Friesens ramping up its fourth ROLAND 900 50" press for high quality book production
Monday, August 15, 2005
Altona, Manitoba — Friesens, one of Canada’s oldest and largest book printers, is expanding its pressroom capacity with this month’s start-up of the company’s fourth ROLAND 900 50" press. The four-unit system will be used to produce signatures for high quality color books. The selection of another ROLAND 900 was an easy one for Friesens, given the track record of its existing MAN Roland machines. “We started with MAN Roland with the first 50" four-color press installed in 2001," says Andrew Fennell, Administration Manager at Friesens. “Then we purchased two more 50" four-color 900s in 2004." The high caliber of the products the ROLAND 900 trio produces has resulted in increasing demand for high quality four-color books at Friesens. “We've been quite pleased with the 900s," Fennell declares. “We have achieved excellent productivity gains and they've helped us tremendously in keeping up with the increased volume." In addition to Friesens’ customers benefiting from the results, the company’s production staff is also netting more than a few advantages from the larger-sized machines. “Our experience with MAN Roland's equipment and service team has been very good," says Fennell. “The up-to-date technology in the presses has enabled us to make great strides in our ‘print-to-the-numbers’ program." That effort is designed to remove much of the guesswork in getting a press up to speed and maintaining color consistency. MAN Roland’s ColorPilot densitometry system and Printnet PECOM press operating system allow Friesen press crews to statistically benchmark production parameters to achieve more consistent results. “There's no doubt that the 900s have changed how our pressroom operates," Fennell observes. “The PECOM software in particular has changed the way our operators approach color printing, and the automated features of the presses have certainly helped make the pressroom more productive. The capabilities of the presses have, in essence, raised the bar for printing processes." Printnet PECOM equips Friesens to network all four of its ROLAND 900s together. That makes it easier to assign jobs and to switch projects among the presses to react to changing workload demands. But since the ROLAND 900s are the mainstay machines of Friesen’s book division, print quality is the prime consideration, according to Fennell: “High quality color printing, especially of art books, is a specialty of Friesens, and we do indeed need excellent equipment to allow us to maintain and develop that level of printing. The capabilities of the 900s in conjunction with MAN Roland’s Printnet PECOM system allow us to produce high quality color books." Lee Short, District Sales Manager for MAN Roland, comments that Friesens now runs more ROLAND 900s than other Canadian printer: “When a major facility purchases four of the same model over a four-year span, it says something about the quality of your equipment and the reliability of your service. We’re proud to contribute to Friesen’s success."