Assemblies of God News
Gospel Publishing House installs new press
Fri, 07 Jan 2000 - 12:00 AM CST
At 140 feet in length, 12 1/2 feet tall, and weighing nearly 400,000 pounds, the Harris M1000 web press being installed at Gospel Publishing House in Springfield, Mo., represents a major engineering project. It also represents the future of Assemblies of God publishing.
Gospel Publishing House produces some 16 tons of Christian literature a day at the U.S. Assemblies of God Headquarters in Springfield. Since 1979, a Harris M200 web press has been the backbone of this operation, printing the Assemblies of God's Sunday school curriculum and all its major periodicals. Leader of the pack is the church's weekly magazine, the "Pentecostal Evangel," with a press run of about 250,000 copies. Once a month, the foreign missions edition of the "Evangel" prints more than 300,000 copies.
The Harris M200 could only run 16 pages of color in one pass. The "Evangel's" 32 pages of color require two separate runs, each of a quarter million or more copies. The M1000 will run 32 pages of color on the "Evangel" in one pass at speeds up to 40,000 impressions per hour, or 15 per second, eclipsing the current speed of about 22,000 per hour.
"This will almost triple our productivity," said Michael Murphy, Production Operations Center manager at GPH.
By purchasing a reconditioned press from Graphic Innovators of Itasca, Ill., and trading in the M200, the Gospel Publishing House has cut costs significantly. Though reconditioned, the M1000 is outfitted with state-of-the-art components and will increase the quality of GPH publications while dramatically reducing production time. The M1000 will be equipped with two folders, allowing multiple jobs to run through simultaneously. Where the M200 required three shifts filling a 24-hour day to run jobs on schedule, the M1000 is expected to handle GPH's production load in 2 shifts.
"The transition from the M200 to the M1000 poses a challenge for our press crews," said GPH General Manager Arlyn Pember. "We plan to run the M200 until the last possible moment, complete the last job on this press, and shut down with a minimum amount of time before start up for the M1000. Considerable planning and scheduling has been made to ensure this is a smooth transition. Present plans call for a 2-week window where we will change over support systems and conduct test runs. On March 10 we're scheduled to shut down the old press, and on March 27 we're scheduled to run the new press with an issue of the "Pentecostal Evangel" as the first job.
When asked, about the future of Gospel Publishing House, Pember stated, "The Assemblies of God has been printing and distributing Christian literature from its founding in Hot Springs, Ark., in 1914, through the Gospel Publishing House. This recently purchased press is the largest (8 unit), fastest and most versatile. It will allow Gospel Publishing House to better meet the printing requirements of the various ministries of the church. This equipment is the most significant purchase of production equipment over the past 20 years and speaks to the commitment the church's leadership has made toward the printing ministry of the Gospel Publishing House."