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World's first Goss Flexible Printing System press to go to Independent News & Media PLC site in Northern Ireland

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

October 9th, 2006 – Independent News & Media PLC will install the world's first Goss Flexible Printing System (FPS) press in Northern Ireland. The highly versatile system with five towers and heatset and coldset capabilities, is scheduled to go into full production by summer 2007 to produce a range of product formats and several newspaper titles, including the Sunday World. The FPS press will be installed in an existing warehouse building. Gavin O'Reilly, COO, Independent News & Media, said, “As a global media organization, this order is significant in terms of local capabilities and also a groundbreaking approach to flexible production. This further investment in Northern Ireland will be a huge benefit to the economy as well as to our entire company – we look forward to new levels of quality for our heatset and coldset products.” The Goss Flexible Printing System press will consist of three four-page wide, two-around printing towers (4 x 2) and two five-page wide, two-around towers (5 x 2), running 1484 mm and 1855 mm webs respectively. These will feed into two J2:5:5 folders, equipped with quarter-page and stitching capability. Among the unique new features of the FPS press are independent inker units that slide apart on rails from the plate and blanket cylinder section. The 5 x 2 towers on the first press system will produce coldset, heatset and combination products for Independent News & Media and other customers and will be equipped with Goss Ecocool dryers with integrated chill rolls. Five Goss Contiweb FD reelstands will also be installed, two of which will be fitted with automatic reel loading (ARL). Combined with a Ferag mailroom system, the press will supply a unique combination of untrimmed, trimmed, stitched or unstitched heatset and coldset products providing extensive output flexibility. Alan Lambert, plant manager for the new Independent News & Media print site, said, “Features such as DigiRail inking, self-learning spraybars and autostart enable high quality and low waste start-ups – but it is Goss' fully automatic de-plating and semi-automatic plate loading that I see as most innovative. The ability to de-plate the whole press fully automatically in less than one minute as the inkers slide apart from the plate cylinder section, and to automatically tuck the trailing edges of the new plates as the unit closes, will enable full press changeovers in less than ten minutes. We are working closely with Goss to make this the most productive newspaper and news magazine printing plant in Europe.” Kieran Matthews, assistant managing director for the Belfast Telegraph, a division of Independent News & Media, confirms, “We have followed the progress of the FPS since its announcement at DRUPA 2004. We selected the press for its groundbreaking print quality and advanced automation levels. We also recognize that newspapers will face change in the future and that the FPS provides the most flexible and future-proof technology platform available today.” Shane Lancaster, general manager for Goss International, Preston, UK, said, “This installation will change the way publishers think about the future. The exhaustive tests we have carried out on the press over the last year have proved its unparalleled flexibility and print quality. Publishers are also delighted that the press can be housed in an existing warehouse building, reducing the project lead time, investment cost and the normal planning permission problems associated with ‘cathedral-style' constructions.” The new FPS press will be installed in an existing building in Northern Ireland, with no modifications to the building structure other than reinforcement of the floor. Printing capacity will be a maximum of 176 full-color tabloid pages. The configuration will also provide the option of producing up to 96 pages coldset and up to 80 pages heatset in combination. A high level of automation on the FPS press will assist in the management of complex products, providing pre-setting for fast start-ups and job changeovers. Independent News & Media PLC is a leading international media and communications group with its main interests in Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Spanning four continents and 21 individual countries, the Group publishes over 175 newspaper and magazine titles with a weekly circulation of over 31 million copies. The press will make a significant contribution to this capability being on full production by summer 2007. Bob Brown, CEO, Goss International Corporation, concludes, “Independent News & Media's success over such a wide range of titles and in so many countries demonstrates their profound understanding of the print market place. It is clear from the choice of press and its unique configuration that this is a company that sees innovation and diversity as key to the future of print. We are delighted to provide a unique press solution that will break new ground in print media production.”




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