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Heidelberg Confirms Position as Major Newspaper Supplier at IfraExpo

Press release from the issuing company

October 17, 2002 -- The 1X 4 press format is highly appreciated by publishers and printers worldwide. The success of the major installations starting up confirms Heidelberg newspaper project management skills. With the successful start up of major Mainstream installations at Trafford Park Printers, in Manchester, UK and at Imprimeries IPS in France, Heidelberg appeared as a major force in the newspaper business during the IfraExpo 2002 in Barcelona, the leading trade fair for newspaper printers and publishers. The Heidelberg newspaper strategy is heavily focused on the Mainstream, an 8-page newspaper press featuring gapless tubular blankets. Heidelberg presented its unique technology with a Mainstream unit exhibited on the booth. The 1x4 Mainstream press is very successful. Already 21 Mainstream presses, with almost 700 printing couples, have been sold through the world since the launching of the press in May 2000. The latest customers include French regional dailies Le Progrès de Lyon and Le Dauphine Libere. "To improve their competitive position, newspapers must continuously enhance the timeliness, impact and cost effectiveness of their products. That will require systems that shrink the production window, deliver better print quality and more color, offer more versatility and do it all more efficiently,." emphasizes Bernhard Schreier, Heidelberg's Chief Executive Officer. The Mainstream’s productivity and efficiency advantages originate from its one-page-around by four-pages-across plate cylinder configuration (1x4) and 80,000 copies per hour capacity. It took the dynamic stability of Heidelberg’s gapless Sunday Technology to make that configuration and speed practical without compromising the print quality of a 1:1 plate-to-blanket cylinder ratio. Developed by Heidelberg and offering advantages aligned with modern production demands, 1x4 newspaper presses are rapidly expanding their share of a double-width market dominated exclusively by 2x4 presses until just two years ago. The opportunity to cut costs by reducing plate consumption is the primary factor driving this immediate acceptance. The one-page-around format eliminates the need to make and mount duplicate sets of plates, an inherent requirement when running a 2x4 press in straight production. Straight printing with the 1x4 plate cylinder and one-around blanket cylinder format also expands targeting capabilities as well as editorial and advertising content flexibility. The 1x4 format is also succeeding against single-width presses because it reduces the number of printing units, towers and webs by 50 percent. Apart from the advantages linked to the 1x4 format and gapless blankets, other exclusive features also explains the success of the Mainstream on the market. Customers point out the ease of plate changing on the Mainstream. Thanks to an exclusive technology, the Mainstream features semi-automatic plate changing, which facilitates edition changes and provides significant time-savings. The first gapless newspaper press is also the only one available with an independent folder. The innovation allows the lower RBS-32 rotary blade or JF-255 jaw folders to be moved back and forth in a cross-web direction under the formers for optimum former web leads. The optional moveable lower folders give operators a valuable tool to reduce gussets and wrinkles in the folding process, thus improving the overall quality and attractiveness of the finished product. Independent a.c. drives make it easy to engage and disengage individual printing couples. The Mainstream excels at the flying edition changes necessary to target and version newspapers or include the latest information. Elimination of the double plating required for two-around straight presses further enhances flying edition change efficiency. In addition, the Mainstream is equipped with the Omnipage automatic page recognition system. This revolutionary system automates page recognition at the console. Cameras mounted above the press console can instantly identify pages placed on the console and automatically direct the control system to the web, tower and printing couple responsible for those pages. Small codes printed in the lower margin of the newspaper pages signal the Omnipage cameras. It is an innovative Heidelberg “first” designed to dramatically speed up makeready times. Apart from the innovative press technology itself, the Heidelberg philosophy has always been to be a solution provider to the industry, this approach is particularly important in the newspaper business ."Newspaper production involves much more than press technology," says Werner Albrecht, President for the Solution Center Web Systems. "Our Heidelberg solution approach is not only offering products but also the support of a dedicated team of experts in the newspaper segment,". he continues. "Our team is listening closely to each individual customer to help them in developing the most appropriate production systems. Then, we are assisting them in coordinating the installation, the integration and the ongoing service of these systems". This Project Management approach is paying off : the first Mainstream installations starting at Trafford Park Printers in Manchester and at Imprimeries IPS are a success. Jacques de Wit, Managing Director at Trafford Park Printers reported "This is the largest press installation ever done by Heidelberg, and the professionalism they have shown is impressive." "Having available dedicated project managers on both customer and supplier sides, together with regular planning meetings with Heidelberg, architects, engineers and suppliers of ancillary equipment have been the key factors contributing to the success of the installation, " he added. The gapless Mainstream presses started production of The Daily Telegraph at the beginning of October in Manchester. The two Mainstreams include 70 printing couples, 2 jaw folders and 14 Contiweb FD pasters. Francis Cartoux, President of Imprimeries IPS, France’s number two free sheet producer, also showed his satisfaction and confidence in the way Heidelberg is managing the installation of the two Mainstream presses at the Fouilloy and Reyrieux premises in France. " I am very satisfied with the resources made available to us by Heidelberg, and there is very good cooperation between our staff and theirs, " he says. The Mainstream installations started in February 2002 at the Imprimeries IPS Fouilloy premises and in April 2002 at IPS Reyrieux. Configuration of each press in Fouilloy and Reyrieux includes 28 printing couples, 4 towers, 6 FD pasters. The first printing production of the free sheet newspaper Le Galibot was successfully completed on the gapless press in Fouilloy on 13th September. Other sites where Heidelberg customer installation will start shortly, are The Roanoke Times in the USA and Transcontinental in Canada. These customers also highlight the Heidelberg Project management approach. The Roanoke Times ordered a Mainstream press and Magnapak packaging system in July 2001. A new building is now under construction at Roanoke, Virginia, for the home of the first Mainstream press in the United States. "The team that Heidelberg sent down to work with us asked a lot of questions and impressed us. Partnering to us is important," says Chip Harris, Roanoke Times Production Director. The Transcontinental Group in Canada, one of the largest commercial printers in North America, is also one of the latest Mainstream customers to date. Transcontinental will take over the printing of La Presse, a French- language daily newspaper with 800,000 readers. The duplexed Mainstreams at a new facility in Montreal will feature six four-high towers and two five-high towers. Heidelberg will supply 12 Contiweb FD pasters, an RBS-32 rotary blade folder and two JF-255 folders. "Heidelberg has been a long-time business partner, and we have had tremendous success using their presses in the past," says Transcontinental Chairman and CEO Remi Marcoux. In Europe and particularly in France, publishers are very enthusiastic regarding the Mainstream concept . To meet the demand, Heidelberg increased its production capacity. Since January 2002, in addition to the American facilities of Dover and Durham, Heidelberg has added its Montataire facility in France as a Mainstream manufacturing site. Montataire is recognized for its manufacturing know how and state of the art machine tools. The first Mainstream presses produced in Montataire are destined for the French daily newspapers, the Depêche du Midi, followed by Le Progrès de Lyon and Le Dauphine libere.