20-year-old NZME press a global winner

EditorNews Make a Comment

NZME Ellerslie’s exemplary print quality has again been recognised on the global stage, with the firm being bestowed repeat entry to the exclusive WAN-IFRA International Newspaper Color Quality Club.

Having become the first and only New Zealand newspaper printer to achieve acceptance into the biennially-reviewed club in 2014 (when known as APN Print Ellerslie), NZME Ellerslie was furthermore the only Australasian firm to even enter the 2016-2018 competition cycle.

Its production of the 32-page, four-section and 10,000-copy broadsheet New Zealand Chinese Herald, which is printed four times per week on a 20-year-old Goss HT70 press, was ranked 30 out of 150 global entrants, notes NZME Ellerslie operations manager Russell Wieck.

In… or out!
“The WAN-IFRA process is very intensive and demanding – you either get accepted or you fail,” he said.

“Entrants have to print a product on a set date over three consecutive months. Contained within each copy is the IFRA ‘Cuboid’ which effectively records data relevant to the technical element of the submission.

“Successful entrants must surpass a base score on each monthly assessment of the Cuboid production and NZME Ellerslie did so in flying colours – achieving 538.21 out of a possible 540 points collectively.

“Following this analysis, two random copies are then selected by judges and the first 16 pages of each is scrutinised further for print quality.

“Successful entrants again need to surpass a base score and NZME Ellerslie ultimately did this with distinction — achieving 534 out of a possible 576 points collectively.”

Success followed three failures
Wieck credits the “10-year journey” his firm has embarked upon with the Quality Club as having significantly lifted quality standards at NZME Ellerslie for the benefit of all involved.

“As a longstanding newspaper printing facility, we thought we were pretty good at what we were doing — before then submitting three, consecutive unsuccessful attempts to gain entry to the Quality Club,” Wieck said.

“However, the journey that has unfolded over the past decade has enabled our team to learn so much more about printing. We are now striving for a standard of excellence that was well beyond what we thought possible.

Staff passion
“That confirms, even though our press is 20 years old, it is still able to produce world-class quality. And that comes down to the people who are using it — it is really about harnessing the passion, training and skills of the staff.”

The benefits of the experience gained is being passed directly onto the firm’s publisher and commercial clients, as “our day-to-day quality is now so much higher”, he said.

“What we have learned along the way, we would never have learned by any other means – there would have been no other reason to put ourselves under that amount of scrutiny.

“The numerous international and domestic print quality awards won by the site in recent years confirm that taking the Quality Club journey has indeed paid huge dividends.”

A certificate to acknowledge NZME’s acceptance to the WAN-IFRA International Newspaper Color Quality Club 2016-2018 is to be presented in a ceremony held in Austria in October.

Five PiP Golds
This year also saw NZME bestowed with the coveted PrintNZ Training Company of the Year Award as well as five Pride In Print Gold Medals and nine Highly Commended Certificates.

Share this Post