LITHOMAN IV provides a broader view of productivity at Graph Expo 2003
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
McCormick Place, Chicago — A full-scale printing unit from LITHOMAN IV press will be on display at Graph Expo to let visitors experience how one of the world’s widest web presses is broadening the landscape of opportunity for high-volume commercial and publication printers. The MAN Roland LITHOMAN IV features web widths up to 81 inches, formats of 32, 48 and 72 pages, and speeds up to 45,000 iph or 2,800 fpm. LITHOMAN IV users have been known to produce over a million copies of a high-end job on a single press, in a single day. With that kind of output, the LITHOMAN IV is challenging the notion that a high-volume facility must run multi-web configurations to be competitive. Its wide format lets printers produce more with a single web than they could with more complicated and costly web configurations. Featuring Power Plate Loading, direct shaftless drives and PECOM operating and automation system, LITHOMAN IV can speed from job-to-job with the agility of a 16 page press. Couple that with the simplicity and efficiency of a single web, and the result is a press that is consistently achieving 10 minute changeovers in commercial applications. As to high output, one LITHOMAN IV user — Valassis in North Carolina — set a new four-around press record of 1,080,000 impressions in a 24-hour period. That’s equivalent to 60,480,000 pages or 733 miles of paper. Output per man has more than doubled at Valassis, which is in the process of installing its third LITHOMAN IV and has a fourth on order. Each press there is staffed with three pressmen and a robot operator, who controls the system’s automated material handling equipment. The arrangement lets Valassis operate the press at full speed, while achieving fast makereadies. LITHOMAN’s PECOM press operating system plays a big part in the efficiency gains. A pressroom supervisor oversees the system, which loads ink preset information from the company’s CREO prepress system. PECOM also automates settings for angle bars, slitters, compensators, main folder and web guides. Once minor color adjustments are made, ink key settings are sent back to the system. That way, PECOM continually learns what operator adjustments were required. It uses the knowledge to optimize ink key and component presetting on future jobs. Operators also use PECOM data as a diagnostic tool. Referring back to settings when a format was produced in the past helps them troubleshoot any potential problems. The LITHOMAN IV is also credited with reducing running waste, makeready waste and total waste at Valassis, which always had a reputation for high efficiency. Its LITHOMAN presses have driven the already low waste rates down an additional percentage point. The Valassis experience is included in the documentaries that are part of MAN Roland’s multimedia presentation at Graph Expo 2003.