General Press Labels Its Man Roland Press A Success And Signs For Two More
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Natronia Heights, Pennsylvania - An eight-color ROLAND 700 perfector with in-line coating has helped General Press Corporation grow into a major label producer, so much so that the printer is now adding two more new systems from MAN Roland: a seven-color ROLAND 700 and a six-color ROLAND 500, both with in-line coating. The Pittsburgh-area facility operates a 60,000 sq ft production facility and lists general commercial work and package printing among its capabilities. But it is label projects in both plastic and paper that have sparked the company's growth. When asked how he would rate the performance of his existing MAN Roland press, General's President James Wolff simply replies: "We just brought two more." Wolff explains that his existing 700 perfector is equipped with a label-printing package and that his new 41" 7-color Roland 700 and 29" 6-color ROLAND 500 will be similarly outfitted. Specifics will include printnet/PECOM press control and automation, as well as auto plate loading and blanket wash. In addition to an infrared dryer and IR thermal air dryer, the presses will feature interdeck UV and end-of-press UV dryers. For printing synthetic substrates, there will be ionized air in the delivery and anti-static systems on each printing unit. Those specifications led to pressroom capabilities that have helped General Press win new business with its ROLAND 700 perfector. One example: A leading beverage company came to the printer with an identity problem. Its paper labels were dissolving in the ice-water baths used to cool its product in stores during the summer months. General suggested switching from paper to oriented polypropylene (OPP) film labels, which are waterproof. The obstacle: the films were generally printed on roll-to-roll flexographic equipment, but the customer used flat sheet equipment to apply its labels. General successfully tested flat sheet, 75 micron opaque OPP on its ROLAND 700, and was awarded the contract. Later a thinner, transparent version of the substrate was substituted without slowing production. "Imagine, a sheetfed offset printer feeding, printing and delivering a 57 micron clear OPP film," Wolff says. "Our film supplier tells us we may be the only offset printer in the United States with the capability to print on such a lightweight, cost-effective film." But General Press is not going to restrict its new MAN Roland presses to plastic label projects, high-end commercial and credit card work will also be on their to-do list. "The new presses will go from printing OPP film to 24 pt. credit cards," Wolff says. "That's the range of thicknesses our current ROLAND 700 handles now, so the new presses will fit right in." Changing from job-to-job shouldn't be a problem, in spite of the diversity of jobs. General is networking its MAN Roland presses with printnet/PECOM. That will automate a variety of makeready steps and provide other computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) benefits over time.