MAN Roland Users Group Conference advances the newspaper pressroom
Press release from the issuing company
The MAN Roland Users Group (MANRUG) recently held its largest annual conference to date. Members from many newspapers exchanged production advice, learned about the latest technology advancements, and educated each other on ways to make their pressrooms more responsive and productive.
Conducted May 5-8 at the Wyndham Northwest Chicago Hotel in Itasca, Illinois, the 2006 MANRUG Conference brought together production executives from leading newspapers all over North America as well as MAN Roland experts from around the world. It also encompassed a mini-expo showcasing technology and consumables. This year’s user group meeting included a feature tour of The Daily Herald, suburban Chicago’s largest newspaper and recent winner of the prestigious 2006-2008 Ifra International Newspaper Color Quality Club award.
MANRUG President Jim Foley, who is Production Director of The Republican in Springfield, Massachusetts, says interest in the organization continues to snowball: “Our user and vendor attendance increased again this year, which is an indication of the relevance of the meetings to our membership. The sessions included a mix of presentations from user group members, MAN Roland staff and support vendors that offered a wide range of perspectives for the group.”
Into the Future
Leading the MAN Roland delegation was Vince Lapinski, COO of Web Operations for MAN Roland Inc. He provided an advanced and exclusive look at new pressroom technology MAN Roland is offering around the globe. “Advanced technology is necessary to keep our medium current and competitive, but you have to get the innovations into the right hands if it is going to be productively applied and result in profitable benefits,” he notes. “MANRUG provides that crucial conduit.”
Foley views MAN Roland’s participation in the conference as delivering a dual benefit. “The formal sessions provided by MAN Roland, along with the informal one-on-one discussions, are two of the primary methods for attendee information gathering,” he says. “The broad range of MAN Roland managers and technical staff in attendance offers a unique opportunity to our members, which is not available in any other forum.”
Among the presentations was one that detailed the results of a survey on maintenance. The research answered the question: “Where do the hours go?”
MAN Roland also launched a new 24/7 source for certified replacement parts and consumables. Called manrolanddirect.com, the new service was introduced by Alan Pratt, Assistant Vice President, Parts / Supply Chain, who emphasized the importance of using factory-certified replacement parts. “Our newspaper web customers need not wonder which replacement part is the most effective match for their particular printing system,” he notes. “manrolanddirect.com provides them with choices that are best for their presses.”
Commenting on MAN Roland’s follow-up to the event, Foley gives high marks to the press maker: “The attendees appreciate MAN Roland’s involvement in the conference; they listen to our suggestions and respond to them in a timely manner.”
Host for this year’s conference was the Daily Herald, which opened a state-of-the-art production center in Schaumberg four years ago equipped with REGIOMAN presses. The 160,000 sq ft Paddock Printing Center was the destination of a Sunday evening field trip for the production executives, giving them a hands-on view of technology in action, as well as an additional chance to network.
“Networking among attendees is probably one of the bigger benefits of the conference,” Foley points out. “Users establishing relationships with other users and with MAN representatives and support vendors is one of the core strengths of the organization. At one point during the conference, several users were observed standing around a table outside the session room discussing their operations. This kind of interaction is really what makes a user group successful.”
The formal presentations were also the settings for lively discussion, according to Foley: “The amount of user participation during the sessions and the increased number of user presentations were highlights of this year's event.”
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