MAN Comes to Motown
DETROIT—For most folks, Detroit in December is a cold destination. But the Motor City area has proven to be hot for MAN Roland. So hot, in fact, the company decided it was the perfect location to hold its annual Editor's Dinner and to show off two of its large, innovative customers in the region.
First up was a Sunday evening visit to the Detroit Newspapers site, where production of The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press was observed—after a delay resulting from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers game going into overtime.
After the Lions fell in the extra stanza, the six new MAN Roland Geoman presses were fired up. These are the centerpiece of the company's $170 million expansion of the North Plant in Sterling Heights, MI—a 50˝ web configuration that includes 300 couples, 60 webs and six folders. Detroit Newspapers added a total of 190,000 square feet to the plant to accommodate the new presses. The company states it is now able to increase production levels, push back editorial deadlines and offer color on every page.
The next morning the press corps crossed the Canadian border to tour the VistaPrint facility in Windsor, ON, where three 41˝ MAN Roland 700 presses are in service, with another on order. The company also has operations in Venlo, the Netherlands.
VistaPrint is a good example of what is possible using a computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) model. VistaPrint connects its customers directly to its CIM chain by providing a layout program through the VistaPrint Website. The workflow enables VistaPrint to produce more than 10,000 unique print jobs per day using minimal labor. It uses a "ganging" plate configuration where multiple jobs are produced on one plate. Company officials report they expect to achieve a two-hour "click to ship" benchmark.