Chicago Daily Herald moves into new Wright inspired Paddock Printing Center
Press release from the issuing company
July 1, 2003 -- The Daily Hearld’s new Paddock Printing Center in Schaumburg, Illinois doesn’t look like your typical newspaper production facility. That’s because it was designed to reflect the Prairie architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright, who achieved some of his greatest accomplishments in the Chicagoland region.
The Daily Herald is excelling in Wright’s home region as well. It has grown to become Chicago’s largest suburban newspaper, with a circulation of over 150,000. That’s why the paper outgrew its old production facility in Arlington Heights and built a new $50 million facility, which is named after the family that founded and still runs the paper. The plant provides 160,000 square feet of production space — more than enough room for two new REGIOMAN presses from MAN Roland.
“It isn’t only the productivity of REGIOMAN that attracted us to this press,” says Robert E. Finch, Vice President/Process. “Improving productivity and print quality of our newspaper is very important to us. It is vital that we give our readers and advertisers the best quality product possible.”
Finch should know of what he speaks. He and his production team pent years assessing presses in the U.S. and Europe before selecting REGIOMAN. “We found that MAN Roland is the leader in technology with four-by-one printing and their own PECOM press software,” he declares.
The operations executive has also learned a thing or two about building a state-of-the-art production facility. He helped supervise the creation and construction of the Paddock Printing Center from approval of the first architectural plan to the planting of the final landscaped garden.
The entire process was completed in under two years, but it began with a significant challenge. “Our publisher didn’t want the big square box that typically houses production plants these days,” Finch recalls.
At issue was that the new 26-acre site is near the busy Elgin-O’Hare Expressway. So tens of thousands of the Daily Herald’s most influential readers and potential subscribers pass the facility every day on their morning commutes. “Our new building needed to make a statement about our company — who we are and our vision for the future,” Finch recalls. “We wanted it to reflect our role as a major player in the communications network that encompasses Chicago.”
Thus the move to the Frank Lloyd Wright concept, and a call to GSI Architects of Cleveland, Ohio, who are old hands at designing newspaper production facilities.
“When GSI was requested to design this facility in the Prairie Style, we knew that we could not create the intimacy and detail of this style at a residential scale,” says Denver Brooker, Design Principal at the Cleveland firm. “Instead, we looked to the root attributes of the style: interlocking volumes, extended eaves, planar canopies, horizontal massing and details, connection to the landscape.”
The finished building has a distinctive character that makes it stand out from its neighbors, much as a Frank Lloyd Wright house does. It also meets the Daily Herald’s requirements for optimum production flow and future expansion.
Brooker’s design also had to conform to a stringent design review process and zoning ordinances imposed by the Village of Schaumburg. “GSI led the site planning efforts to satisfy everyone's requirements: process flow, aesthetics, environmental impact and budget.”
The Daily Herald chose the Pepper Construction Group of Chicago to make GSI’s plans a reality. But Pepper’s first order of business wasn’t getting the unique stylistic touches just right, but rather constructing a 180-foot long press table within tolerances of an eighth of an inch.
“We visited other installations that had concrete tables, including the Indianapolis Star, and took Pepper with us,” Finch recalls. “They brought along their concrete specialists and asked a lot of questions. Then they combined that information with their own expertise and hit the mark the first time, which is unbelievable. The press table was perfect.”
Finch says the Daily Herald gained several advantages from going with the table option: “It made it easier to assemble the press, because the reel stands could be installed at the same time the press was going up. And it also cuts down considerably on pressroom noise, filtering down to the reel room.”
Ralf Schaedlich was the project manager for MAN Roland during construction and installation. He was a fixture at the meetings Finch and Pepper conducted onsite every Thursday morning. “He was always around whenever a question needed to be answered or a problem had to be solved,” Finch says. “That made a big difference.”
The Paddock Printing Center’s press hall is 11,280 square feet and 80 feet tall, and accommodates two REGIOMAN presses configured with 66 couples, 12 reel stands and two folders.
“The new presses are already more productive than our previous machines, even though we’ve only been producing the Daily Herald for about three months,” Finch declares. “The REGIOMAN is a more efficient running press, that’s for sure. It’s also a smarter press. It doesn’t let you make mistakes that can happen when you’re under deadline pressure.”
To integrate its new pressroom with its editorial and advertising, which remain in Arlington Heights, the Daily Herald is using PlanPag — part of its MIS package from ppi Media. That company is a MAN Roland subsidiary, an arrangement that gives the Daily Herald a single-point resource in this vital area.
ppi Media extensively customized the program for the Daily Herald because of the paper’s extensive zoning requirements. Finch and his crews typically produce different versions for 30 zones in the afternoon to anywhere from 7 to 18 zones at night.
“MAN Roland’s PPM (Production Planning & Management) station and ppi Media’s PlanPag work together to organize and execute every aspect of each production run on the press,” he notes. “Our electronic workflow to the press is much enhanced by PECOM, which automates our ink presets and register controls.”
The Daily Herald equipped its new pressroom with AUROSYS to automate reel handling. “We’re very happy with AUROSYS,” Finch says. “It’s saving us time and money. In our old plant, we used a manual system, which required two people for every three reel stands. Now we’re running the entire press with two people in the reel room. So AUROSYS has cut our manpower requirements in half in this area. It’s another example of how MAN Roland is automating printing production.”
The Daily Herald’s new presses allowed it to switch to a new size product — a tighter format that saves on material costs and is more reader friendly. “That improvement has delighted our circulation,” Finch reports.
“The quality capabilities of our REGIOMAN presses have also made The Daily Herald more colorful. For that we have gotten fan mail from subscribers. Our advertisers — especially in the automotive area — are very happy with the quality of the color, and our ability to provide more color opportunities.”
So the Daily Herald’s new bolder, more pleasing look extends from the sleek lines of its new Paddock Printing Center right into the paper’s pages. Says Finch: “There‘s no question this has been a big step up for us and a very positive one.”
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