Graph Expo Review: Presses – Offset, Digital Integration

Fred Thompson (left), president of Chatsworth, CA-based Aaron Thomas & Associates, and Gary Thomas, vice president, stand by their new press: a five-color Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 74 equipped with Prinect Axis Control, coater and 40˝ Wallscreen display.

The golf resort campaign illustrated Heidelberg’s cross-platform color management and job routing expertise across the spectrum of digital and lithographic devices that are increasingly found within their customers’ operations.

Litho, Digital Alliance

“Digital Meets Offset Power” was the tag line that manroland created for Graph Expo, in part because it also signified the North American launch of its sales, engineering and consulting alliance with Océ. Parlaying the relationships it has built within the commercial offset printing, newspaper and packaging markets, manroland will now be helping Océ further penetrate those sectors for its inkjet-based digital printing solutions.

“manroland has never looked at digital presses as a competing technology, but rather as another piece of the puzzle,” says Vince Lapinski, CEO of manroland North America.

Lapinski also announced that the new six-color, 41˝ Roland 700 HiPrint HS (max. speed: 18,000 sph) sheetfed UV press with coater that was operating each morning during Graph Expo in manroland’s Westmont, IL, demo center was being shipped to Stephenson Printing in Alexandria, VA, marking its first North American installation.

According to George Stephenson, president, “This (press) will allow me to print 1,000 copies or less of the multipage work (up to 200 pages) that we specialize in, and still be cost-effective. I anticipate doubling my workflow with the same (number of) bodies.”

manroland’s new TOP (Performance = Technology x Organization x People) technical performance consulting program made its North American debut, as well. The program is designed to measure and improve all aspects of press operations, including print quality, speed, productivity and makeready times.

After an initial press analysis is complete, a to-do list is provided to the printing company, which can then decide what actions to address at what time.

For the newspaper press market, manroland has also received a 2011 InterTech Technology Award for its autoprint APL. A robotic arm is automatically fed the plates and the plates are all loaded onto the cylinder simultaneously, completely automating the entire plate-hanging process.

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