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GATF ROTOMAN from MAN Roland: Ready for research and educational roles

Press release from the issuing company

Sewickley, PA — In a September 19th commissioning ceremony here, GATF officially started up a top-of-the-line ROTOMAN press that MAN Roland donated to the foundation to support is research and educational roles. An interactive kiosk at the MAN Roland exhibit is documenting the event and the performance of the press. First and foremost, GATF’s new ROTOMAN represents MAN Roland’s long-term commitment to the North American graphic arts market. More than 2,000 ROTOMAN printing units worldwide, constituting 450 presses, have been installed since ROTOMAN was introduced in 1969. Since then, the ROTOMAN has evolved to become the technology leader in its category, equipping printers to complete more jobs per shift, with higher quality and faster turnaround than ever before. As a non-profit organization, GATF isn’t interested in selling the work that its new ROTOMAN will produce. But it is very keen on the profitability of its members. That is why the features and benefits ROTOMAN brings to the commercial market will stand it in good stead for its research and educational role at the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation. GATF’s ROTOMAN is a four printing unit press integrated with a 1:2:3 combination folder and capable of producing 50,000 copies per hour. Featuring a 38-inch web width, the press is equipped with such innovations as Power Plate Loading (PPL), AC shaftless drives (donated by Siemens), and MAN Roland’s PECOM system for automation and printing plant management. From the PECOM console, operators can run the entire production line from reel splicers to folder, monitor the printing process and optimize print quality. In-line finishing equipment, color register control, ink supply system, blanket washers and chill roll washers can all be monitored, adjusted and controlled via PECOM. The result is the ultimate in makeready and operational automation. What’s more, PECOM can network ROTOMAN with digital prepress equipment and Management Information System. That will combine all aspects of production and administration into a streamlined flow, building the foundation for Computer Integrated Manufacturing. CIM provides optimum production planning linked with live feedback from all vital components in the workflow. In short, it consolidates the production process, from input to distribution, into one continuous, fast and efficient workflow. It will be interesting to see in the years ahead how GATF uses its new tools to make the advantages of CIM more of an everyday reality for North American printers. GATF intends to test and evaluate a variety of consumables on its new press. ROTOMAN’s Power Plate Loading (PPL) system will facilitate the fast changeover requirements of such research. It empowers press operators to switch-out all eight plates on the ROTOMAN in less than five minutes. Similarly, the press is equipped with Web Catcher. Incorporated between the last printing unit and the dryer, the innovation is a web monitoring device which responds when a break in the web is detected by utilizing motor driven rollers to "catch" the broken web before it gets tangled in the press. That prevents downtime and expensive wrap-ups. As a research vehicle, GATF’s web offset press must deliver a high degree of stability and precision. Only when total consistency is achieved can the foundation benchmark a variety of consumables, assured that the quality of the printwork does not vary from one test to another. ROTOMAN meets that requirement with its advanced printing units. They incorporate optimized cylinder geometry and wide bearer rings for rock-steady performance. They also feature fast-reacting film inking units with adjustable ink flow, and integrated hydromix dampeners to keep colors in accord. MAN Roland’s involvement with GATF’s ROTOMAN doesn’t end with the installation of the press. The system is equipped with TeleSupport, which enables MAN Roland technical experts all around the world to monitor and diagnose MAN Roland’s commercial web presses by remote control. They can even update the press’ software online, minimizing the need for service calls. Yves Rogivue, CEO of MAN Roland Inc., notes that the donation of the ROTOMAN to GATF is part of his company’s ongoing Learning Leadership program. "Without a skilled and knowledgeable workforce to operate it, even the most promising advancement will not live up to its potential," he says. "That’s why contributing a ROTOMAN to GATF for research and training is much more than a goodwill gesture. It is a top priority that helps guarantee the future of printing as a competitive medium."