Friday, March 14, 2008

News International reveals its new print works

Roy Greenslade has spent the day touring Rupert Murdoch's new printing plant.

Press Gazette reports that

News International claim the plant, just off the M25 near Enfield, is the biggest printing centre in the world. It is part of a £650m initiative including plants in Knowsley, near Liverpool, and Motherwell, near Glasgow.

According to Roy

Superlatives fail. It is the biggest, most efficient, least labour-intensive press plant in the world. It's also unusually clean, eerily quiet - except, of course, inside press hall itself - and spookily devoid of human beings. Rolls of newsprint glide around on automated tracks until they are loaded on to the presses without a single person having touched them.

And describes

12 presses, with giant towers (though two are yet to come on stream). When working at full capacity they are capable of churning out 86,000 copies in full colour every hour. To get that in perspective, the company's Wapping presses did 30,000 copies an hour at best

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