The term single width refers to the width of the plate cylinder on a newspaper press. Typically, a single width press will have two printing plates mounted side-by-side on the plate cylinder printing onto a continuous roll of paper about 890mm wide. This configuration prints four pages of tabloid newspaper (two broadsheet pages) on each side of the web with each revolution of the plate cylinder, or eight pages in total.
Traditionally, the single width configuration was the most popular press type for printing small edition newspapers. The Goss Community SSC press, introduced in 1962, has sold more than 40,000 print units worldwide, making it the best selling single width press on the market and one which is still in widespread use today.
SWUG – it's a funny name but one with a proud history and a serious purpose.
SWUG stands for Single Width Users Group. It was originally set up for users of single width coldset newspaper presses in Australia and was founded in 1985 by Geoff Austin, production manager of the Gold Coast Bulletin, as a forum for production people to exchange ideas and information about the printing process at the grass roots level, that is the hands-on operators and engineers of the presses working in conjunction with the engineers and suppliers to the industry.
Geoff ran SWUG for several years (and is still a committee member) before handing over the presidency to Bob Lockley in 1990.
Over the years, SWUG has visited many different sites and the technology of newspaper printing has changed significantly. Today there is a wide variety of press types, not just single width, single circumference presses but also single width, double circumference (two plates around) and even double width, single circumference (four across, one around). SWUG has continued to adapt and evolve with the times and, these days, it is not unusual for users of double width presses and even commercial heatset presses to attend the conference and find it a useful forum for learning and exchanging information.
Despite the changes, SWUG remains very much a grass roots organisation, a forum in which production staff can learn, network, exchange ideas and problem solve. While many of the print sites that attend the conference are competitors, they recognise that a healthy exchange of ideas is good for the industry as a whole.
Over the past 25 years or so, SWUG has visited many different newspaper sites around the country. The following is a roll-call of sites visited – who will be next?
|1985||The Gold Coast Bulletin, Queensland|
|1987||Messenger Press, South Australia|
|1988||Manly Daily, NSW|
|1989||Leader Newspapers, Victoria|
|1990||Rural Press North Richmond, NSW|
|1992||Mackay Mercury, Queensland|
|1993||Queensland Times, Ipswich, Queensland|
|1996||Torch Newspapers, Bankstown, NSW|
|1997||The Gold Coast Bulletin, Queensland|
|1998/99||Bendigo Advertiser, Victoria|
|2000||Launceston Examiner, Tasmania;|
|2001||Fairfax Regional Printers, Newcastle, NSW|
|2002||Sunshine Coast Daily, Maroochydore, Queensland|
|2003||Daily Advertiser, Wagga Wagga, NSW|
|2004||The Gold Coast Bulletin, Queensland|
|2005||The Ballarat Courier, Victoria|
|2006||Murray Valley Standard, South Australia|
|2007||Sunshine Coast Daily, Yandina, Queensland|
|2009||Norske Skog mill/Border Mail, Albury, NSW|
|2010||Northern Daily Leader, Tamworth, NSW|
|2011||Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania|
|2012||Ormiston Print Centre, Queensland|
|2013||APN Print Rockhampton, Queensland|
|2014||NT News, Darwin, Northern Territory|