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German Printing Industry Innovation Award goes to manroland

Press release from the issuing company

manroland had cause to celebrate at the gala Printstars that accompanied the German Printing Industry Innovation Awards held in Stuttgart on 18 November: AutomaticPlateLoading (APL) took first prize in the category Print Technology. APL is manroland's groundbreaking system that dramatically reduces plate changing time.

A significant trend in the newspaper industry is split runs, which makes fast plate changing ever more important. This is why manroland developed the fully-automated APL system that reduces the time needed for changing all plates in a newspaper press to an absolute minimum. To achieve this, manroland was the first to introduce industrial robots for print production. The APL system uses a 4-axis robotic arm built by the KUKA Robot Group, which has a positioning accuracy of 0.01 millimeters. Just as innovative as the product is the history behind it. The robot was co-developed by the KUKA Robot Group and integrated by manroland in the APL system. APL quickly proved itself in practical use with numerous newspaper presses: more than a dozen autoprint newspaper presses with well over 150 APL robots have already been ordered. The development did not end there: the first fully-automated plate transport logistics systems, APL logistics, are being used in day to day production.

The highlights in brief

- Minimized plate changing time for the entire newspaper press
- Simultaneous changing in all printing units, a decentralized solution
- No manual intervention needed during plate changing
- Normal accessibility to the press for all operating and maintenance functions
- Semi-automatic backup function and error-free plate assignment

Meeting printing companies' requirements

The Innovation Award in the category Print Technology is a classic Readers' Choice, which is especially pleasing to manroland CEO Gerd Finkbeiner: "We oriented our features totally on market and customer needs. Receiving this award from industry specialists shows that our products meet printing companies' requirements exactly."


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