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Caribbean printer celebrates its 30th anniversary with a new ROLAND 500

Monday, September 11, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

COT Caribbean Graphics, one of the leading printers on the island of Barbados, is celebrating 30 years of business success with the installation of a new ROLAND 500. The five-color press, which is equipped with inline coating, was the center of attention at a well-attended 30th anniversary party COT hosted last month. The investment in the 29-inch press positions COT for many more years of prosperity. The ROLAND 500 has replaced two Heidelberg systems, while bringing an additional 50% of extra printing capacity that COT is using to expand its business. Tourism and Beyond COT's client list contains customers that one might expect would be served by a Caribbean-based printer. "Being on a small island, we depend on the tourism industry and ancillary services, like support tours, cruises and entertainment events, for business," says Nigel Worme, Managing Director of COT. But the company also prints for a growing roster of entities that any mainland printer would envy. They include manufacturers, breweries, pharmaceutical makers, financial firms and ad agencies. COT also extends its geographic reach to the Caribbean islands beyond Barbados. COT's offshore location means it also needs to handle an extensive range of printed products because Caribbean print buyers want to avoid the time and expense of dealing long distance with the mainland. To meet their diverse needs, COT offers the full gamut of commercial printing applications, including brochures, posters, postcards, magazines, annual reports, labels, and even folding cartons. "To do all that, we need equipment that provides extreme flexibility," Worme notes. "It has to move from one type of application to the next in a very fast and efficient manner." That's a prime reason why COT chose the ROLAND 500 over other 29-inch presses. The press can handle the widest range of substrates in its class. And its inline coater can quickly maneuver between flood and spot applications. Then there are the related issues of productivity and profitability. "We are impressed with the 500's consistently quick makeready times," Worme declares. "We are able to double our output of production, and combine that with very consistent quality throughout the run, while benefiting from considerably less spoilage." Network News The press' printnet networking and automation system is the major contributor to that success. COT press operators are consistently up to color in 100-150 sheets, and the company is working on reducing its overages from 5% to 3%. "That's where we want to be," says Worme. "We are depending on printnet to support that goal with its quick makereadies and quick turnarounds. A second big advantage of printnet is that it lets us store information. So when we go to reprint a job, we automatically get back to the exact profiles we ran before. That saves us a tremendous amount of time." Another time and money saver connected to the press is TelePresence, MAN Roland's remote diagnosis and trouble-shooting system, which won a PIA/GATF InterTech Award last year. It lets MAN Roland printservices technicians connect remotely with a press' operating system so they can monitor and diagnosis press functions as if they were onsite. "Since we're on an island more than a thousand miles away from the U.S., the response we can get from MAN Roland through TelePresence is critical," says Worme. "TelePresence allows MAN Roland technicians to look into the press and see what is wrong without having to travel here, with all the time and cost that involves." COT did experience a start-up electrical problem, shortly after the press was installed last July. TelePresence was activated to interact with MAN Roland's printservices center in Chicago to walk the COT crew through the repair steps. "We bridged some circuits, as they instructed, and discovered the trouble," Worme relates. "It ended up being a loose wire. Within a few hours, we were working again. That compares to waiting for a technician to fly into Barbados, which would cost us five or more shifts in downtime." COT is also using its printnet connections to benefit from the productivity provided by Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM). The company runs an Agfa Apogee workflow that incorporates a Galileo platesetter and links with the ROLAND 500 via printnet to automatically send ink profiles to the press. "We have statistical process controls in place to calibrate and monitor our proofs and plates, and CCI closed loop color control on the MAN Roland," Worme explains. "We're up to color in a flash and have the ability to maintain optimum color throughout the run. That drives the waste down and the quality up. I've wanted to do this for years. Now that it's here, I'm very impressed with the consistency and predictability." Celebrating 30 COT's 30th anniversary party was also impressive. Over 350 guests, including vendors, customers and prospects, attended. "They liked what they saw, " Worme says. "The whole plant was in operation and our new ROLAND 500 was running at 16,000 sheets per hour and UV spot coating. It was a fabulous party and definitely great PR for COT." Among the visitors from the mainland was Yves Rogivue, CEO of MAN Roland Inc. "COT is a good example of how regardless of your location or your marketplace, you can be a world class printer in terms of quality, productivity and profitability," he says. "All you need are the right attitude, the right people and the right technology. Nigel Worme and his highly motivated team at COT possess all these ingredients. We are proud to partner with them."




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