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Tower pressed into service

The Herald-Mail Co.'s pressroom gets a 45-ton upgrade

The Herald-Mail Co.'s pressroom gets a 45-ton upgrade

August 17, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

erinc@herald-mail.com

Dennis Marcum picked up sections of a 45-ton color printing press with a 180-ton crane Tuesday morning and eased each onto a platform in front of The Herald-Mail Co.

Marcum, the crane operator with Digging & Rigging Inc., said moving the press into the newspaper building was easy.

"But it's stressful," he said.

Power lines, people and tight space were a concern, but the process appeared effortless.

One block of Summit Avenue was closed through early Tuesday afternoon while the press was transferred from a large truck into the building. Four separate sections make up the press. Each was lifted onto a platform and placed on rollers.

Then, five men pushed the units into The Herald-Mail pressroom. With a hoist, they lifted each 10-foot-by-10-foot section and stacked one on top of another. Each of the hoists used to lift one part of the press can lift 40,000 pounds, Herald-Mail pressroom manager Doug Hoffman said.

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The press will stand 16 feet tall when all of the pieces are in place.

"They make it look so easy," said Bill Gordon of Inland Newspaper Machinery Corp., the Kansas-based company that sold the $2.5 million press to The Herald-Mail. "It's amazing how 12,000 pounds just gets moved right in."

Gordon said the light rain that fell throughout the morning might have slowed the process, but it did not cause any major problems.

"It's just that we're all getting wet," he said. "We're prepared for any weather."

Hoffman said the new press, an Americolor tower manufactured by Dauphin Graphic Machines in Millersburg, Pa., will allow the paper to print 16 more color pages in each edition.

"It will definitely enhance the paper," he said.

It is the first pressroom upgrade in about 30 years. The Americolor tower will be added to the existing press. Hoffman estimates the new press will be running in about six to eight weeks.

Much of that time will be spent leveling the press. Gordon said each part must be level within two-thousandths of an inch.

Mike Taylor, with Hall Contracting, said leveling each piece could take from one hour to three days.

"Bringing them in is the easy part," he said.

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