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manroland's Peter Kuisle Recaps Their Recent Web Systems Announcement

Published on March 5, 2012

Pat Henry, at the recent Print City Alliance pre-drupa event in Munich, grabs Executive Vice President of Sales & Service Peter Kuisle and asks him to recap the manroland web systems announcement.

Pat Henry:  This is Pat Henry, What They Think.  We are in Munich, Germany with Print City Alliance, their pre-drupa briefings.  This morning, we are speaking with Peter Kuisle.  Peter is Executive Vice President Sales and Service for manroland, the web division of manroland.  Peter, thank you for speaking with us today.  

Peter Kuisle:  Thank you.  

Pat Henry:  Yesterday, during the briefings, you told us, and we were very glad to hear, that manroland is back, the web part of manroland is back with a no long-term owner.  Just wonder if you could recap for us how manroland’s web operation is renewing its presence in the market and of its brand?  

Peter Kuisle:  I mean, first and foremost, we are extremely happy to have now our new owner Possehl Group, which is a company, a group, with a long-term vision.  It’s a conglomerate of 160 companies, very strong ownership, long-term view, which really fits to our business rather than a financial investor.  So we need continuity and we need a strong partner and a strong owner, which we have.  And I think this gives us now the basis to reestablish ourselves as manroland Web Systems, which is the new name, and basically coming back into the market, which we actually never left, because even in the difficult time of the last two months, we have been able to support our customers with spare parts, with installations, even with new press sales.  So we have never been actually gone.

But I also know that we need to regain the confidence of our customers and with the restructured company of being a leaner, a very fast-moving company, I believe we can support the machinist there and I’m very confident that we will.  

Pat Henry:  Well, I know that one thing that hasn't changed is manroland Web Systems emphasis on press automation, on process automation.  You call it autoprint.  Can you talk about the autoprint concept as it applies to your product line?  

Peter Kuisle:  The principle of autoprint is that the press controls itself.  So we have developed presses which are fully automated and that the operator, the printer, becomes the process controller and only interferes if something goes wrong.  So that's the principle of autoprint or what we call the concept of one touch. 

This is not something which is only on the marketing side.  We have now presses on the newspaper side and on the commercial heatset market where these presses operate on a daily basis very, very efficiently, so very short make-readies, automatic job change, automatic startup, control of quality during the run.  So these technologies are available and we further developed and we further keep selling and installing these presses.  So with this helps reducing waste, reducing changeover time, reducing personnel, giving a very high quality standard.  

Pat Henry:  Again, during the briefing, you told us that we would be seeing some radically new interfaces for autoprint.  We saw what looked like an iPhone or an iPad application.  Can you give us a little hint on what's going on there?  

Pat Henry:  Yeah, because what we have done with developing autoprint is coming from the newspaper side we started the first moving into the commercial leadset side and we have all the automation systems, inline control systems end-to-end.  But what we need now is on top of that an operating system which really reflects the one-touch operation, and it doesn't make sense to have 100 buttons when you talk about one touch.  So this new radical system will be a fully automatic pressrun with, let’s say, one or fewer buttons but also giving the possibility to step into an expert mode if something is not going accordance to the standards. 

But this will be a complete new way how to operate presses, and that's all I can tell for the moment, so we expect people to visit us at drupa to show it.  

Pat Henry:  I wonder if you could talk a little bit about what you see as the outlook for the commercial web market in North America.  I know it’s a big question, but what do you see in the near term?  

Peter Kuisle:  I mean, unfortunately, the whole printing press market in the United States over the last couple of years has been a difficult market, newspaper and commercial.  We know that the big groups are not investing at the moment into, let’s say, conventional press technologies.  But what we see is that, let’s say, the smaller and medium-sized customers on the heatset side, that there are being investments, and we believe we have a product portfolio for this, I wouldn't call it niche market, but for this market segment where not only the fastest, highest automation presses are required but that also, let’s say, more standardized presses will fit into the market.  There we see a market - I don't see that commercial market be as booming now in North America, but I see that some business is coming back.  

Pat Henry:  And, Peter, where can we see manroland at drupa in 77 days?  

Peter Kuisle:  As the last couple of drupas, we are in the beautiful Hall 6 together with our partners from Print City.  And I think we are big enough that everyone finds us.  

Pat Henry:  We’ll be looking forward to seeing you there.  

Peter Kuisle:  I’m looking forward to see you there.   

Pat Henry:  Pat Henry, What They Think, thanks for watching.

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