Customers lining up for Fry Communications' first-of-its-kind MAN Roland UNISET press

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania — Fry Communications has purchased the world's first UNISET web press to be equipped with a LITHOMAN folder. The MAN Roland system is scheduled to go into production here during the second quarter of 2007, but some of Fry's best customers are already lining up with existing work and new projects to print on the forthcoming machine. “The only thing better than a new press, is a new press with a fan club,” says Denny Kapp, Plant Manager of the Fry facility in which the UNISET will run. “Several of our customers have expressed interest in what will be our third MAN Roland press because of the extra advantages it will bring to their projects.” Fry intends to use the press to print its bread-and-butter catalog, directory and publication portfolio. The advanced design of the UNISET/LITHOMAN combination will let Fry customers utilize lighter stock to save on paper and postage costs. Meanwhile, print quality will rise, with the press providing process-color opportunities on jobs in which are currently limited to one or two colors. “Bringing applied innovations such as this press concept to our customers is a key focus for MAN Roland,” says Vincent Lapinski, COO of Web Operations for MAN Roland Inc. “The unique features on this new UNISET will allow Fry Communications the opportunity to bring more added value to their clients.” Cost-Saving Configuration Fry's UNISET will be built for speed, with eight units, accommodating three webs to produce at the rate of 75,000 IPH. A MAN Roland 2:3:3 double chopper folder, a model that's usually paired the company's LITHOMAN web press, will handle the inline finishing. It will add a degree of flexibility and versatility that until now was not available in this press category. “No one else could offer us a machine with this level of production flexibility,” Kapp declares. The UNISET/LITHOMAN combination will be capable of simultaneously delivering two different 32 page products, two different 48 page products, or one 64 or 96 page product — all from one folder. “The fact that this folder runs at the highest levels of accuracy and performance suits it perfectly to our customers' needs,” Kapp adds. “We expect to produce existing jobs more efficiently with the UNISET and attract new work as well.” Applied Automation At the heart of that efficiency is MAN Rolands' PECOM automation and press operating system. Fry is adding an optional PECOM PressManager (PPM) station to the press to boost its pressroom automation capabilities even higher. PPM equips press operators to preset makeready parameters for an upcoming job while current work is printing. That maximizes press uptime and promotes makeready savings. Another automation innovation on the new UNISET will be MAN Roland's PowerPlateLoading (PPL) system, which is also a LITHOMAN development. PPL automates plate positioning and removal to cut key makeready functions by as much as 50%. Completing Fry's UNISET package will be MAN Roland splicers, MEGTEC dryers, WPC controls, QTI closed loop color control, and Baldwin spray dampening. “Fry selected UNISET for many reasons,” Kapp says. “MAN Roland had the value added options we required, but more importantly, the configuration was right for our work mix. We liked UNISET's horizontal web lead arrangement and the price was right. Plus, we're very pleased with the performance of our existing two MAN Roland presses.” Fry is outfitting an existing empty press bay for its new UNISET. The press pad is set to be poured in early summer. The press will arrive in December, and is scheduled to be producing by next spring. MAN Roland training will be an important part of the ramp-up process. “We'll be sending press crews to Plauen, Germany for PECOM and UNISET courses and to Augsburg for the folder training,” Kapp says. “Several of our operators will be involved during the installation, so they'll have hands-on experience with the press. Plus MAN Roland will provide onsite training during and after press commissioning. It's another way MAN Roland surrounds us with service.”