Press power drive being replaced

Freedom New Mexico

Delivery of the Clovis News Journal was Friday morning due to a loss of power to the press. The last copies were delivered around noon.

It is the second time in three weeks this has happened, said Publisher Ray Sullivan.

“We apologize to customers who didn’t get their papers on time and we thank them for their understanding,” he said. “Our people worked all night and morning to keep the interruption to a minimum.”

Sullivan said his team determined when the first failure occurred that it was time to replace the defective parts. Three major pieces of equipment that supply the power to the press units are scheduled to be replaced next weekend.

“The old drive, analog transformers and 50-horsepower motor have stood up well since they were installed decades ago,” he said. “The length of their lifespan speaks to the quality of workmanship that went into making those parts.

“Our press crew and local electricians have performed minor miracles the last few weeks to keep the press running as well as it has. We will nurse it along another week and upgrade the old technology. If anyone knows a prayer to keep old equipment running a little longer, we’d welcome any and all offerings.”

Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico will spend about $42,000 and replace the 40-50 year-old parts with digitally driven equipment, Sullivan said. “The larger 75-horse motor will allow for future electrical needs on the press, too,” he said. “The old motor still runs very well but it is at capacity for the electricity load required to run our equipment.”

Preliminary electrical work will begin early next week. The major installation work will begin immediately after press runs are over for the Nov. 7 editions of the Portales News-Tribune and the Clovis News Journal. Work is scheduled to be done that evening, so the press can be running for its next runs on Monday night.