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Civitas Me­dia has inked a deal with QIPC-EAE Amer­i­cas to mod­ern­ize the press con­trols at its news­pa­per print shop in Wilkes-Barre, Penn­syl­va­nia.

North Carolina-based Civitas Me­dia pub­lishes some 100 ti­tles across 12 states. The fa­cil­ity in Wilkes-Barre prints the Times Leader as well as a num­ber of other re­gional pub­li­ca­tions and a weekly en­ter­tain­ment guide. The cen­ter also prints a num­ber of com­mer­cial prod­ucts.

Op­er­at­ing on a man­roland Geo­man web press with five reel stands, three four-high tow­ers and a folder that went into op­er­a­tion in 1996, staff in Wilkes-Barre had been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ever-in­creas­ing mal­func­tions, ac­cord­ing to Peter Flem­ing, re­gional di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions at Civitas Me­dia. Flem­ing took it upon him­self to re­search the com­pany’s op­tions for retro­fit. Orig­i­nally, QIPC-EAE was rec­om­mended by Jim Gore of Pressline Ser­vices, Flem­ing said.

“He was us­ing them to en­gi­neer their Bos­ton Globe re­lo­ca­tion project — a mas­sive un­der­tak­ing,” said Flem­ing.

Speak­ing with en­gi­neers in Bos­ton and get­ting some hands-on time with the con­soles gave Flem­ing an idea of the sys­tems ca­pa­bil­i­ties, he said. “It was a most im­pres­sive visit,” said Flem­ing.

He also vis­ited sev­eral news­pa­per pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties that housed man­roland presses and gained per­spec­tive from in­ter­view­ing his peers in the in­dus­try.

“One of these sites was even un­der­go­ing a retro­fit at the time I was there, so it was pos­si­ble to judge for my­self the qual­ity of the work­man­ship in­volved,” Flem­ing said.

The re­search and vis­its gave Flem­ing the con­fi­dence to choose QIPCEAE, he said.

Two EAE Baltic Star con­trol con­soles will be in­stalled on a web press. In ad­di­tion, EAE IPC con­trols will be in­stalled for the print­ing units and the folder. Var­i­ous PCs for re­mote main­te­nance, net­work com­mu­ni­ca­tions and sec­tion con­trol will also be in­cluded. The press will also be equipped with an EAE Info re­port­ing and log­ging sys­tem as well as an EAE Print pro­duc­tion plan­ning and pre­set sys­tem. The In­ter­bus net­work for one of the three tow­ers will be re­placed at the time.

“We are an­tic­i­pat­ing a sup­port plat­form, a more user-friendly setup, greatly im­proved and friend­lier sup­port and last but not least, bet­ter and much more de­tailed di­ag­nos­tic func­tions, which hap­pen to be the key to the op­er­a­tion of this press,” Flem­ing said.

Work is sched­uled to be­gin on-site in the first quar­ter of 2017.

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