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Offset Printing--Pressing Ahead

June 2000
Digital output devices didn't capture all the headlines. Manufacturers of traditional sheetfed and web presses also demonstrated cutting-edge models.


BY MARK MICHELSON


Even the12,000 gallons of flame-retardant water, which came gushing down from sprinklers onto a MAN Roland web press in the 250,000-square-foot PrintCity hall the afternoon before the exhibition was to open, couldn't dampen the DRUPA spirits of this press manufacturer. The flooding resulted from a pipe burst, and MAN technicians had to work through the night to ready the press for opening day.

And, while other printing press exhibitors didn't have to face such an 11th-hour, potential disaster, their enthusiasm was just as contagious to the 413,500 visitors who clamored to witness press demonstrations and grab printed samples during DRUPA's two-week run.

Everyone's excitement was understandable. DRUPA 2000 is a unique venue worldwide that allows printers to see—and compare—so many web and sheetfed offset presses actually running—many of them brand new or enhanced models.

For example, running in PrintCity—a partnership of 69 leading companies that demonstrated the seamless production of more than a dozen printing projects, from design to finishing—was MAN Roland's new eight-page Regioman shaftless newspaper press, configured as four stacked printing units. It printed an eight-page newspaper daily, complete with process colors on each page. As DRUPA began, the company announced that The Daily Herald, in Arlington Heights, IL, had placed the first North American order for two Regioman presses and that The Indianapolis Star had purchased four of the 75,000-cph presses, constituting MAN Roland's largest order ever received from a U.S. newspaper.

Also running at DRUPA was a four-color, single-web Rotoman 16-page commercial web press. And a standalone Lithoman unit illustrated MAN Roland's sleeve technology.

To demonstrate its sheetfed offerings, MAN Roland displayed a 10-color Roland 700 perfector, a six-color Roland 900 with coater and a five-color Roland 300 equipped with two perfectors. New was its 23x29˝ Roland 500 press, shown in a six-color configuration with coater, that is designed for short run, on-demand package printing applications.

Newly redesigned is the 29˝ Roland 200, a 13,000-sph press available in two- or four-color versions, that requires a small footprint. The press incorporates double-size impression cylinders, contact-free transferters and a new digital press control concept, which also saves space by integrating the control console into the delivery. The unitized design and new cylinder geometry will reportedly allow the 200 series to be more price-competitive.

Heidelberg required two complete halls and an adjacent building to display its comprehensive family of offerings. DRUPA served as the world debut for the Mainstream 80, Heidelberg Web Systems' newspaper press that incorporates its patented gapless blanket technology.
 

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