MAN Roland makes the first sale of PRINT 05: 900 XXL show press to Superior Lithographics
Press release from the issuing company
Los Angeles, California — The first major equipment sale made in conjunction with PRINT 05 involves the largest working press at the show. The 64-inch ROLAND 900 XXL that will serve as the centerpiece of the MAN Roland exhibit has been purchased by Superior Lithographics for installation this September.
With over 18 years experience using wide-format ROLAND technology, Superior Lithographics has become a premier supplier to the corrugated box industry for high quality litho labels and top sheets for lamination to corrugated board.
The company also provides litho sheets for point of sale (POS) displays — from counter size to eight feet tall. Retail store signage and sublimation printing for fabrics are also on the company's list of services.
Superior knows the value of offering extra dimensions in a universe filled with 28” x 40” sheets. The company describes itself as “specialists in large format printing” and has been living large by differentiating its capabilities with three oversize presses.
The ROLAND 900 XXL will help produce it all. The 47” X 64” sheet size of the press provides almost three times the surface area of a conventional 28” X 40” sheet — 3,008 square inches compared to 1,120 square inches. That translates into major productivity gains for Superior when press speed and turnaround time are factored into the equation.
Doug Rawson, Superior Lithographics' General Manager, says that the growing demand for the extra-extra large sizes prompted the company to look for another jumbo producer. “We have reached our capacity and cannot continue to provide our customers the tight lead times they demand with our existing press capacity,” he says.
There's also the issue of format geometry. “Customers are bringing us jobs that exceed the gripper to tail maximum on our ROLAND 800 but do not exceed the 63" width that we currently put on our 77" press,” Rawson explains. “These sheets will now go on the new ROLAND 900 XXL.”
Meanwhile, the automated performance advancements on the ROLAND 900 XXL will help ensure that the just-in-time demands of Superior's customers are met. The new press will feature the Printnet PECOM operating and automation system, and Rawson is particularly interested in putting the device's JobPilot module to work.
Rudy Chavez, Superior's VP of Operations, says: “The 64” 900 will allow our supervisors to complete all of the presets for the next job, while the press continues to print. That will shorten the time it takes to go from job-to-job and promote press uptime.”
The Printnet PECOM module also automates the staging of reprints. “JobPilot allows a repeat job's prior settings to be incorporated into the 900 XXL's workflow automatically, including the ink key profiles, back pressures, feeder and delivery sections, pad heights, blower pressures, ink configuration, and dampener settings,” says Chavez. “So a time-consuming portion of the makeready is completed right from the start, and the possibility of operator input errors is eliminated.”
Chavez expects to average 20 to 30 minutes per makeready on the ROLAND 900 XXL, depending upon the substrate employed. And he's done the research to support his projections.
A large part of Superior's due diligence in selecting the press centered on a fact-finding mission to Germany by Chavez. He visited a number of printing facilities there to view different brands and models at work.
To round out his review, Chavez spoke with every one of the printers he visited regarding the reliability, features, and their overall satisfaction with the presses available on the market today. The tour also included visits to MAN Roland's manufacturing facilities in Germany, from the foundry through final assembly and testing.
It was only after Chavez's thorough evaluation that Superior decided to go with the ROLAND 900 XXL. “Although everyone in the market makes a good press, the XXL was the clear winner for Superior,” he declares. “I visited 18 sites that are using another press manufacturer's 64” equipment, but the technical performance of the ROLAND 900 XXL makes it the right press for our customers and for our marketplace.”
At 12,000 sheets per hour, the 64-inch ROLAND 900 XXL runs as fast as even the most up-to-date 40-inch press, while its automated makereadies are quicker than those achieved by most conventional format machines. As a result, the expanded print area the 900 XXL provides can be calculated as pure added value.
Along with the improved performance comes higher print quality, according to Chavez: “Customers expect large format work to look no different than 40" press work in terms of register, resolution and color consistency. The 900 XXL will allow us to achieve that quality level and then some. Plus the faster makereadies and high run speeds will shorten our lead times, which are essential to our customers and for our continued growth.”
Rawson adds: “We have been successful in a print market that has continually exerted downward pressure on our selling prices. We have done this by making good long-term decisions for both Superior and our customers. After looking at many 64” presses on two continents, it became apparent that the 900 is, beyond question, the most cost-effective investment in modern printing equipment.”
David Doucette, MAN Roland's District Sales Manager, notes that Superior's ROLAND 900 XXL will have another distinction in addition to being the largest working press at PRINT 05. “This is the first 47” X 64” ROLAND 900 XXL to be installed in North America,” he says. “I can't think of a better facility to prove its value in terms of size, performance and quality.”
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