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Goss and Northcliffe partner again on major Plymouth newspaper press expansion

Press release from the issuing company

January 23rd, 2004 – Northcliffe Newspapers Group has placed an order with Goss Graphic Systems Ltd, Preston for a major new press rebuild program involving Goss HT60 presses at Plymouth. The phased rebuild project will boost color print capacity by 300% on completion. Originally installed in 1992, the Goss HT60 presses are located at Northcliffe Newspapers’ futuristic TNP South West’s printing facility on the outskirts of Plymouth, Devon. Plymouth was the final stepping off point for The Pilgrim Fathers in 1620 on their journey to establish new lives in America. Plymouth has a long maritime history and is an important centre for newspaper journalism for Southwest England. The Plymouth press rebuild is required to increase color capacity for Northcliffe’s regional daily papers The Western Morning News, the Evening Herald and Herald Express and paid-for weekly papers, The West Briton, Cornish Guardian and Cornishman. Current Plymouth plant output is 2.5 million newspapers per week, or more than 130 million papers a year, covering circulation in Devon and Cornwall plus other areas of the West Country and further afield. Including full reconfiguration, installation and project management of the entire project, Goss is supporting Northcliffe’s needs for a phased press rebuild program. Equipment additions and enhancements during 2003 and into 2004 are: Seven new Goss HT60 double width press units to be added to existing HT60 footprints in several locations Two additional existing HT60 units, fully refurbished in new frames to suit the new project New shaftless upper folder over an existing Goss 2:5:5 jaw folder Angle bar enhancement to shaftless drive Currently printing over 40 contract titles per week, including daily production of 100,000 copies of the Daily Mail and 70,000 copies of the Western Morning News, Northcliffe’s Plymouth facility has been under pressure for some time to increase its color capacity. Following completion of the project, maximum color capability of the Plymouth press line will be 144 color pages in a 160-page tabloid in a single pass of the press, up from 48 pages. Tony Grabham, MD of TNP SW comments: “Our daily and weekly customers have been demanding additional color for some time now and this rebuild will provide up to 128 pages of back-to-back color which will enable them to further build their business in vital categories.” In addition to the increased production capacity, according to Mark Ellington, Northcliffe Newspapers’ Group Technical Director, the project will also give Northcliffe Plymouth ‘runnability’ benefits: “The new press lines will be much better equipped to run multiple webs at high speeds. The new upper folder is shaftless and that means that we get much improved runnability. Nothing is fixed, we can continually measure how hard the nips are working and automatically adjust to provide the optimum gain.” As an integral part of the Plymouth press expansion project a parallel, but earlier press enhancement has been undertaken on The Northcliffe Press, South West’s Goss Super Gazette newspaper press in Exeter, Devon. This expansion, which included a new shaftless Goss Universal 1:3:3 jaw folder to replace an earlier folder, plus the addition of extra shaftless outfeeds, has allowed increased production reliability and flexibility while the Plymouth project is completed. According to John Gallagher, Goss Project Manager, “These are major projects with complex interactions and tight time scales. Goss project management experience and regular communication with the customer are of immense importance in this type of project to keep normal production going while press expansion is completed.” Ian McLeod, Goss Sales Manager for the UK commented, "As the preferred supplier of newspaper press systems to the Northcliffe Newspaper Group, we have a lot of experience of both single site and multi-site projects with them. This project on the existing Goss HT60 presses in Plymouth is an important part of Northcliffe''s expanding UK color capability." Shane Lancaster, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Goss Preston concluded, “It is always a pleasure to work with Northcliffe and their professional staff. We have a long and enjoyable working relationship with the team at Plymouth and look forward to successful completion of this next phase of their regional newspaper production capability."