Ovato supersite open with 7 heatset webs
Top Ovato executives, including chairman Michael Hannan, welcomed customers to tour the expanded NSW printing site, one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, and unveiled the company’s latest $20m manroland Lithoman 80-page high-volume web press.
The day of triumph for the largest printing company in the region celebrates the consolidation of all its offset web presses in NSW into one supersite in the south-western suburbs. Formerly the jewel in the crown of IPMG before it merged with PMP to form Ovato, the new Warwick Farm plant is a vindication of the Hannan family’s vision and commitment to the local printing industry.
The expanded operation rises from the consolidation and closure of the old Moorebank site, a necessary if painful decision, according to Michael Hannan at the AGM.
“The closure of Moorebank marks the end of a mammoth and painful restructuring program that has tested everyone involved, our customers, our management, our employees and our shareholders. It has been a lengthy, costly and disruptive process but absolutely necessary to position the company for the future, it simply had to be done,” he said.
The move comes at a challenging time for the company with revenue of $669.2m falling further than expected last year. The consolidation is expected to deliver annualised savings of $24m.
The 7.5-hectare site, with 35,000 metres under one roof and employing 450 people, runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a world leading facility in terms of printing power, automated manufacturing and distribution. In the highly competitive catalogue and heatset magazine market, where Ovato mostly competes against the IVE Group, the expanded printing site with its ability to print 18 million pages per hour is a key strategic advantage for the publicly listed company.
The enterprise is celebrating winning the entire Bauer magazine print business in Australia, the largest publishing contract in the region. The positive outlook of the executive team during the morning was well received by the gathering of key customers, with CEO Kevin Slaven emphasizing the operational excellence of the new presses and the integration of the site. Here were no doubts of the future or health of the printing industry, albeit there is a sense of caution due to the ongoing slowing of retail and lower consumer confidence.
“This investment in our manufacturing capabilities positively impacts on our efficiency and flexibility at scale. It also complements our ongoing investment in data analytics to provide our print and distribution customers bespoke offerings ensuring a greater return on investment for their marketing spend,” said Slaven.
“The future looks positive for print in Australia. With a continued investment in technology, data analytics and automation we are set to support our customers in making insightful decisions to reach their consumers.”
The Warwick Farm consolidation is the final stage of bringing together three printing sites in NSW. It follows the previously completed consolidation of sites in Queensland and Victoria at the time of the merger, which has allowed for the retirement of older, less efficient presses producing a significant reduction in the number of employees.
The costs of commissioning the new manroland Lithoman are significant, even in terms of the overall consolidation. The investment will keep Ovato at the forefront of printing technology at a time when efficiencies and costs are under increased pressure.
The operational statistics for the Warwick Farm site are impressive:
- $5m of spare parts held onsite
- 10,000 printing plates each month = 135,000sq metres of aluminium annually – 100% recycled
- 23,500 tonnes of paper stored on site
- Average 8,000 tonnes of paper consumed per month
- All paper from certified sources (PEFC and FSC)
- All wastepaper, wrappers and cores recycled
- 4.2m litres of rainwater storage on site
- Web presses ranging from 16pp up to 96pp quarto and A4 cut offs, 4 and 6 colour capabilities.