Canada's first ROLAND 500 to produce for Toronto's Forham Printing
Press release from the issuing company
Toronto, Ontario — Forham Printing, a full-service facility with a reputation for versatility and responsiveness, is about to be the first Canadian printer with a new ROLAND 500, MAN Rolands’ three-quarter size sheetfed press. With its 18,000 sph top speed, the six-color coater-equipped 500 will give Forham the title of “fastest sheetfed printer in Canada.”
Forham has been a MAN Roland client for several years, starting with a two-color ROLAND 200 and moving up to a six-color ROLAND 300 with in-line coating. Over the last two years, the firm has seen its sales rise by over 14% to $1.6 million.
“The 500 will be replacing the 300,” says Sean Deschamps, who owns and runs the family business with his parents. “We chose to expand with MAN Roland because we found our existing equipment to be highly reliable and the service to be outstanding. But above all, there’s a high tech aspect to these systems. MAN Roland is at the forefront of printing technology. And as a smaller printer, we appreciate that technology is the future for us.”
As to the concept behind the 500’s technology, the press takes the extended 29-inch six-up sheetfed format to the next level, delivering automated makereadies and running at a category-leading 18,000 sheets per hour to help smaller format printers compete against 40-inch equipment.
“The 40-inch market is pretty much saturated here in Toronto because a lot of printers bought into it,” Deschamps explains. “But there’s not really enough capacity in the half-size and three-quarter size formats. There is a big cost savings component to the smaller sheet sizes, particularly when you’re producing short-to-medium run jobs.”
Print quality is a priority at Forham, and Deschamps traveled all the way to MAN Roland’s Offenbach, Germany facility to see for himself how the press performs on paper. He also visited some user sites.
“All my experiences with this press have been wonderful,” he reports. “You not only get the exceptional quality that you’d expect from a 40-inch machine, but the ROLAND 500 also has lots of technology advantages that used to be available only on a larger press.”
Rather than borrowing scaled down components from larger presses, the ROLAND 500 was purpose built as a cost-effective alternative to an eight-up system. “The 500 was built from the ground up for printers like us,” Deschamps states. “It’s not a rehash of older technology like some manufacturers have brought to market.”
Paul Tasker, General Manager of MAN Roland Canada agrees: “We recognize the competitive environment in which our customers operate. So we greatly appreciate the confidence that Forham has in our ability to help them succeed by providing advanced technology combined with the necessary support infrastructure. We are very excited about installing the first ROLAND 500 in Canada at Forham.”
The 500 can handle substrates from 1 pt. to 40 pt. thick, equipping commercial printers to enter such markets as packaging, plastics and labeling.
“Currently on our 300, we’re running direct mail campaigns, presentation folders, stationery kits, forms, and even plastics and vinyls,” Deschamps remarks. “With the 500 we’ll be able to handle all that more productively, plus we can break into the packaging market on a job-by-job basis.”
Forham has ordered its 500 to be prepped for UV printing, so as the plastics printing segment of its business grows, an onsite upgrade will be all that’s required to equip the press to handle an extended range of inks and coatings for non-paper substrates.
The printer is also looking forward to working with the next generation PECOM operating system that automates makeready and functionality on the ROLAND 500. That’s important because Forham’s pressroom must cope with a range of volumes. One minute it might be printing a 180,000 piece project and the next a short run of under 7,000.
“Currently, PECOM saves us 10-15 minutes on every makeready,” Deschamps declares. “It sets our ink profiles with CIP3 out of our workflow, and allows us to preset machine and air settings. PECOM is all that they say it is. It works very well to speed up our production.”
Forham press crews are looking forward to the additional advancements the latest version of PECOM provides. The benefits begin with a graphical interface, which gives the pressman a clearer view of job progress and press operation.
Also: MAN Roland’s new ColorPilot replaces Computer Controlled Inking (CCI) in the new system for faster and more accurate ink zone adjustments. “That’s a great tool,” says Deschamps. “I wouldn’t want to live without it.”
PECOM ServerNet will also be part of Forham’s technology bundle. The printer recently upgraded its prepress workflow to Agfa Apogee X and ServerNet will provide the JDF connectivity it needs to use virtual job tickets and seamlessly connect prepress to its pressroom.
Deschamps also sees implementation of a management information system (MIS) in the future. That will equip the firm for complete end-to-end computer integrated manufacturing (CIM).
In addition to being the first Canadian printer to run a ROLAND 500, Forham is also the leader in configuring a MAN Roland press with innovative accessories. The printer will be able to finish in-line on the 500, thanks to the addition of MAG-IN. The system equips one of the units on the press to work as an in-line die cutter/creaser/perforator.
Forham is also the first in Canada to equip a MAN Roland press with an Air Station. The soundproof enclosure isolates and insulates the press’ floor pumps and blowers to improve the workplace environment. Air Station also utilizes thermostatically triggered exhaust fans to ensure optimum operating temperatures for the press. “We have a lot of firsts in this installation and we're quite proud of it,” Deschamps declares.
The Forham executive intends to take a hands-on role in the ramping up of the new press, which takes place in early March. He will join his main press operator for on-site training. Then once they have a few months of run time under their belts, they’ll attend MAN Roland’s PowerPrinters certification course. That week-long curriculum is designed to help printers take full advantage of the automated benefits PECOM provides.
Meanwhile, Forham has moved to a larger location, one that gives the firm more working space to accommodate the new business the ROLAND 500 is slated to bring in. “We see a lot of good things developing when we install this press this month,” Deschamps says.
“There is no doubt that there will be many more ROLAND 500s installed in Canada in the months and years ahead,” notes Lee Short, District Sales Manager for MAN Roland Canada. “Its technological advancements, flexibility and productivity give the printers who run it the competitive edge they require.”
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