“Our major focus is to have contemporary, not existing or lagging, technology, for our students to learn on. The new folder and guillotine
are prime examples of the innovation in bindery equipment and a clear indication of where the industry is moving. We believe if we are responsible for teaching skill sets we should be teaching advanced, high end, contemporary skill sets; this equipment fulfils that mandate.”
Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand (HAN) has been a strong supporter of the Centre going back decades to the days when it was known as the School of Printing. Over time HAN has assisted the Centre with prepress and press equipment including a Speedmaster 52-4 colour press.
“We would absolutely struggle to get this type of equipment without the support of Heidelberg, we just couldn’t afford it,” says Black adding that ICGT would be the atypical TAFE if it wasn’t for the generous support from close sponsors such as Heidelberg.
“The generosity that has always been shown by Heidelberg is greatly appreciated. The reality is the small amount of money available to ICGT to invest in equipment may have been able to buy one machine, not kit out the bindery. Sponsorship is vital if we are to provide a first class learning experience.”
The HAN installation of the TH56 folder enables students to compare automated functions with manual as the folder has been configured to run fully automated on the first station and manually on the second. “Giving the students the opportunity to work with and without automation really sends the message home that this is a highly technically evolved industry. When you see the contribution automation makes to the production process, it is astounding,” says Black.
The Stahl TH56 comes with Compufold and the Polar 115 with Compucut. Both these software programmes enable the programming of the equipment at prepress stage. “We’ve upgraded our network so the bindery is now networked to prepress and the press room,” says Black. “The bindery is usually thought of as the last realm of automation therefore it was critical for us to have CIP4 capacity in the bindery to enable us to expose the students to the possibilities of connectivity; essentially we are training them at the forefront of technology in our industry.”
Black says the benefits for students are multiple. “Connectivity brings all the steps of the process together. In the past binders were excluded from the other processes, but with our new Prinect driven, CIP4 enabled workflow, all aspects of the process – prepress, press and binding – are networked. There are great long term benefits to being exposed to this way of thinking at the start of your entry into the industry.”
As a company Heidelberg’s commitment to education spans all levels of training from its support of learning centres such as ICGT, to the programmes run through its international Print Media Academy (PMA) facilities and its contribution to various industry educative initiatives.
Alastair Hadley, general manager sales and Company Director, HAN: “Our focus on the future of the industry extends well beyond being a leading equipment and solutions supplier. Education is integral to the survival of the industry and a focal point for Heidelberg, both locally and globally as evidenced by our own PMA. We are very supportive of the work at ICGT and are proud to be able to assist the Centre in providing the best resources for its students.”
The Stahl folder and Polar guillotine complete the upgrade of the ICGT making it one of the most advanced learning facilities in the world claims Black. “With the installation of the best large guillotine on the market and the Stahl TH56 folder we’ve taken our bindery into the twenty first century. From what I understand there would be very few training institutes in the world that have the connectivity for training that we have now making ICGT a first class training provider.”