Heidelberg first in industry history to supply press and
DOVER, NH - With the start up of a Heidelberg Magnapak
packaging system, The Roanoke Times has completed phase one of an
historical $31.6 million upgrade of its production facilities. The
installation project marks the first time in industry history that
a single supplier has provided major press and postpress inserting
Components for phase two, the first gapless Mainstream press
in the United States, are now arriving at a new 47,000 square-foot
printing facility in Roanoke. The press will go on edition in
late fall. A Heidelberg NP200 gripper conveyor will carry
papers from the press, through a walkway over a street, to the
The Magnapak packaging system at The Roanoke Times cycles at
up to 30,000 papers per hour and includes 32 independently driven
hopper stations. Shaftless technology was a critical factor
in the purchase decision, according to Lucas Tuning, mailroom
operations manager. "We wanted to be on the cutting
edge, and, with the Magnapak, we feel like we got tomorrow's
technology today," he says.
Tuning reports that the learning curve for the Magnapak was
extremely short, and that operators took advantage of the added
speed, capacity and on-the-fly setup features almost
immediately. "Our Sunday package, for example, used to
take three to three and a half days to complete," he
explains. "Now we have streamlined our workflow to a
point where we routinely turn it around in one day or a day and a
Working with a single vendor for postpress and press systems
has also streamlined the project management process, according to
Chip Harris, the paper's production director. "We
make one phone call and schedule one meeting instead of
coordinating multiple calls and meetings," he explains.
Harris expects that selecting Heidelberg to manage both phases of
the project will continue to pay dividends in the form of
integrated operating systems and service programs.
The gapless, 48-couple Mainstream press at The Roanoke Times
will be configured with six four-high towers. Heidelberg will
supply a JF255 jaw folder and seven Contiweb FD pasters with
automated loading and reel preparation capabilities.
The Roanoke Times' readers and advertisers are following
the project closely and looking forward to expanded color and
improved print quality, according to Harris. He says print
quality provided by the gapless blanket technology and the ability
to print 80,000 papers per hour with a plate saving 1x4 cylinder
configuration are the key Mainstream features.
"We run straight 100 percent of the time, so we are
mounting duplicate plates on our current two-around press,"
Harris explains. "Cutting plate requirements with the
one-around configuration will reduce plate costs, the time needed
to make and mount duplicate plates, and our CTP investments over
the life of the press."
Harris also anticipates that the integrated Heidelberg press
and postpress systems will complement each other. Added
capacity provided by the Magnapak will give The Times the option of
printing pre runs on the Mainstream and assembling final packages
A web cam at
provides continuously updated photos of the Roanoke Times
mainstream installation and additional information on the project.
For further information: