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MAN Roland Extends Advantage as Leading Provider of Newspaper Presses

Press release from the issuing company

Orlando, Florida -- July 1, 2002 -- Over the past 12 months, the world’s leading producer and distributor of newspaper presses has experienced a record year in sales, installations and start-ups, MAN Roland Inc. recently announced at a news briefing at NEXPO. A total of 15 major newspapers or newspaper publishers have ordered or installed MAN Roland web presses for the period from June 2001 to June 2002. That amounts to a total of 29 web printing systems, 922 printing couples, and 123 reels. "The numbers are impressive, but they only hint at the confidence the North American newspaper industry has placed in MAN Roland over the past year," says Vince Lapinski, Senior Vice President of Web Operations. "We’ve learned that newspapers like our technology, they like our service and they like the long-term commitment we can deliver. We in turn would like to thank all of our customers for making it a record year for us." As to model types, eight of the newspapers selected MAN Roland’s new Regioman series -- an eight-page system delivering a four-across one-around configuration for straight production. The arrangement provides newspapers with the ultimate flexibility in pagination, facilitating the production of variable-sized sections and two-page jumps. The configuration also cuts a newspaper’s printing plate requirements in half. [A separate report for recent Regioman installations and sales will follow.] Of the remaining newspapers/publishers to order or install MAN Roland presses, six are going with the Geoman -- a sixteen-page model. One has installed an eight-page Uniset system, and one is running a four-page Cromoman. That 32-couple Cromoman was the first to be installed in North America. It began printing last September at The Papers Inc., a privately-owned facility in Milford, Indiana. The company focuses on printing local newspapers and weeklies, including The Mail-Journal of Milford, as well as new publications in Elkhart and Kosciusko Counties, senior newspapers, and auto sales publications. The Papers’ single-width Cromoman is configured with a 22-3/4-inch cutoff. The press consists of four towers, each capable of printing 4/4 color; four webs, web cutoff and register controls and a 48-page 2:3:3 folder with a quarter folder for booklet format production. "We are changing over the press runs in as little as 20 minutes," says Ron Baumgartner, president of The Papers. "That includes re-plating of the press. Immediately, we are seeing less time on the press." Baumgartner has a long list of compliments for his Cromoman: "We are finding quicker registration, quicker color balance, less spoilage on startups and higher running speeds. All that, in addition to our quick changeovers between jobs. We are actually finding that after four to six weeks that we are outrunning the available jobs. Also, if we miss a splice it’s not the machine, it’s the operator." Another of the earliest installations for during MAN Roland’s record year was also one of the most significant. The Indianapolis Star is now running four Geoman presses, totaling 120 couples and 30 reels in its all-new $72 million production facility. By July, the Geoman quartet will be producing the paper in its entirety, serving a daily circulation of 272,000 and a Sunday circulation of 371,000. Richard Rinehart, Project Director of the Star’s new production center, praised the training and installation services providing by MAN Roland. Well before the press was installed, operators received simulator training. Hands-on sessions began in October at the new Pulliam Production Center and continued throughout the startup. "The training MAN Roland provides is one of the company’s strong points," says Rinehart. The project director also lauded the installation technicians, noting that a crew of over 25 specialists were flown in last summer from Germany. "They’re polite; they’re professional; and they do what you request," he says. "That makes for a trouble-free installation." The smoothness of the MAN Roland ramp-up means the Indianapolis Star is on target with its three primary objectives for implementing its new presses, its advanced roll handling system and its new automated mailroom. Goal one is to increase the amount of color opportunities the paper could offer its advertisers and bring to its readers. The Geoman presses more than double the daily total from 12 color pages to 28. The paper’s second objective is to ensure that it can remain in a straight mode to speed production and provide more pagination options every day. "This allows us to have the latest editorial deadlines, while providing the earliest press off-time, which benefits our circulation department and readers," Rinehardt points out. The final goal is to reduce labor expenses. Once all of the automated advances are in place, from roll handling to press room to mail room, the Star will have reduced its payroll by the equivalent of 88 full time employees. The Journal Register Company, a growing U.S. newspaper publisher with headquarters in Trenton, New Jersey, has also selected the Geoman to improve the productivity of its operations. new printing plant. The company began installation last year of two Geoman presses, totaling 42 couples and 8 reels, in a new 100,000-square foot plant, located near Philadelphia in Chester County, Pennsylvania. The 70,000 copies/hour presses have been on-line since last December. They are configured as four eight-couple printing towers and two five-couple printing towers, with one double-folding 2:5:5/2:3:3 jaw folder, and one single-folding couple 2:3:3 jaw folder, fed by eight pasters. As it does for all Geoman, a MAN Roland PECOM command and control system automates the operation of the press. The configuration allows the Journal Register to run the entire system as one press to produce 112 pages or operate the equipment as two presses, each capable of producing 64 pages, all with process color on the outside pages and spot color on the inside. The Journal Register owns 23 daily newspapers, with approximately 570,000 total daily circulation, as well as 224 non-daily publications, with total distribution of more than 3.6 million. In Mobile, Alabama, the state’s oldest newspaper has one of the industry’s most advanced presses. The Mobile Register installed two Geoman presses starting last summer and began producing on them in April. The system consists of 52 couples, 8 reels and 2 folders. Increasing its color and sectioning capacities were two reasons why Missouri’s Springfield News-Leader selected a MAN Roland Geoman. The presses, which go into production this month, feature 40 printing couples configured in five 4/4 towers, fed by seven pasters. Two 80-page 2:3:3 jaw folders handle the finishing. The Gannett-owned newspaper will be able to run 80 consecutive pages of full color in the collect mode, while benefiting from 56 page/five section color capability in the straight mode. "The Increased color capacity will allow us to us eliminate pre-runs and accommodate the specific color position requests of advertisers," says Tom Tate, Press Project / Production Manager at the News-Leader. "Ample full color capability combined with high speed production & exceptional print quality will also allow us to pursue commercial printing partnerships." Tate sees Geoman’s superior reproduction and productivity powers as making the paper more useful to its readership as well: "From a content standpoint we have historically produced an outstanding newspaper; now we have the press that will accentuate the quality customer service efforts of all News-Leader departments. Later news deadlines, better sectioning, complex graphics, comprehensive features, and phenomenal display ad reproduction are just a few of the improvements that will benefit our customers." MAN Roland’s "solid business relationship" with Gannett was only one reason why the New-Leader went with the web press leader for its latest press, which replaces a 1963 Goss Headliner Mark II Letterpress. "MAN Roland's professional installation, comprehensive training, smooth start-up and quality results of presses in Rochester, Minneapolis, and Des Moines makes a compelling case," says Tate. "Based on their proven performance history, we are confident that we will add to the long list MAN Roland success stories and satisfied customers." A MAN Roland Uniset was installed earlier this year at the Tennessean in Nashville and is now being phased into production. But the eight-page Uniset will not be producing Music City’s hometown paper. Rather it will print regional runs of USA Today for Tennessean-parent Gannett as well as tackle coldset commercial work. "We’re running live commercial jobs right now," says Mike Ciarimboli, VP Operations. "They’re weekly and monthly periodicals, an employment tabloid and special sections for an alternative weekly. We go live on July 1st with USA Today." The new Uniset at the Tennessean will pick up the workload of [a Goss] Urbanite press at Nashville Offset, the Gannett plant that is being consolidated in this production reorganization. "The biggest changes for us are improved quality and greater productivity," Ciarimboli notes. "We expect to get 30-50% more commercial work off of the Uniset. Less waste will also be a positive factor." The operations chief bases his higher production projections on Gannett’s use of a MAN Roland press in Minnesota. "They’ve had a really good experience with the Uniset installed at Minneapolis Offset," he says. The Tennessean’s press has a total of 48 printing couples configured into six printing towers anchored to a steel substructure. The eight couples per tower give the newspaper a shorter web lead and more flexibility with a variety of printing applications. It can run as one press with nine webs or as two presses, one with four webs and the other with five. The system features a 21.5-inch cutoff and a 34-inch web width. "The quick ink change ink fountain inserts in the split tower configuration is one of the reasons Uniset will be more productive," Ciarimboli declares. "They facilitate faster changeovers" The Staten Island Advance, owned by Advance Publications, is currently installing a 36-couple Geoman with six reels. The press is designed with four towers with eight printing couples each, and one H-type tower with four printing couples. The configuration will equip the Advance to print 48 pages in straight mode with up to 32 of those pages in color. The Staten Island newspaper has a daily circulation of 68,304 and a Sunday total of 86,277. Two Geoman presses, totaling 64 couples, 12 reels and two folders will be installed next summer at The Grand Rapids Press in Michigan. The configuration give the paper the ability to print up to 64 pages of full color at one time. The new Geoman’s shaftless drive construction allows the press to run while plates are being changed on several units. The feature facilitates more sophisticated zoning.