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Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

manroland delivers autoprint

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

autoprint production automation from manroland, Inc. is leading the way, incorporating an extensive array of hands-free, closed-loop systems and processes. They are fully integrated to provide speed and efficiency, plus they have the flexibility and enhanced color quality that today’s multitasking newspaper operations need.

manroland has long been the recognized global leader in automating numerous aspects of press operation, boosting throughput as well as print quality, efficiency, and profits.  These ongoing advances have steadily crystallized into a vision of a fully automated press with closed-loop systems controlling every aspect of daily operation from planning and scheduling to material logistics to imaging and finishing.  It can be a complete system that enables one operator, in one place, to push one button and make it all happen quickly, smoothly and precisely.

autoprint is the one-touch future manroland envisions and it is virtually here now, says Ron Sams, Vice President – Newspaper Sales.  “A number of European customers already have or are committed to manroland’s autoprint technologies.  For newspaper operations everywhere, autoprint advances could not come at a better time.”

Meeting news operation needs for quick-change flexibility and quality
Newspapers today typically run more targeted editions and special sections.  They increasingly seek to maximize use from their equipment by essentially becoming hybrid operations, printing inserts, directories and other commercial jobs.  This intensifies demands for higher quality output as shorter, more varied print runs require far more frequent changes in every aspect of press operation.

According to Sams, a key step is to automate changeover and start-up of the print run without operator interference.  Automatic Plate Loading (APL), introduced in 2007, already is a popular feature on many manroland presses.  This advanced robotic technology means plates are loaded in three minutes.  No hands needed.

manroland has added APL logistics, which is included with COLORMAN autoprint presses at two locations in Germany.  APL logistics also operates under the printnet workflow system.  In either the control console area or the CTP room, plates are scanned by the PlateScan allocation control, then automatically transported via rails to the robot arm in their proper press location where “APL” immediately puts each in-place.

Getting every run on-edition with less waste.
“Sometimes, press operators can be their own worst enemies,” said Sams, noting that, after doing a roll-up and starting a run, an operator habitually interacts with the ink key settings on the press console. 

“This can actually create a lot of waste.  Our Quickstart software program optimally presets the press for each run, computer-communicating ink settings, for example.  This brings the press ‘on edition’ very fast, typically within a couple hundred copies.  With this kind of proper presetting, it shouldn’t be necessary for the operator to make adjustments during early stages of the run,” explained Sams.

“In fact, part of autoprint is the notion that you can eliminate interaction with the PECOM console during the early stages of the run and let the press pre-sets do their thing.  Every run will be right-on, real quick.”

Sams said in addition to software, Quickstart includes on-site manroland training to help print operations adopt new practices and become more proficient at reducing waste.

Ideal for hybrid news operations
autoprint advances for newspaper customers stem from manroland leadership in commercial press applications, where high-end quality and quick turnaround are the norm. The printnet workflow system seamlessly integrates proven, automated quality-enhancing functions such as inline tension control, inline register control and ink density control.  Inline temperature control provides critical press stability, regardless of the press speed or run length.  Inline cutoff control ensures precise page alignment from the press into finishing.

“In addition to constantly developing ‘all-new’ innovative systems, manroland designers and engineers excel at big-picture thinking,” Sams said.  “They are adept at seeing relationships and ‘connecting the dots’ between multiple technologies in order to create a unified whole.  Our autoprint closed-loop systems exemplify this.”

The latest trend in web press design is to reduce the height as much as possible to accommodate existing plant facilities.  This causes compromises in press functional design.  manroland has opted for a more automated approach and a slightly taller unit.
“We have maintained the integrity of our inking and dampening system.  Our compact press delivers more automation and the opportunity for higher quality   because we haven’t compromised the design of our inkers and dampeners,” Sams said.  “manroland has demonstrated that autoprint delivers in the three most critical areas for news operations today — enhanced print quality, waste reduction, and automated ease, speed and efficiency — from prepress to finishing.  And it does so like no other press on the market.”




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