MAN Roland Launches Print Education Program w/ Contributions to GATF and RIT
Wednesday, September 05, 2001
Westmont, Illinois — Graphic arts education in North America has a new driving force. MAN Roland has launched a continuing program, called Learning Leadership, to connect major educational, training and research facilities with the latest printing technology and equipment. The first Learning Leadership grants have been awarded to the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). GATF will be receiving a four-color ROTOMAN press that will play a leading role in the Foundation’s web offset training and research programs located in its headquarters in Sewickley, PA. The 65,000 cph system will be equipped with Power Plate Loading (PPL), AC shaftless drives, MAN Roland’s PECOM control system, and a 1:2:3 combination folder. The system will arrive at GATF in the first quarter of next year. The RIT initiative is developing a virtual pressroom for students in classrooms throughout the school’s Rochester, New York campus. The innovation is built around MAN Roland’s PECOM press control, organization and management system. Once the virtual pressroom is installed later this year, RIT students will be able to follow live print jobs being performed at MAN Roland’s Westmont demo center via linked PECOM monitor displays as well as by real-time web cams aimed at the operating presses. "MAN Roland has a reputation for being very involved within the printing industry and with European training schools and universities," said Gerd Finkbeiner, chairman of the board, MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG. "As one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality web and sheetfed printing equipment for commercial printers and publishers, we believe that cooperation with North American educational entities such as GATF and RIT is essential." Yves Rogivue, CEO of MAN Roland Inc., emphasized that the Learning Leadership program is a continuing commitment on the part of his company. "We have to make sure that the students of today are in touch with the technology advancements we’re creating for the printing facilities of tomorrow," he said. "That’s why Learning Leadership goes beyond the one-shot equipment donation scenario and is developing ongoing partnerships between MAN Roland and America’s leading educational and research facilities." Rogivue pointed out the ROTOMAN web press program at GATF will involve installation, training and continuing support, and that the RIT initiative will require an ongoing dialog between MAN Roland technical staff and RIT professors and instructors. "Working with RIT, we are pioneering a whole new way to put the latest technology in the students‘ hands without the construction and capital expenditures that usually go with it." Rogivue explained. "The program will hand RIT instructors the digital keys to our Westmont Demonstration Center so that their students can makeready jobs and conduct virtual print runs without leaving the comfort of their classrooms." RIT will provide the hardware at its end of the system – monitors and laptops that can be moved from classroom to classroom and connected via an in-house network. MAN Roland will provide the PECOM software applications for the network server and then train RIT faculty and students on their use. JobPilot, PrepressLink, ManagementLink and PressMonitor will be included in the initial package. Frank Cost, Associate Dean of the College of Imaging Arts & Sciences at RIT, said that the school is launching a major new academic program in graphic media this month that takes an integrated approach to print design and manufacturing. "The installation of MAN Roland PECOM software will enable RIT students to tap into a broad network of expertise in computer integrated manufacturing," he noted. MAN Roland’s role in development of the virtual pressroom at RIT is being spearheaded by Kevin Oakes, Director of Business Development for the North American division. "As printers compete against the new media, computer integrated manufacturing — CIM — becomes more important than ever to ensure that every job is completed as cost effectively as possible," he said. "Our PECOM system is at the cutting edge of CIM. That’s one of the reasons why RIT has chosen it to be incorporated into its core curriculum. "RIT students will get a hands-on feel for how PECOM allows them to produce more jobs per shift and increase profits in today's very challenging marketplace," Oakes continued, adding that MAN Roland and RIT will evaluate and enhance the virtual pressroom experience on a term-to-term basis. "We expect it will eventually involve the capability for digital, soft proofing, " he said. "We will continually review what we are learning about the hardware, software and instruction and enhance what is good while revising what needs to be changed." Rogivue said once the virtual pressroom is up-and-running at RIT, MAN Roland plans to offer the concept to its customers to enhance their own on-site training. "It’s a another example of how our Learning Leadership efforts will help our customers run their businesses more productively," he concluded.