Fenton Press--Web Wonders
In operation for only 10 months, the 6611 permitted Fenton Press to completely offset its previous production ratio—that of 15 percent web offset and 85 percent sheetfed—to its current ratio of 45 percent web and 55 percent sheetfed work.
During these initial months of operation, Fenton execs conferred with staffers, namely the press operators, what they thought of the new press.
Bill Bauer, Fenton's day shift pressman, has been involved with the 6611 from the beginning of the press startup. Bauer, who also works with the other web and sheetfed presses at Fenton, believes the machine "compares very well to the quality of the sheetfed presses. It holds color, including the ink and water balance, very well through the entire press speed range. The same applies to the registration. The machine runs good solids that hold well over all screens," he says.
"Mid-tone reproduction on some jobs is better than can be achieved on some of the sheetfed presses. With this kind of quality, it's easy to get color approvals from customers. Very small adjustments can be made to satisfy customer requests for color balance.
"The machine is user-friendly, providing the operator with good access for plate and blanket installation, as well as roller adjustments. Plus, the makeready process has been reduced. Makeready waste is around 3,000 to 3,500 impressions. This represents about 45 percent less waste than before," concludes Bauer, who notes that the press is quiet when running and that the support from Hantish International "has been good."
Mark Fickenscher, another day shift pressman and a 24-year industry veteran, claims the 6611's ability to "split the press and makeready on the printing units—at the same time as preparing the perforator and sheeter—results in a faster make-ready process."
The 6611 operates with a three-man crew, and Fickenscher says each crew can make the plates and be up and running quickly. Also, he says form roller setup is easy and, once set, the rollers require very little attention.