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MAN Roland extends its donation of a ROTOMAN web press to PIA/GATF

Press release from the issuing company

October 16, 2007 -- The MAN Roland ROTOMAN web press that is at the heart of PIA/GATF's research, training and production center in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, will continue its quest to advance printing technology and know-how. That thanks to an extension of MAN Roland's agreement with the association, which was reaffirmed at Graph Expo.
"The continued growth the graphic arts industry relies on two key factors," says Vincent Lapinski, CEO of MAN Roland Inc. "They are advanced technology and an educated workforce that knows how to apply that innovation in the media marketplace. The ROTOMAN MAN Roland provides to PIA/GATF advances both causes, and serves as a symbol of our industry's spirit to succeed."
The ROTOMAN at PIA/GATF is a four-unit, 38-inch web width press, integrated with a MAN Roland 1:2:3 combination folder. The press system is complemented by a set of auxiliary components from leading manufacturers of the printing industry. Since its installation in 2002, the press system has continuously fulfilled three missions — training, research and the production of the association's printed communications, including publications, educational material and promotional collateral.
"This web press is integral to the high quality professional services, training programs, and the publications we provide our members, while complementing our sheetfed and digital services," says Michael Makin, CEO of PIA/GATF.
Research Resource
Working as a real-world test bed is at the top of ROTOMAN's list of assignments. Dr. Mark Bohan, vice president of research at PIA/GATF, notes that MAN Roland's continued donation of the system will keep paying dividends to the industry. "This assures we can continue our aggressive research program using this state-of-the-art web press," he observes.
Its laboratory role has kept the system busy. "Research projects using the ROTOMAN have been conducted that benefit the industry as a whole and for specific clients' product development and problem solving," says PIA/GATF. "Projects have investigated ink mileage savings, paper runnability, print quality, and fountain solution composition, just to note a few."
A public research project, examining the impact of press consumables on piling, was carried out utilizing the ROTOMAN. "Conventional and stochastic screenings were used and similar low levels of piling were measured for both," the researcher found. "However, by not having the optimal configuration it was possible to have much greater levels of piling with stochastic."
Another study conducted on the ROTOMAN involved the evaluation of corrosion resistant fountain solutions. "The project evaluated the runnability, piling, and dampening system feedback, took four weeks of printing, and produced several million impressions," the researchers said. "The findings demonstrated 'corrosive-resistant' fountain solutions are an acceptable product for the U.S. heatset printing market."
An Education in Efficiency
ROTOMAN is the high-volume training tool that powers the association's instructional curriculum. PIA/GATF's Web Offset Press Operating training program teaches the press crew hands-on techniques on the MAN Roland press. Its objective is to teach press crews how to decrease downtime and reduce waste, while  empowering them to operate with less direct supervision.
New for this month on the ROTOMAN is a new three-day workshop on stochastic. The focus is on showing printers how to successfully introduce stochastic printing into their operations to improve their print quality, while increasing their profit margins.
In addition to providing use of the ROTOMAN, which has been running at the associations headquarters for over five years, MAN Roland also maintains and services the press. But the company believes the investment is well worth while. The ROTOMAN, together with auxiliary components from a number of industry leading project partners, provides for application oriented research for the printing industry.
"The feedback and development we have received from customers and the research staff at PIA/GATF has contributed to both the development of ROTOMAN, while also providing further support of our North American customers," comments MAN Roland's Vince Lapinski.
PIA/GATF also brings a bottom line perspective to ROTOMAN's long-term visit to its headquarters production center. "At PIA/GATF it is our goal to continue to conduct state-of-the-art research using the ROTOMAN that will benefit our members by assisting them in becoming efficient printers, and thus more profitable," Dr. Bohan declares.