Superior Printers adds a second 29-inch ROLAND 500 to outmaneuver its 40-inch competitors
Press release from the issuing company
November 19, 2007 - Superior Printers in Winter Park, Florida has been so successful with its first ROLAND 500 press that it has installed a second one. Each of the systems is configured with six printing units, inline coating and extended deliveries - the better to compete for the widest variety of jobs.
But it was the ROLAND 500's 23-inch by 29-inch format that first attracted Superior to press. The idea was to differentiate itself from, and compete more effectively against, printers who run 40-inch presses.
"The 29-inch size intrigued me seven years ago, and I actually bought an entry-level press to get into that market," recalls Edward Sengel, Superior's president. "Then two years ago, we upgraded to our first ROLAND 500. And now we have purchased another."
Like most commercial printing facilities in North America, Superior is seeing more jobs but shorter run lengths. That scenario shifts the balance of power from the volume-hungry 40-inch machines and moves it to the more nimble half-size and three-quarter-size presses.
"The 23" X 29" format of the ROLAND 500 takes it to next level," Sengel says. "You can run 8 1/2" X 11" six-up. You can produce 25" X 11" posters two-up. Unless you're doing oversized display posters, a large percentage of what used to be 40-inch work exclusively can now run on the ROLAND 500. Because of the economies associated with the smaller size press, we can be more competitive against 40-inch equipment."
The 18,000 sheet-per-hour production speed of the ROLAND 500 is a key competitive advantage, according to Sengel. "If a 40-inch competitor is running at 12,000 sheets per hour, the 500 can print 50 percent more sheets and actually output more product in a shorter period of time than the big press can."
Print quality is another factor when it comes to gaining new business and keeping old customers satisfied, regardless of the size of the run. Superior's clients report that they can see the difference between work done on the ROLAND 500 and what the full-size printers are producing.
But the most important determinant of short-run success is makeready efficiency. Superior uses MAN Roland's printnet PressManager to network its ROLAND 500s to the rest of its production workflow to take advantage of the time-saving benefits of computer integrated manufacturing (CIM).
"Networking our two MAN Roland presses has resulted in a dramatic productivity increase by accelerating our makereadies," says Sengel. "printnet PressManager lets us pre-program all the job parameters directly from our prepress department. They just bring up the job number, and the press sets itself up."
The resulting time savings is significant. "The ROLAND 500 lets us do a 10-15 minute makeready on a full six-color job that used take us 40-45 minutes. We have actually had customers come in on a press OK and approve the first-pull sheets. That is how precise this press' automated ink profile settings are. The registration is always accurate. And the color is always right there in two pulls or less."
Perfecting The Mail
Superior ordered its latest ROLAND 500 with perfecting capabilities to help streamline its production of two-sided direct mail pieces. One such example is check letters. They consist of a letter with a color check incorporated into its design and are popular with banks that market home equity loans and lines of credit.
"These used to require two passes to print," says Sengel. "With the ROLAND 500 perfector, we can print both sides and perf it in a single pass, which saves both time and money."
Superior is set to realize additional savings from MAN Roland's printservices program. That support resource covers Superior's ROLAND 500s with remote service diagnosis featuring TelePresence. The InterTech-winning innovation allows MAN Roland technicians to examine and monitor the vital signs of a press in real time without having to travel to Superior.
"The main advantage of TelePresence is that it lets MAN Roland's response team identify what parts they need to fix the problem before they send the technician," Sengel says. "That way, he can bring the parts he needs with him or have them sent before he arrives. The press can be fixed right away, instead of waiting for parts. That eliminates a day of downtime, which can make all the difference in the world."
Sengel appreciates all of the competitive innovations his ROLAND 500s deliver in a marketplace that he finds was strong last year but is currently losing some steam. "Our business is up 10 percent, while every one else in Florida seems to be struggling to hang on to what they've got," he says. "I have to give part of the credit for that to MAN Roland and the advantages our two ROLAND 500s provide."
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's go-to information source with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, WhatTheyThink Email Newsletters, and the WhatTheyThink magazine. Our mission is to inform, educate, and inspire the industry. We provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today's printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.