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manroland’s UNISET 75 helps News-Tribune

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

People like reading success stories in the newspaper, especially in this economy when they are looking for a reason to be optimistic.  Despite all the problems that continue to plague the newspaper business, the story currently taking place at the Jefferson City News-Tribune in Missouri’s capitol is one full of good news.

Newspapers today run more special sections and targeted editions than they did even five years ago to rejuvenate interest in a medium where readership has    steadily declined.  A good example of this trend is the News-Tribune.  It has evolved into a hybrid operation, having taken a few steps beyond only printing news-papers.  Since being purchased by WEHCO Media last May, they built off what the original owners started as the newspaper strengthened its commercial accounts roster.  They have added clients from Kansas City to St. Louis and places in-between with impressive results.

Mark Wiethaupt, the newspaper’s Production Manager, said the newspaper not only reached the original objective of tripling outside printing but has exceeded it.
“We average 165 commercial jobs a month and are doing very well.  We don’t even use an outside sales force!,” explained Wiethaupt.

New owners saw potential
The News-Tribune installed manroland’s UNISET 75 press in mid-2006.  As part of a new $14 million production facility, the press features four reel stands, 32 couples and a 2:3:3 manroland folder.  The company prints a daily edition as well as the Fulton Sun, a five-days-a-week daily newspaper, and the weekly California  Democrat, which covers the city of California and central Missouri.  WEHCO Media is a family-owned company based in Little Rock, Ark., and publishes the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Chattanooga Times Free Press.

“The press and its quality are unbelievable.  It looks today like it did on its first day,” Wiethaupt said.  “With our commercial work, we run strictly 4-color publications and some inserts, plus we stitch and trim them.  For example, we print a 72-page weekly automobile magazine.  It takes us only two hours because we run it in 40 and 32-page sections.”

The News-Tribune is marketing itself well to commercial accounts.  Indicating how the UNISET 75 has the capability to print full color on any page with no restrictions, it is also promoting a stochastic screening process that is roughly equal to a conventional 340-line screen, about double the 150/175 line norm.

Running 24/7 with three, 8-hour shifts requires planning and patience.  Wiethaupt has a staff of 11 to do all of the work and maintenance.  He employs a journeyman and an apprentice to run the press for the commercial work and says both are doing a remarkable job, especially with a low waste percentage per job. 

“We average 3 percent or less per month waste.  With the auto magazine at 17,000 copies, we have the waste down to a few hundred pages.”

Service makes a difference
One of the major reasons why the News-Tribune selected the manroland press was because of support issues, says Wiethaupt.  “We did quite a bit of research and when we visited some facilities with Goss or KBA presses, we found the pressmen were angry because they had little or no training on the equipment.“

That wasn’t the case with manroland and its printservices division. “They will go the extra mile for you,” says Wiethaupt about manroland’s mechanical and service technicians as he recalled a couple of events.  “Our old press did not have a water treatment system so it was all new to us.  The new system is elaborate even though it is rather simple to operate.  One of the manroland mechanics stayed on the job until 2:30 am to get the water room ready.  To us, that says a lot about manroland service and what they are willing to do for their customers.”

The News-Tribune has an ace up its sleeve by using manroland’s TelePresence® program.  The remote diagnostics service allows manroland personnel to actually see problems with a camera and help pressmen resolve problems by telephone.  When needed, it resolves about 95 percent of the problems.

“We also had a clutch stop working on one of the folders,” Wiethaupt said.  “It went down completely at 3:30 pm and when the manroland technicians saw the problem with the camera, the manroland parts team had the replacement on a plane and in St. Louis three hours later.  It’s a two-hour drive but we were back up and running that night.  That’s living proof of what they said they would do.”




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