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Geographics To Install First Heidelberg Zero-Makeready Web Press In U.S.

Press release from the issuing company

DOVER, NH - Geographics will install the first web press in the United States with Automatic Transfer (AT), an exclusive new Heidelberg option that allows job changeovers to be completed without stopping the press. The company will add the six-unit, 24-page Sunday 2000 in early 2005 as part of an ongoing major expansion project at its Atlanta, Georgia facility. The Sunday press will complement new sheetfed presses, including a Heidelberg Speedmaster ten-color perfector. "The market for high-quality commercial printing is going in the direction of shorter runs with more versioning," explains Geographics owner and chief executive officer Norvin Hagan. "The combination of gapless technology, Autoplate and Automatic Transfer creates an ideal platform for us to better serve our customers. In addition to cutting makeready time and waste to a minimum, we will also eliminate some makereadies altogether." Automatic Transfer allows operators to complete on-the-run print transfers by bringing one or more idle printing units on impression while simultaneously taking another unit, or group of units, off impression. The exclusive Heidelberg feature maintains a straight web lead and does not require air bars or diverters that adversely effect print quality and limit the positioning of the AT units within the press line. The Sunday 2000 at Geographics will include two AT printing units. Autoplate will also enable an operator to change plates in an idle unit with the push of a button while the press is printing. "With AT and Autoplate, we expect to run the press with a reduced crew and to run it continuously through several edition changes," Hagan explains. "We will also have the option of using all six units for six-color jobs." Sunday 2000 presses can be configured with eight AT units, allowing complete four-color job changeovers without stopping for a makeready. Heidelberg will supply its Contiweb CS splicer, Ecocool dryer with integrated chill rolls, and pinless combination and former folders with the Sunday 2000 system at Geographics. Prinect Web Center controls will provide fully automated presetting, closed-loop control and workflow integration capabilities. "We've had a long successful partnership with Heidelberg, and the gapless Sunday Press is a natural extension of that relationship," according to Hagan. He says the wider, 24-page format will provide significant competitive advantages, producing eight more pages per revolution than a traditional 16-page web press. Hagan established Geographics in 1976 after investing $32,000 to purchase a bankrupt sheetfed printing operation. Today, 200 employees generate annual revenues of $37 million, providing comprehensive digital prepress, sheetfed and web offset printing, bindery, fulfillment and data management services. The company recently completed an $11 million expansion of its 400,000 square foot facility and added ten-color and six-color Heidleberg Speedmaster sheetfed presses. Geographics earned the "Top Notch" Award for quality in three of the last four years in the annual competition held by the Printing Association of Georgia.