MAN Open House Draws Large Crowd
WESTMONT, IL—Given the fact that attendance at industry trade shows and conferences is way down due to the sluggish economy, MAN Roland executives were understandably ecstatic about the turnout of 300 attendees at its Technology Open House held here June 14-15.
"I am thrilled and honored by this turnout," proclaimed new MAN Roland CEO Yves Rogivue during his welcoming remarks. "We appreciate your interest in MAN Roland technology." Rogivue welcomed the group, which included MAN Roland's largest 700 series sheetfed press user, George Lopez, of Monarch Litho in Los Angeles, who was celebrating his 60th birthday.
Rogivue, who is Swiss, went on to explain why MAN Roland was holding this event just prior to PRINT 01. "Because the printing industry is under pressure and needs solutions, fast. Printing is manufacturing—less of an art or craft," he noted. "The industry must increase throughput, minimize makeready and maximize uptime. Our approach to computer-integrated manufacturing is PECOM. Integrated prepress, press and management information. PECOM is a smart factory; it includes standards for integration—the CIP4 print production format."
PECOM can integrate digital workflow such as prepress, RIPing/proofing, postpress and off-the-shelf production management software to streamline operations and improve productivity and profitability. MAN Roland 200, 300 and 700 presses and support equipment were also featured in live product demonstrations.
Rogivue added that MAN Roland is the world leader in market position: No. 1 in newspaper presses, No. 2 in magazines and No. 2 in sheetfed. National Geographic, for example, is now printed on ROTOMAN web offset presses vs. gravure.
Outgoing MAN Roland CEO Helgi Schmidt-Liermann, who has returned to his home in Australia, was also on hand to visit with the many friends and acquaintances he had made during his tenure at MAN Roland USA.
Following ongoing technology presentations in MAN Roland's Graphics Center throughout the morning of the first day, the guests were able to participate in golf and tennis tournaments that afternoon. The evening concluded with a cocktail reception and dinner, followed by presentations by Gerd Finkbeiner, chairman of MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG in Germany, and Dr. Josef Schneider, vice president of digital printing systems and who is regarded as "the father" of the DICOweb digital press.
"The Internet and electronic media are creating new opportunities for print," Finkbeiner assured the audience. "The Internet provides lots of information, but it also stands for hectic, rush and stress. Print stands for relaxation. Printers will become media service providers, whether printed catalog, CD-ROM, etc."
Finkbeiner also stressed the need for those in the graphic arts to better learn to promote their industry and products. "Our public image is negative or non-existent," he admitted. "We need to get young people interested and discover that it's not an old economy."
He was followed by Dr. Schneider, who explained the development of MAN's computer-to-press solution that is based on thermal transfer imaging technology. Designed for digital color printing applications of 15,000 copies or less (although capable of 30,000+ run lengths), the press is plateless and filmless. DICOweb applies Image Management: imaging, de-imaging and re-imaging in the press. The gapless steel DICOsleeve provides more than 1,000 image cycles. It is a MAN Roland-patented solution that employs 830nm IR CreoScitex imaging heads for up to 3,200 dpi resolution.
Schneider also noted that imaging time for a four-up format is less than two minutes—which is done simultaneously on all units. Capable of production speeds of 20,000 cph, complete with in-line drying and finishing, he says the variable-format DICOweb is currently limited to 12-color output.
The second day of the event featured individual technology presentations at MAN Roland's headquarters for the various printers and prepress executives in attendance.