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SMG reports strong growth due to press automation

Jun 1, 2011 12:00 AM


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Seacoast Media Group based in Portsmouth, NH, has seen commercial contract print orders increase by more than 900% in the four years since it installed a Goss Magnum coldset press and a Goss inserter. The company credits the high automation and versatility of the press among the key reasons for the degree of success.

“We specialize in offset newspaper printing and everything that entails,” says Seacoast production manager Alan Laskey. “We have a number of titles with quite substantial run lengths, but no run is too small. The secret weapon in maintaining our service to clients is the level of automation of the Magnum press and the flexibility of the single-width platform.”

Running 15 – 18 jobs a day, each averaging between 45 minutes to one hour on press, according to Laskey, the efficiency of the operation is essential in keeping costs down and ensuring customer satisfaction. “We get through 13,000 plates per month, which gives an indication of the frequency of job and edition changes. The automatic inking, automatic registration, Omnicolor presetting and the Omnicon controls on our Magnum press maintain job setup, changeover and waste at a minimum,” he says.

Prior to installing the 16-unit Goss Magnum 2x2 press and the new inserter, Seacoast Media Group’s printing services were principally concerned with the company’s own in-house publications, with outside contracts accounting for approximately $700,000 per annum. Today, the value of contract print work at Seacoast Media Holdings totals around $6.5 million per year and accounts for around 75% of the company’s total turnover. According to Laskey, this increase is the consequence both of a concerted sales effort aimed at exploiting the full capabilities of the new press and through referrals from existing customers.

The single-wide press platform also allows Seacoast to accommodate a variety of web widths between 22 – 32 inches (56 – 81 cm), providing the flexibility to print a wide range of publication formats. Aside from general maintenance periods at the weekend, the 16-unit Magnum 2x2 press runs virtually 24/7, servicing 160 active accounts predominantly from locations throughout Maine, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, and dispatching as far as New York State.

Most recently, SMG was awarded the contract to print 28,000 copies daily of the Nashua Telegraph, as well as its numerous weekly titles. This latest assignment contributes to a total output per week of approximately one million copies.