MAN Roland Hosts Printers for Press Premier

OFFENBACH, GERMANY—The world premier of a “next generation” sheetfed printing platform isn’t an everyday occurrence, so MAN Roland extended its recent festivities to more than a week to allow for bringing in several groups of select printers, journalists and its own employees from around the globe. The stars of the show were HiPrint and DirectDrive versions of the new Roland 700 sheetfed printing platform.

To make the most of the trip, the contingent from North America was additionally treated to tours of a local DirectDrive beta site, MAN Roland’s foundry and its manufacturing/assembly facilities for sheetfed presses.

The new Roland 700 HiPrint (high quality) is being positioned as a mainstream choice for value-added printing applications, while the more technologically sophisticated DirectDrive is targeted to shops that fit a specific profile with regard to short-run work. Both are 41˝ machines.

What’s distinctive about the DirectDrive is the use of individual, computer-controlled servo motors to power the plate cylinders in each printing unit. This enables up to three operations to be performed simultaneously—such as changing plates while washing the blankets and impression cylinders or inking up the press—for faster makeready. The net effect of the productivity gains possible with this press is said to be up to a 60 percent reduction in makeready time, enabling one to two more jobs to be produced per shift.

DirectDrive models can carry a 20- to 30-percent price premium, depending on the base 700 model used for comparison. Therefore, MAN Roland sees the technology being a good fit for shops that print more than 10 jobs per shift—with average run lengths below 5,000 sheets—particularly if they are interested in a long perfector configuration.

A select bundle of QuickChange modules, Automatic Plate Loading (APL) and perfecting are standard equipment on DirectDrive (options for HiPrint) models. The press units are said to be new from the side frame up, and are sandwiched between a new sheet feeder and AirGlide delivery. Both 700 versions provide the capability to deactivate units when not in use.

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