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Journal Register Co. confident in MAN Roland, purchases second GEOMAN press

Monday, April 03, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

Clinton Township, Michigan — “I remain confident that once again, Journal Register Company has selected the right press and the right press manufacturer in order to achieve world class print reproduction, on time performance and rock sold dependability at the Macomb Daily,” says William Higginson, Vice President Production at the Journal Register Company. The company is set to install a new GEOMAN press from MAN Roland to replace a Goss Cosmo at its Michigan Cluster, one of the largest newspaper clusters in the U.S. Providing more color, enhanced print quality and increased productivity, the new press is expected to help the company reach more readers and advertisers in this booming suburban-Detroit region. Pat Eagan, Vice President of Production at the Michigan Cluster, points out that the parent company’s experience with a GEOMAN press in its Pennsylvania production facility, Journal Register Offset, had a major impact on selecting a press maker and press model for his plant. “They were very, very successful with the start-up of the first GEOMAN press and they’ve been running it without any problems for almost five years,” he says. “Our corporate office is extremely happy with the way things worked out in Exton, Pennsylvania and they want us to duplicate that experience here.” The new GEOMAN will be configured with three eight-couple towers and four reel stands, and features a double folder. Two MAN Roland PECOM control consoles will serve as the access points between press crews and the GEOMAN’s automated functions. The technology investment is prompting expansion of the Michigan Cluster’s production facility to create a new 15,000 square foot pressroom bay that will house the new press. “That will bring us to about 45,000 sq ft,” explains Eagan. “We also will be gaining a bay for newsprint storage once our old press is removed.” Eagan also foresees an expansion of business at the plant as well. “Our Goss press is almost 30 years old, and its speed, dependability and color quality are no longer keeping pace with the needs of our marketplace,” he says. “With the GEOMAN we’ll be able to provide more color to our advertisers in more positions than ever before.” The Michigan Cluster was acquired in August 2004 by the Journal Register Company, which owns 27 daily newspapers, with approximately 628,000 total daily circulation and 658,000 total Sunday circulation across the U.S. Headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey, the company also owns 349 non-daily publications, with total distribution of more than 6 million, as well as commercial printing, software development companies and websites. In fact, JobsInTheUS.com, which was acquired by JRC last year, is one of the world’s fastest growing local job Internet sites. Eagan is set to tap into JRC’s corporate knowledge base on web newspaper presses. “What we want to do is to share in the success of that first GEOMAN without recreating the wheel,” Eagan explains. “I’ve met with the guys in Exton and discussed in detail what they had to do. They had back-up plans during commissioning and ramp-up there, but they never needed them. They are very happy with how their GEOMAN got up and running, and how it’s been performing ever since.” Eagan’s next step is set to schedule the pre-installation press crew training that’s part of MAN Roland’s printservices package. Meanwhile, he is looking forward to the efficiencies the new GEOMAN will provide, particularly those associated with MAN Roland’s innovative automation. Heading the list is the system’s QuickStart module. It accelerates start-ups by allowing press crews to preset ink profiles prior to press activation. “I can’t even imagine what a difference QuickStart is going to mean,” Eagan says. “We’re anticipating a huge reduction in our start-up waste. The savings delivered by QuickStart are going to be a big thing for this company.” Eagan also had praise for the new press’ double folder — a 2:5:5/2:3:3 jaw-type model. A horizontal splitting feature equips it to function like two independent folders, whenever two different products are required. He pointed to Journal Register as its inspiration: “They have been running that folder all day, every day for almost five years, and they swear by it. So this folder was specified by them because it is a very reliable piece of technology and the quality of its folds is excellent.” Moving Up Eagan believes that the new GEOMAN, with its automated makereadies, proven reliability and 75,000 iph production rate, will open up new opportunities for his company. “I’m anxious to get moving with the GEOMAN,” he says. “This has been a 13-year project for me trying to get a new press, so we can produce a better paper. When the Journal Register acquired us in 2004, they saw the advantages of investing in technology to better serve this growing area. We’ll be able to print a lot more copies of a more attractive paper and reach that many more people. There’s a lot to gain here; it’s a good move.” MAN Roland is also looking forward to putting the new GEOMAN in motion. “It’s always gratifying when an industry leader like Journal Register returns for a second press because their first exceeded expectations,” says Vince Lapinski, COO of Web Operations at MAN Roland, Inc. “We’re proud that Journal Register has selected us for this major project and we look forward to continuing this strong and successful partnership.”

 

 

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