The Network Helps Southern California News Group Consolidate Production

Digital First Media’s acquisition of Freedom Communications had many facets; optimizing production was an important one. The newly-formed Southern California News Group comprises 11 daily titles, including the Sun (San Bernardino), Inland Daily Bulletin, Orange County Register, and Riverside Press Enterprise. “It was important to take advantage of the opportunity for economies of scale,” says Joe Boessenecker, Vice President of Production for Digital First Media / Media News Group. In less than 15 months, printing has been consolidated in Riverside and packaging at the Anaheim production facility of the Orange County Register.

The Network, headed by its president Keith Hockenbery, played a major role in transitioning the packaging operations. First, inserting equipment needed to be repositioned in Riverside to allow room for press expansion, while maintaining some inserting capability for TMC and commercial projects. The Network moved a Goss Heidelberg 2299 inserter, got it up and running better than ever, and provided training for the staff. They also helped to reconfigure the room and removed several pieces of obsolete equipment.

Next, two Goss Magnapaks were relocated from The Register’s Santa Ana facility to Anaheim, joining two GMA SLS-2000 inserters. This puts all daily and Sunday packaging under one roof, and along with the printing consolidation, allowed DFM to close the Santa Ana building. The complex project required close cooperation between The Network, architects, electricians, and machinery riggers and movers. The Network dismantled and then reassembled the Magnapaks, tested them, and got them up to full production. The electrical design of the Magnapaks is unique and presented many challenges, but The Network met them, no problem. According to Boessenecker, “They started right on time per the master project schedule.” 

The Network has completed several projects for DFM, clearly showing their confidence in Keith and his company to work on all types of mailroom equipment.

For help with your next project, contact Keith Hockenbery at 913-669-3646 or

September 2017

The Magnapaks are back in production after being relocated from Santa Ana to Anaheim.

The Magnapaks are back in production after being relocated from Santa Ana to Anaheim.

Audit and Training Avert Disaster at the Chronicle-Telegram
​Avoiding costly down time is a high priority for Mailroom Manager Dave Demyan at the Elyria (OH) Chronicle-Telegram. That’s why he brought in The Network to audit their equipment and provide training for the team. The timing was excellent, as The Network’s president, Keith Hockenbery, discovered a drive shaft in danger of failure, which could have shut down one of the two inserters for days. There were also some very worn bearings on the overhead conveyor. Those parts are being replaced, avoiding serious problems.
The operator training also proved its worth right away. Keith was able to explain how the machine was intended to be run, which was somewhat different than the way they had been running it, Demyan admitted. The operators can also now refer to booklets with set-up tips provided by The Network. Result: Unopened jackets are down 20%. After the on-site work was completed, Keith made multiple follow-up calls to make sure there were no remaining issues or questions. That kind of customer service is “sometimes lacking, and very much appreciated,” said Demyan.

February 22, 2016

Northern California Newspapers Optimize Packaging

In a move to improve productivity and efficiency, California Newspapers Partnership, a unit of Digital First Media, contracted with The Network for a multifaceted project. The Network disassembled a 10:2 SLS 1000 inserting machine at the Vacaville Reporter, then reassembled it at the Chico Enterprise-Record. The installation included new inserter controls. Also in Chico, The Network upgraded a 1372 inserter, and provided operational and maintenance training for the Chico staff on both machines. The project was finished in time for the Enterprise-Record to be ready for the busy fourth quarter.
December 6. 2015

Postpress Upgrade for Journal Register Offset

21st Century Media unit Journal Register Offset of Exton, PA, is adding an inserter and additional equipment to its mailroom in a project being overseen by The Network.
The Network is installing and providing start-up services for the 8:2 SLS2000, which was originally installed at the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press. Also included in the project is a Flexi-Roll twin unwinder. This will allow the plant to wind up products off the press and unwind them directly into the jacket hopper of the inserter, a productivity improvement over the hand feeding that is currently required. According to Gary Coppola, General Manager of Journal Register Offset: “Keith has done a lot of work lately for our parent company 21st Century Media/Media News Group with great success,” and this project will “save us time, money and finally give us a 100% back up mailroom equipment as we will be able to utilize the unwinding station.”
 In a previous project, The Network provided engineering, programming and installation services when JRO updated its tie lines with Quipp Pacman stackers and Dynaric strappers as part of a transition to 44” web width.
Journal Register Offset produces six daily newspapers, including the Delaware County (PA) Times and the Trentonian (NJ), as well as 40 weekly newspapers and two commercial daily newspapers.
February 23, 2015

The Magnapaks are back in production after being relocated from Santa Ana to Anaheim.

Bryan Carr, Vice President of Production for The Buffalo News, left, with Keith Hockenbery, President of The Network.

Investing in The Buffalo News Mailroom

The Buffalo News wanted to improve their packaging process, from preprint order entry to producing completed packages. They have contracted with The Network and BURT Technologies to achieve those goals, per Vice President of Production Bryan Carr.
First, The News is investing in operator training, provided by The Network’s Keith Hockenbery. An initial evaluation revealed that while their GOSS 630’s still run very well, the knowledge of the operators has been diluted over the years. Hands-on training in small groups has been very effective. “Keith’s years of experience and his training course bring back, to both our new and experienced operators, a consistent and fail-proof methodology for successful machine set-up,” says Carr.
This systematic approach results in quicker change-overs and faster running speeds, crucial improvements as zoning gets more and more fine, down to the carrier level. Several rounds of training will cover day and night shifts so that everyone has the set-up and troubleshooting skills to be successful. Per Carr, “We are already seeing improvements on some of the more challenging inserts.”
In a related project, new BURT order entry, package planning and inventory management software will replace The News’s homegrown, older preprint order entry/inventory system. This will eliminate duplicate order processing in advertising and circulation, saving labor and reducing errors. Quicker and improved package planning are other expected benefits, as the software will interface with their existing inserter control system.

 Why BURT? “Compared to others who claim the same niche of technology that BURT offers, BURT has been an established player since the late 1980s. In speaking with their customers, they were more than satisfied with system design, implementation, and customer service, including 24x7 support,” notes Carr. The systems have been improved over the years as BURT has incorporated feedback and best practices from dozens of newspapers, benefiting all their customers.

While The News chose to purchase their own hardware, one of the options BURT now offers is BURT Cloud services. The newspaper can avoid significant up-front investment in hardware, and spending time managing that hardware. Both the Software as a Service (SaaS) and Hosted solutions let customers focus on utilizing the BURT family of applications to package and deliver the newspaper, while BURT worries about stability, security, and scalability. 

For more information about how The Network and BURT can improve your mailroom’s operation, contact Keith Hockenbery at or 913-669-3646.

March 2, 2017

The post-press department at Cannon Valley Printing before and after the SLS-2000 installation.

SLS 2000 inserter installed in Minnesota

Wanting to increase throughputs and improve efficiency, Cannon Valley Printing of Northfield, MN, contracted with The Network to install a 16:2 SLS 2000 inserter. The machine was purchased from Innovative Mailroom Equipment, and had originally been installed in Vancouver, Canada. General Manager Roger Stolley noted that the installation, start-up and training plan was very well organized, and that “The Network’s trainers are top notch!” The project was completed on time and on budget.
Cannon Valley Printing is the central printing and processing center for APG Media of Southern Minnesota. Their products include the Owatonna Peoples Press and Faribault Daily News, plus shoppers and TMC products. They also produce many commercial products, including Finance and Commerce and Minnesota Lawyer.

July 14, 2015

Editor & Publisher Profile of The Network

Production: Cost Saving Partners
By Nu Yang, Managing Editor                                                                                                             February 23, 2015

 As newspapers navigate into the new year, many of them are looking for resources that will help them save on production costs. This month, we take a look at two companies, PAGE Cooperative and The Network, both with services that will not only increase the quality of your work, but rescue your bottom line . . . 
The Print Packaging Network
Launched in 2010, The Print Packing Network (otherwise known as The Network) was founded by former Muller Martini Mailroom Systems vice president of sales and marketing Keith Hockenbery. After leaving the company in 2009, he was still being contacted by his newspaper and vendor clients on leads, so he decided to create The Network.

See the rest of the story here.

Click for the BBB Business Review of this Printing Equipment in Sebastian FL

Know-How       Capability       Integrity

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News from The Network

Improved Off Times for the Valley News

When Newspapers of New England needed to increase their inserting capacity at the Lebanon (NH) Valley News, they remembered the successful projects that The Network had completed for them in Concord and Northampton. The Network's skilled experts came through again, installing an SLS1000.
Watch their outstanding debut run, cycling at  an impressive 11,600 cph,  limited only by the need to manually count carrier keys on the tie-lines. It was also the first time they had ever used hopperloaders, but the staff caught on quickly. The big payoff came at Thanksgiving, when they were able to finish production over an hour earlier than in the past.

SLS3000 inserter installed in Pontiac

​​21st Century Media Michigan, a division of Digital First Media, has chosen The Network to reconfigure and install a 30-feeder SLS3000 at their Pontiac inserting facility. The machine is being moved from the 21st Century plant in Mount Clemens, Michigan. The relocation includes expanding the inserter from 24 to 30 feeders. The Network is providing all engineering services necessary for the project.  Notice the unusual side-mounting of the delivery conveyor. 
According to Pat Eagan, Vice President/Operations for 21st Century Media Michigan, “We selected The Network because they had the capability to handle the project from beginning to end, including commissioning and operator training.”