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COLORMAN e:line – Harmony of Form and Function

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Press release from the issuing company

What constitutes good design for an industrial product? The ideal combination of function, materials and form. Nothing has changed here since Bauhaus times. The internal technological values of a machine need to be right, it must be user-friendly and have an attractive appearance. 

Admittedly, rating design always involves a certain subjectivity. Nevertheless, the COLORMAN e:line is definitely causing a sensation in the industry. In reader polling for the most attractive drupa machine designs conducted by a German trade magazine, the COLORMAN e:line took second place, and was among the Top Ten for the Industriepreis 2012 that is awarded every year by the Initiative Mittelstand. The product designers of The Kaikai Company in Munich are responsible for the new design of the COLORMAN e:line. Tim R. Wichmann, Managing Director and Marketing Director: “We believe that good product design should always serve to convey intelligent innovations, and not hide product defects. The rapidly changing market for consumer goods stimulates us in trend sport areas – here one must be on the ball. But what really gives us great satisfaction is to design – and above all implement – capital goods so perfectly that the design is timeless and achieves much more than “only” looking good.”

Observers of the COLORMAN e:line immediately notice the use of new materials for the press exterior. “By using modern and intelligent materials, new form languages and functions are possible,” explains Christian Jaeger, General Manager and Creative Director at The Kaikai Company. Instead of sheet metal, that has limitations in design and haptic qualities, the designers opted for plastic with a durable surface that can be painted and coated entirely differently and is also easy to clean. This gives the COLORMAN e:line an elegant overall appearance thanks to large open surfaces, striking interstices, and emotion-arousing strip lights integrated in the protective covering that accentuate the functions. Changing colors show the printer the actual operating status of the press. If for instance the APL (Automatic Plate Loading) function is active, the lights are orange, and if the press is in production, the lights are blue. The final result is a truly new and revolutionary elegance in printing press design.

At the most, a blender design can work for a limited time with consumer goods. With capital goods such as a printing press, a harmonious overall concept is needed. As Christian Seitz, responsible for product design in the marketing department at manroland web systems, explains: “It is important to maintain an overview of the objectives and set priorities. Which technology are we showing, what peripheral equipment should rather remain in the background? A distinct hierarchy in the design permits clear concentration on certain aspects and components and provides orientation.” The Kaikai Company found this orientation and emphasized the key components of this imposing pressline. 

Low energy consumption, ergonomically sound, and efficient
The highlights of the COLORMAN e:line concept include good accessibility, maintenance- and user-friendliness, operation of the entire pressline from the control console level, and resource-conserving design. The roller washing devices are easily accessed from outside the press. Outstanding among the numerous automation features are the fully-automated plate logistics system APL logistics, and the fully-automated APL plate changing system. During production, the printer can deliver the next set of plates for the APL system to a soundproof area where a lift brings the plates to the working position of the plate loading robot. The user manages all the plates from the control console level and can check them at a glance. The new manroland operating concept makes the user a pilot who has all production processes under complete control. The functions are centrally accessed via an intuitively operated touch screen where display and operation are merged. Users can now see and control everything at a glance: their own actions and the status of the press. The fully revised screen design impresses with unsurpassed clarity and, together with the new autoprint menu, takes the next great step forward. Independent of time and place, the printer controls and adjusts press settings with the MobilPad as an additional mobile console, and the UnitPad for operating the printing units during work on the press.

COLORMAN e:line about to premiere 
The first of the new COLORMAN e:line presses is scheduled to start up in the production halls of the Allgäuer Zeitung in Kempten, Germany in autumn 2012. Preparation is already in full swing. This COLORMAN e:line will have four printing towers and two folders, a total weight of around 250 tonnes, a production capacity of 90,000 newspaper copies per hour at a printing speed of 12.75 m/s.


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