First ROLAND 500 in Western Canada goes to the Forum Group in British Columbia
Press release from the issuing company
Delta, British Columbia — The Forum Group is adding to its capacity and capabilities with a new ROLAND 500 equipped with hybrid/UV coating and featuring the fastest production rate of any press in the 29-inch category.
Scheduled for installation in mid-September with a mid-October starting date, Forum’s new four-color-with-coater 500 will join a six-color ROLAND 700 with coater, which was installed just 18 months ago. The new 500 replaces an older 29-inch machine.
One of the reasons for the new investment is that Forum is venturing beyond its commercial printing roots and expanding into package printing. The ROLAND 700 routinely handles 29” X 41” board up to 40 pt thick, including microflute corrugated, as well as a wide variety of substrates. With the 500 in its pressroom, Forum will be able to match that performance in the 23” X 29” format.
That’s important because a smaller sheet size can be a better choice for short-run jobs. “We’ll be able to handle stiffer board without going to a 40-inch sheet,” says Forum President Mark Caffary. “The ink coverage is superior on the ROLAND 500 compared to any other press in its class. It gives you the highest level of quality in the smaller format. We do a lot of 38 pt board work, for which this press is ideally suited.”
The ROLAND 500 also delivers the fastest production rate in its class, producing at a top speed of 18,000 sheets per hour. Caffary expects to push the press to that limit as much as possible on everything except UV coated jobs, which require slower run rates to accommodate curing.
Forum also is set to keep things moving quickly by being able to transfer jobs between its two ROLAND presses or using both machines to complete more complex work. Apart from their different formats, the mechanical and electrical designs of the two presses are virtually identical.
“We like the interchangeability benefit here,” Caffary notes. “The cylinders and dampening systems are the same on both presses. They both feature the preferred seven o’clock sheet release, and both print the same dot.”
Those common quality benchmarks will enable Forum to be more responsive to its customers’ deadlines, without compromising print quality. “For example to produce a brochure as efficiently as possible, we can print 16-page signatures on the 700 while we do the covers on the 500. And there won’t be any concerns with crossovers or color match ups because there is no difference from dot-to-dot between the two presses.”
Forum is a believer in the value of fingerprinting its presses to further ensure the consistency of its workflow. “When we installed the ROLAND 700, we fingerprinted the press, and then went back to prepress and proofing in order to establish our curves. It makes sense when you’re fingerprinting to start with the most stable piece of equipment you have. That’s why we began with the 700.”
The new ROLAND 500 will be fingerprinted as soon as it’s installed. And once it’s operating, its ColorPilot computer controlled inking (CCI) will provide Forum with a consistent way to adjust ink zones from job-to-job, matching the CCI capabilities of the 700.
To further unify its workflow, Forum will network the two ROLAND presses using their PECOM/printnet operating systems. “That’s another advantage of running MAN Roland presses,” Caffary explains. “Their networking capabilities are built-in and ready to go.”
Meanwhile, the hybrid/UV coating capabilities of the new ROLAND 500 are proving to be a business builder for Forum. The company already has a couple of contracts in hand from customers who are lining-up to use the press’ UV coater. To expedite the process, Forum equipped its 500 with UV curing/drying modules and an Air Glide delivery.
Forum’s new press track record also supports the notion that the 500 will be a major contributor to the company’s future growth. During its first full year of operation, the company’s ROLAND 700 increased the Forum’s sales by 42%.
The overall efficiency and reliability of the 700 is another reason Forum chose to go with another MAN Roland machine. “To measure the value of a press, what you really want to determine is your cost per sheet, factoring in everything — the price of the press, manpower, consumables, and maintenance. We found that when you track what it costs to run the press, MAN Roland is actually the lower cost alternative to presses that may start out with lower sticker prices. That’s a win/win for us because we’re getting lower costs and higher quality from these presses as we run them. That’s why we trust in MAN Roland’s product.”
Forum is developing a targeted marketing campaign that will focus on the expanded capabilities the company will offer when the ROLAND 500 is installed later this year.
“We have no doubt that this press is going to be very busy right out of the box, with no let-up in sight,” says Lee Short, District Sales Manager for MAN Roland Inc. “The high level of responsiveness Forum provides for its customers are right in line with the capabilities of the ROLAND 500. So this should be a very popular installation among print buyers throughout Western Canada.”
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