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RIT Formally Dedicates New Heidelberg Web Press Laboratory

Press release from the issuing company

ROCHESTER, NY, - April 25, 2003 - Rochester Institute of Technology, world renowned as the leader in print-media education and research, formally dedicated the new Heidelberg Web Press Laboratory on April 25 during a ceremony on its suburban Rochester, N.Y., campus. The centerpiece of this state-of-the-art laboratory is a gapless Sunday 2000 web press, consigned to the university by Heidelberg. The system, valued on the market at between $7 and $10 million is designed for the highest quality web printing applications. Top executives from Heidelberg were on hand for the dedication, including Bernhard Schreier, Heidelberg Management Board chairman; Werner Albrecht, president of Heidelberg Web Systems; Niels Winther, president of Heidelberg USA; and Wolfgang Pfizenmaier, president of Heidelberg Digital. Albert J. Simone, RIT president, and Bruce James, U.S. Public Printer and chair of RIT’s Board of Trustees, joined this group of dignitaries. “Consigning our most advanced web press to a graphic arts center of RIT’s reputation is really something new,” explained Schreier. “It is easily the largest commitment of resources by a vendor to a school in the industry’s history, and it is consistent with our long-term philosophy of emphasizing the advancement of the graphic arts industry.” In 2001, Heidelberg announced that it would make the press available to RIT’s Printing Industry Center during a presentation at Print ’01 in Chicago. Within months, RIT broke ground on the 11,000 square-foot Heidelberg Web Press Laboratory. Construction culminated with the installation of the Sunday 2000 earlier this year. “RIT and Heidelberg have shown that suppliers and educators can work toward a common goal and create a bond that transcends boundaries and barriers,” says Albert J. Simone, RIT president. “We are working together because we have common interests, first-class education and cutting-edge research.” The Sunday 2000 offers practical educational opportunities for students within RIT’s School of Print Media and members of the printing industry. Also, RIT’s Printing Application Laboratory will use the system in collaboration with web offset printers and suppliers on applied research projects. “Our relationship with Heidelberg is a great example of how industry and academia can work together for the greater good,” states Simone. “Our students, the printing industry and consumers all benefit.” Representatives spanning the printing industry also attended the ceremony. Guests were treated to press demonstrations and a tour of the Heidelberg Web Press Laboratory. In conjunction with the dedication, RIT’s Printing Industry Center sponsored an industry symposium, Print Media Industry Futures: Challenges and Opportunities, which preceded the event. Topics presented by School of Print Media faculty included industry demographics, value-added services, and computer-integrated print manufacturing. Wolfgang Pfizenmaier from Heidelberg Digital discussed education’s role in the printing industry and RIT’s Bruce James offered remarks from his perspective as U.S. Public Printer. The Sunday 2000 replaces an M-1000B web press donated to RIT by Heidelberg predecessor, Harris Graphics, in 1986. It joins a long list of advanced Heidelberg prepress, press and postpress technology at RIT, including a Topaz scanner, Speedmaster 74 and Quickmaster DI sheetfed presses, a Polar cutter and a Stahl folder. The new press at RIT features a 24-page, 2-by-6 plate cylinder configuration. Heidelberg equipped the press with its Contiweb CS splicer, Ecocool dryer, PCF-1.2 pinless folder and Omnicon controls. Seventeen industry suppliers have offered additional support to the Heidelberg Web Press Laboratory by providing components and consumables valued at more than $1.6 million. These partners include AWS-a Thermal Care division, Baldwin Technologies, Bottcher America Corp., Creo Inc., Day International Inc., Flint Ink Co., Fuji Hunter/Anchor, Graphic Microsystems Inc. (GMI), JC Fibers, JECO Plastic Products LLC, Just Normlicht Inc., Kodak Polychrome Graphics, Lincoln Industrial Corp., NELA Ternes Register Group, QuadTech International (QTI), RIMA-System, and Sun Chemical Co.