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Alonzo automates Bay Area print production with a new 5/color ROLAND 500 with inline coater

Press release from the issuing company

November 5, 2007 -- Print buyers in the San Francisco Bay Area have a new source for automated offset production that delivers high quality results and provides application flexibility. The press is a new five-color ROLAND 500 with inline coating, which went into production this summer at Alonzo Printing in Hayward, California.
"We like the capabilities of this press — its speed and the quality of its printing," says James Duffy, President at Alonzo. "We also like its format size that will let us print more on every sheet. The ROLAND 500 is the only press that offers such an advanced combination of speed, size and automation."
One for Two
The one ROLAND 500 replaces two older Heidelberg presses at Alonzo, yet it increases the company’s sheetfed capacity significantly. The reasons: the ROLAND 500’s top speed of 18,000 sheets per hour, its six up format, and its highly automated makeready capabilities.
To make the most of the ROLAND 500’s automated advantages, Alonzo sent two of its press operators for PowerPrinters training at MAN Roland in Chicago during installation. Two more attended after the press was up and running. The week-long course focuses on fully applying the ROLAND 500’s advanced technology to the makeready process to maximize the automated advantages.
"We also had in-house training," Duffy says. "I compare this to being used to flying a Piper Cub, and moving up to an F-18. It’s an adjustment, but one that is well worth the effort, because with the ROLAND 500 you’re going to reach your destination much faster."
Building Momentum
The Alonzo president sees continuous progress in his pressroom: "Every week we get better and I think that before long, we will be at peak performance. Our press operators start jobs at 15,000 sph, and then increase the speed as they go along. We have already been running the ROLAND 500 at its top speed of 18,000 sph. As we become more familiar with it, we will be running the majority of our jobs at that top rate."
For short-run work, productivity can be found in the press’ makereadies. The more jobs they produce on the 500, the more Alonzo’s press operators are slashing downtime between jobs, while reducing makeready waste as well. "The ROLAND 500 really knows how to produce," Duffy declares.
While Alonzo has cost effectively produced projects of just a few hundred sheets on the ROLAND 500, it’s also winning work at the expense of 40-inch presses. "We have one job that involves printing 58,000 covers per month," Duffy says. "The ROLAND 500 provides significant production savings, and we intend to get more of that kind of work."
The inline coater on the ROLAND 500 is also proving its worth, according to Duffy: "Generally, we apply aqueous coating to every job printed on the 500 so we can turn it, cut it and fold it, as soon as the sheets come off the press."
The 500’s ability to handle a wider range of substrates is also coming into play at Alonzo. "We ran a 16 pt. cover on the ROLAND 500 that we could not have produced on our old press. So the ROLAND 500 is already extending the types of applications we can do. My next task is to get our sales reps up to speed on the new products this press can deliver. They have to see it before they can sell it."
Quality Sells
Alonzo’s sales team has already learned that the 500’s print quality is a useful selling point. Says Duffy: "The screens are fantastic. The color lays down beautifully. The printability is excellent."
Alonzo offers the full gamut of commercial printing services — sheetfed, web, digital, complete bindery, and mailing and fulfillment — producing a product lineup that includes periodicals, postcards, catalogs, manuals, books, direct mail and collateral. So with the amount of work they produce, pressroom downtime is not an acceptable option. This makes superior service imperative to their business.
Throughout the installation and ramp-up of the ROLAND 500, Duffy liked what he saw in the level of service and support he received from MAN Roland’s printservices team: "MAN Roland has been very responsive. Any time we’ve had a question or concern, they have been right there for us. They have been very, very attentive."
Growing Greener
Alonzo Printing’s motto is: "Printing. People. Planet" — just one indication that the company and its Bay Area constituency take their environmental responsibilities seriously. In fact, Alonzo is celebrating 10 years as the first certified Green Printer in Northern California.
The production efficiencies of the ROLAND 500 fit right in with that philosophy. Its automated makereadies reduce start-up waste and it produces more in less time. Duffy intends to benchmark such factors as energy consumption to gauge just how much greener the ROLAND 500 can be.
Meanwhile, Alonzo has installed MAN Roland’s solvent recycling system for the machine. By cleaning spent solvent for reuse, it cuts disposal costs to virtually zero, while slashing solvent purchases by up to 90%. Meanwhile no pollutants are released into the urban ecosystem. "That enhances our commitment to the environment," Duffy declares.
Alonzo has no plans to market the new ROLAND 500 to its customers, because Duffy believes the press’ capabilities speak for themselves: "With the ROLAND 500, we’re not afraid to tackle more difficult projects that before would have been a problem for us."