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Courier Graphics raising benchmarks with a new 5/C ROTOMAN from MAN Roland

Press release from the issuing company

Phoenix, Arizona — Courier Graphics, one of the Southwest’s leading commercial and publication printers, is doubling the capacity of its high volume pressroom by replacing one of its two current web presses with a new five-color ROTOMAN from MAN Roland. Scheduled for installation in the spring, with a May production date, Courier Graphic’s ROTOMAN will be equipped both with a MAN Roland 1:2:3 folder and a VITS sheeter, for ultimate product versatility. The press will produce high quality signatures for saddle and perfect bound magazines and catalogs, parallel and delta-folded work, as well as digest-size, Slim Jim, and a range of unique products. “The new folding combinations will allow us to offer a wide range of sizes efficiently with better paper utilization,” says Larry Babka, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Courier. “Many of the products that we currently print and fold off-line will be able to be produced in-line, making us more competitive with better production cycles.” The printing executive believes the new press will raise the bar at Courier in a number of other ways as well: “Courier Graphics has and will continue to focus on high quality commercial work requiring fast production cycles. Although we are replacing one of our two existing M-1000 presses with the ROTOMAN press, we believe our overall production capacity will dramatically increase to double the current volume.” Before selecting ROTOMAN, Courier researched the products of all full-size web manufacturers, ran print tests on working webs, and even sent a delegation to drupa 2004 for a final press comparison. “Courier Graphics conducted a comprehensive investigation that included assessing quality, productivity, flexibility, reliability, and longevity,” Babka says. “This investigation included visits to printers with various press technologies. As we completed our due diligence, it became clear that the best press product available in the industry is the ROTOMAN press. We believe the best value to us in terms of buying the finest equipment available will ultimately provide the best value to our clients.” To extract extra value from its ROTOMAN, Courier ordered the press equipped with MAN Roland’s QuickStart accelerated makeready system. The software-driven option automates and optimizes both run-up and shutdown procedures to conserve time and consumables. QuickStart utilizes software control, start-up sequencing, shutdown sequencing, blanket washer control and ink key controls. The result: the press operator is taken out of the loop at times when human intervention can actually slow-down or otherwise hinder the proceedings. The system also provides a more accurate preset by simultaneously removing the previous ink key profiles from all of the press’ inkers. QuickStart then refills the inkers automatically to achieve proper ink film thicknesses in less time than it takes for the press’ dryer to heat up. The result: a press equipped with QuickStart requires far fewer impressions to begin producing saleable sheets. MAN Roland’s PECOM operating and automation system will also be part of the ROTOMAN package for Courier Graphics. PECOM’s Production Manager module will allow Courier press crews to preset a variety of makeready functions for the next job, while the press runs current work. “We are expecting to reduce our makeready time by half,” Babka says, “and we believe that with the combination of PECOM and QuickStart, we can begin to save usable product at 2,000 impressions.” Print quality is another area in which ROTOMAN is scheduled to set new standards. “Courier Graphics currently runs a large percentage of its work with Staccato screening on our sheetfed presses,” Babka explains. “We are planning to also offer this capability on the ROTOMAN. Courier also intends to show select customers who currently print on our sheetfed presses the print quality ROTOMAN can deliver.” Courier Graphics anticipates the timely installation of the new system in the spring. In fact, it has already started an extensive training initiative that will tie into the capabilities of the new press. “We are conducting weekly classes that incorporate both fundamental and advanced theories covering the actual technology on the ROTOMAN,” Babka says. “Our operators are extremely excited and encouraged by the new equipment purchase.” Courier is also looking forward to working with the world’s leading web press manufacturer for the first time: “MAN Roland offers the best web press products available in the industry. Its commitment to excellence reflects our company’s vision for the future.” Installation of the new ROTOMAN will also be the impetus behind a new marketing campaign Courier is launching next year. Several promotional pieces are in the works, carrying the theme: “Delivering a new dimension in print 2005”. After the press is operational, Courier will conduct several educational events that will spotlight the capabilities of the ROTOMAN and give prospects and clients a chance to see it in action. The company also plans to get the ROTOMAN story out to its regional media with press releases. For his part, Babka sees the coming ROTOMAN as a watershed event for Courier: “We are in a rapidly changing environment that demands better quality, faster service, and a wider variety of products. The investment in technology that provides these benefits will allow our company to continue to grow and prosper.”