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Japanese company to supply newspaper press

This article was originally published Feb. 19, 2005:

Price and product quality were among the reasons Fort Wayne Newspapers picked a Japanese manufacturer to supply its new, faster and more versatile printing press.

The newspaper company has a tentative agreement to buy the press from Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho Ltd., Phil Haggerty, vice president of operations, said Friday.

Haggerty declined to disclose the purchase price.

Fort Wayne Newspapers -- the business agent for The Journal Gazette and The News-Sentinel -- announced plans this month for a $35 million expansion near the company's existing site, 600 W. Main St. The centerpiece of the investment will be a more than 46,000-square-foot building to house the new offset printing press.

A bridge will be constructed over Van Buren Street connecting the new structure to the existing Fort Wayne Newspapers building.

The Japanese printing press manufacturer was picked over two German press makers.

"We evaluated the bids and looked at the products" and chose the Japanese press, Haggerty said.

"This is a premium, high-speed product," he said.

The roughly 60-foot vertical press will be capable of printing up to 90,000 papers an hour, dwarfing the current press's capacity of up to 55,000 papers an hour, Haggerty said.

The new press, which is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2007, is impressive compared with other products on the market, Haggerty said.

Presses being installed nationwide today can print between 70,000 to 80,000 papers an hour, Haggerty said.

"To my knowledge this will be the first press of this speed installed in the United States," he said.

The Japanese press will also allow for more color pages.

The new press will be capable of printing 48 pages back-to-back in full color, Haggerty said.