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The Father of DICOweb Defines the Future of Computer TO Press Technology

Press release from the issuing company

Print 01, Participants in a roundtable discussion featuring the revolutionary DICOweb were treated to an insightful look into the press' future by Dr. Josef Schneider, head of the MAN Roland team that developed the innovation. Schneider, who is Vice President -- Business Unit DICO, noted that DICOweb is the only “true computer-to-press” technology because it doesn't rely on the interim medium of printing plates to get the job done. Recipient of a 2001 InterTech Award from GATF and numerous other honors, the MAN Roland innovation equips printers to broaden their profit margins by narrowing the time it takes to complete on-demand jobs. DICO stands for DIgital Change Over, and the press lives up to its name, capable of speeding from job-to-job in less than ten minutes. Only two of those minutes are required for imaging the press. An exclusive MAN Roland design utilizes laser imaging heads and a patented thermoplastic transfer medium to apply the job directly to the DICOweb's image carrying cylinders. Then when the print run is completed, the image is automatically erased to ready the cylinders for the next project. The innovation's unique ability to image, de-image and re-image jobs -- eliminating the time and expense of making and loading plates -- results in significant productivity gains for the printer who uses new system. “The DICOweb is, as the name says, more of a digital changeover device than a press, since the printer actually earns his money with efficient changeovers,” Schneider told the roundtable. Other insights offered by Dr. Schneider: DiCOweb provides the ultimate in short-run productivity because it integrates prepress, press and postpress functions into a one-step operation. Because all functions are integrated, the complete print production process can be fully optimized for the first time in the history of the medium. DICOweb's streamlined architecture and gapless cylinders virtually eliminate operational vibration, improving print quality and facilitating an open, modular design. DICOweb's modular mechanical platform also helps preserve the printer's investment in the system. In the future, DICOweb-equipped plants will be able to switch to different and new print processes and operating software to better accommodate their customers' changing needs. DICOweb can image and print directly from prepress data at the rate of 2,667 pages per minute, far outstripping the speed of any other short-run technology. The plateless/gapless/shaftless design allows printers to alter cutoff lengths by as much as 7.8 inches, simply by switching to different diameter sleeves on the image and blanket cylinders. More expansive format changes can be accomplished by changing the size of the cylinders themselves. Throughput time for production of 4,000 copies of a typical 16 page color brochure is about an hour on a DICOweb. That's three times faster than the closest conventional process. A Southern German printer is using a DICOweb to produce community newspapers. The company prints over 150 issues per week, each ranging in circulation of between 500 and 25,000 copies. The different versions allow publishers to more closely cover local events and provide more targeted advertising opportunities. DICOweb is extremely environmentally friendly since it eliminates the need for plates and all the processing that goes with them. Its de-imaging medium is water-based, requiring no special disposal considerations. Dr. Schneider closed the roundtable by guiding participants through a special showing of DICOweb in action. A two-unit coldset version of the press demonstrated its short-run capabilities throughout Print.