Web Offset Presses -- Spinning a Better Web
Paul Pirkle, MAN Roland's vice president of commercial web sales, says that the web printing market is steadily rebounding for both press manufacturers and printers. But since competition in this segment is becoming more sophisticated, press technology has to be able to give printers a competitive edge.
"Commercial web printers are faced with shorter runs, requiring that they slash their already tight makeready times even further," Pirkle notes. "So we've been developing and introducing tools that printers can use to streamline their workflows through computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM)."
MAN Roland provides interfaces to MIS systems like PECOM-Web, which deliver real-time analysis of production data via remote Internet access from virtually anywhere. This is fundamental for advanced production management decision making, Pirkle says, which results in cost savings.
"With printnet—developed by subsidiary PPI Media—and PECOM, MAN Roland integrates not only the handling of print in media production, but also provides solutions to control and manage every aspect of the print production process," he states. "This is more important than ever in web facilities, because the volumes are so much higher and economies of scale can be so much greater."
MAN Roland's 16-page Rotoman press provides a host of innovations designed to help printers provide more cost-effective solutions to their customers. Rotoman's PECOM system is now available with QuickStart, which speeds makeready, ramp-up and ramp-down, and also cuts paper waste. Power Plate Loading (PPL) reduces the time it takes to exchange plates to under a minute per print couple. Automatic web-up takes time out of restocking the press. And direct shaftless drives deliver smoother and faster operation, even allowing for on-the-fly plate changes.
"In the current rapidly changing environment amid diversifying needs, the development of a machine with enhanced short-run performance is critically important," adds Kazuyoshi "Kosh" Miyao, executive vice president of Komori America. "The industry requires a next-generation machine that meets a whole host of requirements—consistent quality at maximum operating speed, exceptional productivity, improved cost performance and environmentally responsive performance."