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MAN Execs Assess State of Industry

January 2007
CHICAGO—With a fresh snowfall on the ground, the Windy City provided a fitting seasonal backdrop for MAN Roland’s annual Editor’s Dinner. This time, the educational event and end-of-year celebration also served as a toast to Yves Rogivue, the press manufacturer’s then outgoing CEO, and Vince Lapinski, who took over the reins effective January 1.

In his parting remarks Rogivue, who has since returned home to work for Muller Martini in Switzerland, challenged industry companies to make some noise and shake things up with new technology.

“CIM (computer-integrated manufacturing) is the cornerstone upon which the future of this industry will be built,” Rogivue said. “Implementing CIM cuts costs and improves profitability.”

Several key points stood out for Rogivue in assessing the current state of the U.S. printing industry. In his estimation:

• A greater emphasis on education efforts at all levels is needed.

• Due to pressure by alternative media, The Print Council is an important initiative that needs to continue.

“I believe the industry associations should speak with one voice. We have seen some consolidation, but I’ll have to leave it to Vince (Lapinski) to finish this job,” Rogivue concluded.

Lapinski offered a similar take on the critical market trends and the outlook for MAN Roland. He is seeking to increase the focus on people and process improvement through continued advocacy of CIM.

“We (as an industry) need to build processes that make the best use of technology,” he asserted. “We (MAN Roland) are placing more emphasis on training, both for our internal staff and customers. Sheetfed printers need help getting operators comfortable with new systems. That is required to get maximum productivity out of the latest technology.”

In Lapinski’s view, package printing holds opportunities for commercial printers and printing on plastics is a growth market. He also sees opportunities for printers in the capability overlap between long perfecter sheetfed and 16-page web presses, adding that MAN Roland offers both solutions.

For today’s market, in-line capabilities are an important trend in sheetfed printing technology, Lapinski added. This includes systems for quality control and finishing.

To see some of these industry trends in action, the event included a trip to Accord Carton in Alsip, IL. This packaging shop added a MAN Roland 900 six-color, 56˝ sheetfed press as one component of the $6.5 million investment it made last year to upgrade its capabilities.

The company has more than doubled its sales, to around $15 million in 2006, since moving into a new facility two years ago. One of the big selling points of its current facility, a former Keebler plant, is an automated materials handling system that can store more than 13,000 pallets of finished goods.


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