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Roanoke Times Selects Heidelberg Systems, Will Install First U.S. Mainstream Press

Press release from the issuing company

Integrated Heidelberg press and postpress systems will be centerpieces when The Roanoke Times updates production capabilities beginning in 2002. The Virginia newspaper will install a gapless Mainstream 80 press – the first in the United States - with six four-high towers in a new 60,000 square foot facility. The Roanoke Times will also add a shaftless Magnapak packaging system and an NP200 gripper conveyor system supplied by Heidelberg. “Gapless blanket print quality, expanded color and the plate saving economy of a ‘one-around’ 1x4 plate cylinder configuration were the critical factors in our press decision,” according to Chip Harris, production director at The Roanoke Times. The new Mainstream, with 48 printing couples, will print up to 80,000 papers per hour in straight production. A single 2:5:5 jaw folder will include a unique “double jaw” arrangement with one jaw folder at the reelroom level and a second jaw folder at the press level. Harris said the Magnapak packaging systems, which will include 32 stations, will allow the paper to accommodate increasing insert volumes while offering advertisers enhanced targeting capabilities and later deadlines. “This agreement with The Roanoke Times reflects two unique aspects of our newspaper solutions approach,” according to Werner Albrecht, head of the Heidelberg Solution Center Web Systems. “We will supply the most advanced press and postpress components and we will make this technology available within an integrated production system.” “We take pride in working together with this distinguished U.S. newspaper in developing a production system that will not only enhance print quality, but also improve timeliness, economy, and targeting capabilities,” Albrecht added. “Choosing a single supplier for press and postpress systems streamlined the purchasing process, and we are confident that it will help to ensure a more integrated manufacturing approach,” according to Wendy Zomparelli, publisher of The Roanoke Times. The new facility for the Mainstream at The Roanoke Times will also house press support, computer-to-plate, newsprint storage, receiving and waste handling operations. Plans call for a Heidelberg NP200 gripper conveyor system to carry papers from the facility, through an overhead crosswalk that crosses the street, to the packaging center. Integrated Heidelberg Omnicon control systems will control press, postpress and auxiliary systems. As part of the Mainstream press at The Roanoke Times, Heidelberg will supply seven Contiweb FD pasters with automated loading and reel preparation capabilities. The system will include Heidelberg’s exclusive Omnipage automatic page recognition system. Omnipage utilizes cameras mounted on the press console to instantly identify pages and automatically direct the control system to the corresponding web, tower or printing couple. Heidelberg introduced the Mainstream, the world’s first gapless newspaper press, in 2000. The dynamic stability provided by the gapless blankets allows the press to deliver premium print quality at up to 80,000 copies per hour with a 1x4 plate cylinder and a 1:1 plate-to-blanket cylinder ratio. The 1x4 configuration requires 50 percent fewer plates than a traditional two-around double-width press. It also allows the layout versatility of two-page jumps and sections with unequal page counts. The shaftless Magnapak cycles at up to 30,000 papers per hour and is the industry’s only packaging system capable of inserting as well as collating and wrapping. Magnapak systems can be configured with up to 80 hoppers and four deliveries. The independently driven hoppers can be shifted in an out of production for automated zone changing at full production speed. The Roanoke Times is owned by Landmark Communications, Inc., a privately-held media company with national and international interests in newspapers, broadcasting, cable programming and electronic publishing. It also owns billboard, open-source database and fixed wireless companies, as well as a career schools division. Based in Norfolk, Va., Landmark employs more than 5,000 people. In addition to The Roanoke Times, Landmark metro daily newspapers include The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot, The Greensboro, N.C. News & Record, and Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc., headquartered in Shelbyville, KY. LCNI publishes more than 100 newspapers, shoppers, college sports publications and special interest publications around the country. Its community dailies include The Carroll County (MD) Times, the Citrus County (FL) Chronicle, The News-Enterprise in Shelbyville, KY, the Los Alamos (NM) Monitor and The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD.