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GATF Adding Web Press

April 2002
SEWICKLEY, PA—Class is in session, and the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) is welcoming a new pupil.

No one will pick on the newbie, despite his large size. That's because this "he" is a four-unit Rotoman web offset press from MAN Roland.

The GATF was slated to install the new press in April and May, with an eye toward it going live by early summer. The press was scheduled to ship in March from MAN Roland's Augsburg, Germany, production center.

Best of all, the press comes compliments of the press manufacturer.

"MAN Roland's donation of this highly automated system, and all the technical support and training that goes with it, is an ongoing part of our Learning Leadership program," explains Christian Cerfontaine, marketing director for MAN Roland's North American division. "We want to make sure one of the industry's top research and educational powers is equipped with the best, high-volume technology the industry has to offer."

The Rotoman is a four-couple press integrated with a 1:2:3 combination folder and is capable of producing 65,000 copies per hour. It will be equipped with features such as power plate loading, AC shaftless drives and MAN Roland's PECOM command and control system.

During a meeting in February, a task force comprised of people from the association and manufacturer outlined a preliminary list of research projects that would begin later this year. This agenda includes comparing the performance of CTP and conventional plates, blanket testing, analysis of different ink and paper combinations, and the evaluation of a new waste reduction technology called Quickstart.

Additionally, GATF and MAN Roland will schedule an ongoing slate of training courses to be conducted on the press, beginning in August.

"These (training courses) will allow current printers to upgrade their operators to the new technology, and ensure that the new generation of pressmen have been trained to take advantage of the state-of-the-art," Cerfontaine says.

A public commissioning is scheduled for September 19. More than 500 industry leaders will be invited to the event, which will feature demonstration runs, the publication of a 16-page commemorative brochure and facility tours.

The GATF Rotoman will make a cameo appearance in Chicago this October during Graph Expo. It will be on exhibit via a live Webcam and other multimedia presentations.

A group of 15 executives and technical experts from GATF, MAN Roland's German headquarters and North American division met in the foundation's technical center to finalize details for the installation, startup and operation of GATF's new Rotoman web offset press.

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