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Southwest Offset Printing to add Heidelberg press with 12 towers

Press release from the issuing company

DOVER, NH - Southwest Offset Printing in Gardena, California will install a Heidelberg Mercury press with 96 printing couples and two JF-35 folders in early 2004. The company will use the new press to print a regional edition of The New York Times as well as other newspaper and semi-commercial products. "Mercury print quality and reliability are highly proven," according to Greg Macdonald, president of Southwest Offset Printing. "With the help of Heidelberg, we have taken those qualities and designed a customized configuration that will also give us tremendous versatility." The new Mercury press will include 12 four-high towers and 18 pasters. Operators will have the option of running it as a single press, or as two independent presses with various web lead and pagination choices. Two JF-35 combination folders will deliver broadsheet, tabloid or magazine products at up to 45,000 copies per hour. The Heidelberg Omnicon package will provide comprehensive, touch-screen control and monitoring functions from the consoles as well as extensive job storage and retrieval capabilities. Integrated Omnicolor color controls will allow fully automated presetting using digital prepress data or stored data. Southwest Offset Printing specializes in newspaper and publication printing and offers complete prepress, heatset and non-heatset web printing and postpress capabilities. Titles printed at the 85,000 square foot facility near Los Angeles include the Financial Times, Daily Racing Form, Christian Science Monitor, Radio and Records and the Washington Post National Weekly. The company was established in 1990 and has 275 employees. The new Mercury will be the tenth web press line at Southwest Offset. In 2002, the company installed a five-unit Heidelberg M-600 commercial web press. "We have established strong working relationships with the Heidelberg engineering, service and training teams," according to Macdonald. "We are confident that this partnership, together with the Mercury press technology, will be a winning combination for us." Heidelberg vice president Doug Gibson notes that the Southwest Offset Printing order follows large Mercury installations in Denver, Colorado and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. "The Mercury is becoming an increasingly popular choice because it is a press that can excel in applications ranging from daily newspaper production to semi-commercial printing," he explains. Heidelberg is also currently installing the first three double-width Mainstream presses in North America, two at the Transcontinental Group in Montreal and one at The Roanoke Times in Virginia.