WOA 50th ANNIVERSARY -- Turning up The Heat
"The most important development in modern web offset presses has been the enabling of faster makereadies with electronic controls, ink-key presetting and closed-loop operations," contends Dick Holliday, a well-known industry consultant and the founding partner in 3P Inc., of Westerly, RI.
When former President William J. Clinton first ran for the office, his winning campaign slogan was: "It's the economy, stupid," notes Joe Abbott, director of technical support at MAN Roland, in Westmont, IL.
"For as long as I have been in the printing equipment business, the message has been: 'It's the makeready, stupid,' and that's not changing. To meet this challenge, modern web presses are equipped with an automation package that includes color and register controls, a preset computer hooked to the RIP via CIP3, plate changing automation and an AC shaftless drive."
The combination of utilizing ink fountain presets and onboard closed-loop color control already has had and will continue to have a significant impact on the web offset industry, agrees William Lamparter, president of the PrintCom Consulting Group in Charlotte, NC.
"This advancement reduces makeready time and waste while providing consistent color throughout a run. The net result is increased productivity and more consistent quality."
"The reductions in make-ready through automation have been significant, making short runs on web presses economical," adds Richard L. McKrell, corporate vice president of R&D at Heidelberg Web Systems in Dover, NH.
You Have to Believe
Another believer in the benefits of digital presetting and closed-loop color control technology is Ted Ringman, another industry consultant and vice president of development for the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation in Sewickley, PA. "It's one of a few technologies that can be retrofit to older presses to increase the competitiveness of the machine and extend its economic life," he says. "Today, technology introductions can have an immediate productivity and bottom line impact. To remain competitive, printers now often must become early adopters."