordhorn also has an ePaper, which makes the newspaper's contents available in online format. There is also a separate online presence "GN Online". "During the lockdown we were able to register a clear increase in new subscribers for GN Online", says Mr Hofsink. "In general, we are pleased to see steady circulation thanks to our mix of paper and online".