North America's first ROLAND 900 XXL producing 24/7 at Strine Printing
Press release from the issuing company
York, Pennsylvania — The first fully automated extra-wide sheetfed press in North America from MAN Roland is running around-the-clock at the largest sheetfed facility in the Northeast corridor. Strine Printing is premiering the ROLAND 900 XXL press on this side of the Atlantic with a three-shift-a-day production schedule on the 73-inch press. It is the newest MAN Roland large format sheetfed press operating on this continent.
Strine’s six-color ROLAND 900 XXL features inline coating and hybrid UV capabilities, and joins a fleet of over a dozen presses in the printer’s 400,000 sq ft facility, including a pair of six-color 55-inch ROLAND 900s.
But the technology is only a means to a very focused end, according to Michael Strine, President and CEO of the company that bears his family’s name: “Our goal is to develop long-term, strategic partnerships with corporate and trade clients who appreciate and utilize the benefits from a single source supplier. One of the ways we’re accomplishing that is with our new ROLAND 900 XXL.“
Super Size It
Producing a sheet 73” X 51”, the 900 XXL’s format makes this a big story. “Thanks to its unique sheet size, the 900 XXL opens inroads into new markets,“ Strine states. “That helps us capture new accounts that need larger sizes.”
But Strine is equally as enthused about the ROLAND 900’s hybrid UV capabilities: “They allow us to produce a variety of new products for our existing customers and for new prospects as well. So the 900 helps us in two ways: It gives us the ability to handle larger formats and to print on substrates like plastics and heavy board.”
All ROLAND 900 presses are equipped with double-diameter cylinders and contact-free transferters to facilitate high-speed printing on heavy board and even corrugated microflute. The standard 900 XXL model can take on substrates ranging up to 48 points. A packaging option can increase that dimension to 64 points.
Those numbers are music to the ears of Strine’s nationwide sales force, which enjoys bringing in heavyweight jobs. “The new 900 equips us to go after more packaging and point of purchase business,” Strine points out.
Publication work is also on the printer’s agenda, even though there’s not a web press in sight at Strine. “You can produce a 64-page signature on a single sheet on the 900 XXL,” the company’s CEO says. “It’s got the quality that web presses can’t match.”
The ROLAND 900 XXL also makes Strine more competitive on longer commercial work because each sheet yields 328% more printable area than a conventional 40” sheet can.
Sizing Up Success
David Kornbau, Vice President of Operations, sees the ROLAND 900 XXL as a new business generator. “A lot of work comes through the door when they find out we have this 73-inch MAN Roland,“ he says. “For instance, large retail stores need corrugated boxes that not only contain the product, but also project a marketing message on the outside.”
Strine is printing 10, 12 and 14 pt. board on the ROLAND 900 that the press coats inline with either aqueous or UV, depending upon the requirements of the individual job.
“We take the sheets and laminate it to corrugated to produce oversize packaging and displays,” Kornbau explains. “The boxes are getting larger and there aren’t many vendors who can do extra large sizes. So the 900 gives us a competitive edge here.”
Commercial work that used to run only on web presses in competitor’s plants is now being produced on Strine’s 900 XXL. “For example, we’re printing large format remoistenable envelopes on it,” Kornbau relates. “You’d think they fit the web, but the 900 makes us more competitive for that kind of work.”
An inline slitter integrated into the 900’s delivery can be programmed to automatically divide the 73” inch sheet in two before it hits the done pile. The results can be routed through Strine’s conventional bindery lines for finishing.
Michael Strine, meanwhile, sees extra-extra large format of the ROLAND XXL as the ultimate marketing draw: “It has tremendously increased the amount of interest we are receiving from both current and potential clients. They never saw an offset sheet this large before, so they are impressed.”
Most importantly, the 900’s capabilities are allowing Strine to do business with more top-echelon clients. “It is opening doors previously closed to us as a 40” printer,” he notes.
The print quality the press is capable of producing is also making production easier. “People are amazed when we show them the print quality this ROLAND 900 provides,” Strine says. “It prints as well as any press that we have ever had. In terms of inking, its coverage is better than any press in shop. We’re really happy with it.”
Kornbau finds that the 900’s operating numbers are a major attraction for new prospects: “Print buyers are becoming familiar with the kind of efficiencies the large format delivers, when it’s driven by modern technology. They’re getting 40-inch print quality and speed on a sheet that delivers two-and-a-half times more output.”
To emphasize the big advantages the 900 XXL delivers, Strine Printing designed and distributed a special promotional poster, which utilized every millimeter of the 900’s 73-inch sheet size. “As you can imagine, it stirred up a lot of interest,” Kornbau says. “Not only did we sell 73” work, other work is coming in on the coattails of the 900 XXL – 40-inch and 55-inch jobs.”
Some of Strine’s new 73” projects are overflow from Strine Printing’s two 55-inch ROLAND 900s, which the company has been operating since 2000. “Our customers are looking for more value and all three of these extra large presses give it to them,” Strine says.
Training operators to run the 73-inch 900 XXL was never an issue because Strine staffers were well versed in the operation of the company’s 55-inch ROLAND 900s. “So we were ready to run once we got the press installed,” David Kornbau says. “A crew of two — a pressman and a helper — is all it takes.”
All of Strine’s larger-format operators received instruction on MAN Roland’s PECOM operating and automation system, which was installed on all three of the company’s ROLAND 900s.
“We retrofitted PECOM on our 55-inch ROLANDs seven months before we installed the 900 XXL, so we’d be up-to-speed with it,” Kornbau explains. “The challenge was making sure everyone gets the most out of PECOM automation.”
A group of operators was sent to MAN Roland’s North American headquarters near Chicago for PowerPrinter training, which focuses on how to save time and money in the pressroom with PECOM. “That helped drive it home,” Kornbau notes. “Once the automation became part of their daily routine, it accelerated the overall workflow.”
The payback was immediate, according to the operations executive: “PECOM has cut a third off our makeready time without a doubt.”
Service and support were other factors in Strine Printing’s selection of the ROLAND 900 XXL. “Years ago, we had an old 600 series press that had service needs,” Kornbau remembers. “Even though it was a discontinued model and it was the only ROLAND we were running at the time, MAN Roland took care of us. That high level of service performance was the initial deciding factor in Strine selecting this press over someone else.”
Michael Strine says that decision has proven to be correct: “The installation and ramp-up for the 900 XXL went more smoothly and professionally than for any other press in our facility. For us this is something new and different – in terms of extra large size and the hybrid UV capabilities, so it was important for them to give us the confidence. And that they did.”
Strine Printing sees the market for XXL-size printing as a growing one. “MAN Roland has really stepped to the head of the class with the ROLAND 900 XXL,” Michael Strine says. “Its performance gives me the confidence to consider a full-blown UV press with double coating, and it would be hard to go with any one else other than MAN Roland.”
As to his company’s status as being the first with newest large format sheetfed press operating on this continent, Strine brings it back to basics: “We’re proud to be the first one to run the 900 XXL in North America. And we’re recognized in the marketplace more than ever before because we have it.”
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