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 DETROIT, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the nation's largest, most technically advanced offset printing presses cranked up operations in Detroit.
 After months of preparation and fine-tuning, the $5.4 million 8-color, Hantscho Mark 16 press took on its first assignment: printing the 100,000 circulation Ward's Auto World magazine published by Ward's Communications, also based in Detroit.
 The new press is 160 feet long -- more than half the length of a football field. It is capable of printing up to 40,000 pieces per hour, and can handle publications ranging in size from digests to tabloids. Ward's Auto World is published in a standard newsmagazine format.
 The PressRoom Inc., a new company formed in 1992, purchased and operates the new press. It is located in a 100,000-square-foot facility at 15550 Woodrow Wilson Blvd. near the Lodge and Davison freeways. The company will operate on a three-shift, 24-hour basis. The PressRoom Inc. will be a commercial and publication printer.
 Principals in The PressRoom Inc. are all veteran Detroit-area printing specialists. They include President Charles Drebes, who also is president of Gaylord Printing Co., a 55-year-old, $20 million revenue commercial printing firm whose plant is located adjacent to The PressRoom Inc. operation; Vice President Daryl Foster, who founded Foster Graphics, Inc. in Warren, Mich., in 1980, which specializes in printing preparatory work; Elaine Monto, Foster Graphics, Inc., secretary-treasurer who now serves as secretary-treasurer of the new company; and Mike Porzondek, general superintendent.
 The press was designed and built by Hantscho Products of Mount Vernon, N.Y., which is part of Rockwell International Corp.'s Graphics Systems Division. Rockwell is also a major automotive supplier and a leading aerospace company.
 "Our Hantscho Mark 16 press is a solid example of how aerospace technology can rub off on the commercial side," said Foster.
 The press is capable of printing eight different colors simultaneously and up to 32 pages at a time, he said.
 Laser beams were used to precisely align the press during installation. And nearly all functions are controlled by high-powered computers from a central console.
 The press features Butler automatic paper splicers and WPC web controls. Paper usage is calculated instantly by continuously measuring weight, thickness and speed.
 A digital DC drive provides faster, more precise electronic control of power to the press by eliminating mechanical relays and contact points, Foster said.
 Hantscho engineers took great pains to build a press that answers the most common problems associated with high-speed, web-offset printing, Monto said.
 For example, video cameras continuously monitor each color applied by the printing plates as the paper rolls through the press, she said. This information is instantly relayed to a computer, which automatically adjusts the printed page to make absolutely sure each color in the sequence is "in register" with every other color for highest quality reproduction.
 Ink smear in the finished publication is eliminated by a combination of controls. After ink and water are combined on the web to provide the image, the paper glides through an ink-drying oven that is longer than similar installations. The oven's greater length means the still-wet paper can run through at lower temperatures for a longer period. This results in a more thorough drying and higher ink gloss, Monto explained.
 "The press features a newly designed continuous inking system that eliminates ink starvation, common with other web presses. An automatic ink leveling system also contributes to color consistency and ease of operation," Porzondek said.
 And even while one printing job is running through the press, another feature permits presetting ink requirements for the next job for fast turnaround with the new Hantscho Color Set II system.
 Press make-ready -- the time it takes to get everything ready to roll -- takes only minutes compared to hours previously, said Porzondek. "This basically is a one-button operation," he said.
 There are also major customer advantages in the press's folder system, which takes the wide printed sheets and folds them into the proper size: tabloid, digest or magazine formats. The press also has sheeting capabilities.
 Because of greater preciseness throughout the printing process and highly sophisticated folder controls, spoilage while making adjustments is drastically reduced to about 500 pieces per job compared to some 3,000 pieces in a typical operation, said Drebes.
 "This press is extremely flexible," he said. "We can do jobs that are as small as 5,000 or 10,000 pieces up to the millions."
 Although The PressRoom's crews have undergone extensive pre-startup training, they and their customers can take comfort in yet one more space-age innovation. "We're plugged in by computer directly to Hantscho in Mount Vernon. If we run into a problem, we simply type it in and their experts can make the corrections on-line in our plant," said Drebes.
 -0- 3/2/93
 /CONTACT: Elaine Monto or Daryl Foster of The PressRoom Inc., 313-757-5300 or 313-883-1200/

CO: The PressRoom Inc. ST: Michigan IN: SU: PDT

KE-JG -- DE030 -- 2029 03/02/93 14:23 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 2, 1993

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