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Progress Printing Installs First Shaftless ROTOMAN Web Press In North America

Press release from the issuing company

June 6, 2001 - Progress Printing in Lynchburg, Virginia is poised for the first North American installation of MAN Roland's new shaftless ROTOMAN web press to enhance capabilities for its commercial print customers. Installation begins June 1 with operations underway by August 1. Progress Printing, which performs both sheetfed and web offset printing, ordered the five-unit, single web 38" ROTOMAN to supplement its three existing half-web presses. With a 23-9/16" cut-off, the new press will enable robust expansion of Progress Printing's web business comprised of high-end annual reports, catalogs, publications, direct mail, flats, folders, and inserts. The 55,000-65,000 cph 16-page ROTOMAN system is a 1:1 system designed for exceptional print quality and ultra-fast makeready. It provides product and run-length flexibility for a broad spectrum of demanding heatset commercial work. Dynamic automation for rapid job changeovers with short makereadies from MAN Roland's PPL (Power Plate Loading) system in combination with the PECOM control system. The PECOM intelligent press control system offers extensive presetting capability and centralized controls to drive automated webbing up, splicing, register control, and blanket washing features. According to Stan Smith, Progress Printing's general manager, full web technology is the next logical phase in corporate growth strategy. Based in semi-rural Central Virginia, the company needed to embrace national markets with greater reach and competitive versatility. Progress leadership also wanted a full web that could achieve the exacting technical standards of its total operations. Six- and eight-color MAN Roland 700s dominate the sheetfed pressrooms. The prepress domain is 100% digital direct-to-plate at the Lynchburg plant. The company also offers full-service bindery, finishing, packaging, offset thermal dye sublimation printing, mail, fulfillment and distribution. "We reviewed our web expansion plans with our sales people, researched the market potential, visited other plants, attended trade shows, and had extensive talks with vendors," said Smith. "We found we needed to put considerable automation into the web pressroom to handle increased volume. "We then spent a lot of time looking at equipment and different manufacturers," said Smith. "We had a good relationship with MAN Roland based on our sheetfed equipment. Our research indicated that the ROTOMAN is the best dollar value for our type of work and that MAN Roland could give us the support we needed. "We revere the advanced technology of the ROTOMAN," he added. "It is the first shaftless ROTOMAN in North America and will give us the speed, quality, precision, efficiency and versatility our customers expect. It's positioned well for our diverse markets and is bristling with superb productivity features." Smith praised the availability of options to automate the printing system. "We've seen the real value of automation in other areas of our operation," said Smith. "Automation delivers tremendous savings in man-hours, especially in a fast changeover, makeready intensive shop like ours." Automation drove the selection of auxiliary equipment and components from end to end on the press system. An automated splicer was selected for efficient paper loading, the PPL system for plate loading, a Quad-Tech closed loop color system for quick makeready and color management, CIP3 ink presetting, a Muller Martini Avanti log bundler, and a TPP work station to archive set-up data. Also included were a Quad-Tech register control system and web guides, a MAN Roland 1:2:3 combination folder with tabloid, quarter, double parallel, delta and chopped delta product capability, along with an integrated dryer and a sheeter. "We feel we have dressed the ROTOMAN to make it as friendly as possible to the makeready process to be able to do short runs efficiently as well as long-run high volume jobs," noted Smith. "We believe it is truly the finest printing machine of its kind in the world." Progress Printing is the largest private, independent commercial printer in Virginia with $45 million in sales, six acres of plant space, and two locations. It is one of largest family-owned printers in the nation with 1,200 premier accounts in 40 states. Founded in 1962 with three employees, the company currently employs more than 310 team members.

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