ColorPress set to double billings: Adds six-color ROLAND 300 with coater
Press release from the issuing company
January 13, 2004 -- Walla Walla, Washington — After increasing its annual sales twofold over the last four years, commercial and specialty printer ColorPress is adding a six-color ROLAND 300 to its pressroom, complete with PECOM automation and an Anilox coater. The goal: to double its business again by 2009.
Installation of the 29-inch six-up press, which was completed over the holidays, is the culmination of an extensive search by ColorPress President Larry Johnson.
“We’ve been watching MAN Roland for the last six or seven years,” he says. “And when I saw the ROLAND 300 on the floor at Print 2001, I spent a fair amount of time going through how it worked. We decided then and there that PECOM was exactly the direction in which printing needed to go.”
PECOM is MAN Roland’s press operating and automation system. Introduced in the mid-90s, it provides printers a portal to the advantages of Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM).
“PECOM is the major reason we bought this press,” Johnson declares. “Other presses can print fairly well, but they don’t have the capabilities that MAN Roland provides with PECOM.”
Johnson anticipates cutting his makereadies to a third of what they are on his current 40-inch and 28-inch presses. He points to PECOM’s ability to preset virtually all key parameters for the next job, while the current project runs. He also praises its closed loop color controls.
“Consistency of color on short runs is very important at ColorPress,” Johnson says, adding that the company has built a profitable reputation as a producer of fine art prints. The new press will assume that high-quality assignment, in addition to many others, all of which will require quality and consistency.
“I like that the PECOM system has been out there for a while,” Johnson explains. “We don’t want to be a guinea pig for a press manufacturer who is just starting down the automation road. When you get into very integrated and complex systems you're bound to have teething problems. MAN Roland has already worked those out.”
Johnson is also looking toward the future with PECOM and his ROLAND 300: “I wanted to get a press and a system that would allow us to say over next 10 years: ‘We have a plan and a system for that progression. We can connect our pressroom to our prepress workflow and our MIS system. We can profit from Computer Integrated Manufacturing.’ ”
ColorPress is currently in the training mode with its new machine, following what Johnson says was a flawless ramp-up. “I have not seen any other installation go as well,” he comments. “Normally you run into a problem or several of them when you’re starting up a new press. So it was fun to watch it all come together instead of watching the clock. Everything went exactly to schedule.”
With a 35,000 sq ft facility and 40+ employees, ColorPress is positioned to react swiftly to changing marketplace opportunities. To enhance its level of agility, it will shift literally all commercial work to the ROLAND 300.
The company’s existing 28-inch six-color press with in-line coating is going to be assigned to producing a proprietary product on an ongoing basis. Meanwhile, ColorPress’ 40-inch six-color system will be reserved for higher volume signature printing.
“That full-size machine does long run publication work well,” Johnson says. “But its time-consuming makereadies are really painful on commercial jobs. The 300 will make us much more competitive in that regard. Everything that we possibly can run on it will be put on this press. We’re going to work it two full shifts right from the start.”
The ROLAND 300’s in-line Anilox coater will also be kept busy. Johnson intends to coat more jobs thanks to the simplicity and consistency of the system: “Anilox is easier to apply and delivers better results. The thickness of coating is the same all the time from one corner of the sheet to the other.”
ColorPress plans on marketing its newest printing system, both regionally and nationally, but the 300 has already begun to sell itself. “Designers like to go with something new, and agencies like to tell clients that their piece was printed on a brand new system,” Johnson observes. “A number of people have already told us that they'll be running this and this and this on our new MAN Roland. We’ll be ready for them.”
And the ColorPress president is confident that his new pressroom partner will help take his company to the next level of profitability: “I'm very impressed with MAN Roland as a whole. Everyone involved in getting us our new press has followed through and given us exactly what we needed.”
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