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Key issues discussed at manroland Customer Conference

Press release from the issuing company

(November 24, 2008) This year's manroland Commercial Customers Conference, held during Graph Expo on October 27 in The Library at Chicago's James Hotel, attracted twice as many manroland customer companies and personnel compared to the 2007 inaugural.  Attendees unanimously declared it a worthwhile learning experience as it lived up to advance expectations, and setting the stage for next year's event during Print '09.

They came from Canada and the U.S., virtually coast-to-coast, and every type of manroland Commercial web press was represented: LITHOMAN, EUROMAN and ROTOMAN, as well as ROTOMAN S.  Common bonds were found with issues every commercial printer faces each day.  In a structured yet informal setting, they gained insights and answers from specialist presenters and contemporaries alike.
"This event, by design, is meant to be informative, to provide an exchange that can help you improve operational productivity and profitability," is how Doug Bradley, manroland Vice President, Web Service, welcomed the group.  "An exchange like this is helpful not only to you, but to us.  We're here to support you as a team."

Customers agreed; presentations hit the mark

"I used to be more involved on the technical side," commented Ted Ford, who with partner, Bill Knepper, runs Knepper Press in Clinton, PA.  "There are several reminders I'll take back with me.  We are always looking at ways to reduce waste and boost output while making sure our clients get what they are looking for," said Ford, who added a ROTOMAN with a sheeter in 2008 to their stable of three

ROLAND 700 sheetfed presses.

"I come from the prepress side of the business," said St. Joseph Publishing's Ryan Anderson, "and have attended similar sessions like this.  This conference was good. Meeting people, putting faces to names and sharing ideas help all of us," said Anderson.  He has three ROTOMAN S presses to print 15 magazines and other titles from a trio of Canadian locations, including headquarters in Concord, Ontario.

"The presentations were very helpful," said Perry Znottka of Point One in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto.  "We are now in transition, switching our plates and dealing with piling issues.  Even though you already understand most of what was discussed, it does jog your memory and there are several things I'll check on.  Sharing information like this is good for everyone."

Conference organizer and program MC, Jason Elliott, manroland's Director of Service Support Operations, facilitated the guest speakers and Q&A discussions, while also adding insights in response to customer queries.  Featured topics included Color Management, with a presentation by manroland Senior Training Specialist John Terrano; Optimizing Blanket Piling, by Greg Radencic, a Research Scientist from PIA/GATF; and an open-topic Panel Q&A session with manroland equipment and process specialists.

'Science' trumps 'Art' in Color Management

The session began with a discussion on color management led by Terrano, who stated the 'Art and Science' of color management has largely become Science.  He reviewed basic factors that affect consistent output and demonstrated how client approvals can be gained without costly delays.  Terrano added a well-seasoned perspective from years of press side experience serving multi-facility clients from several plants, coast-to-coast.  His focus made sure everyone "sees the same" brand look and color, regardless of which plant it comes from.

As printers go for higher speeds, high-volume output, and also move to stochastic and other fine-line screening, piling issues can become increasingly prevalent.  PIA/GATF's Radencic reviewed an extensive, collaborative study involving manroland, two ink manufacturers, two blanket manufacturers, and several fountain solution and paper providers.  The objective was to determine the types of piling under various conditions, measure its extent, and isolate those options that minimize the problem. The study, which tested both conventional and stochastic screening, delivered a multitude of data.

The conference ended with an open forum Question-and-Answer session, where attendees asked panel members about technical topics, equipment upgrades and support.  Conversation flowed after the presentations were finished as attendees and panellists traded ideas on many topics.  It was clear from the conversation that attendees took away information and insight that could help them find new ways to increase operational performance and reduce costs.

manroland Inc., a division of manroland AG, is the world's second largest printing systems manufacturer and the world's market leader in web offset.  manroland employs almost 9,000 people and has annual sales of some Euro 2 billion with an export share of almost 84 percent.  Web and sheetfed offset presses provide solutions for publishing, commercial and packaging printing.  For more information, visit www.manroland.us.com.