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MAN Roland Amasses $60 Million in U.S. Web Sales, Exceeding drupa Expectations

Press release from the issuing company

June 2, 2004 -- MAN Roland continued to increase its lead as the world’s most successful web press producer, recording over $60 million in web sales to American printers at drupa 2004 last month. “First of all, we were delightfully surprised at the number of U.S. printers who would travel to the show,” says Vincent Lapinski, COO of Web Operations at MAN Roland Inc. “More importantly, those who visited our exhibit were in an investing frame of mind. The $60 million in orders far exceeded our targeted projections.” Virtually the entire MAN Roland web press product line was represented in the drupa purchases, with the commercial presses ROTOMAN and LITHOMAN heading the list. “This is a very positive sign that things are improving,” Lapinski adds. “People are making investments in the future of their operations. Our drupa sales send a strong signal that business is back on track. We hope to sustain that strong level of activity in the months ahead.” One of the key drupa sales was the purchase of two 2 X 8 ROTOMAN presses. These are the first two-around, eight-across ROTOMAN systems to be placed in the North American market, extending MAN Roland’s lead in 2 X 8 technology. Both presses will be configured to run double webs to deliver an ultra-productive 64-page format. The 2 X 8 ROTOMAN models are particularly well suited for high-speed, high-quality magazine and catalog production. On the drupa show floor, meanwhile, a 16-page ROTOMAN and the commercial iteration of DICOweb plate-free offset technology led the field of web press innovations MAN Roland demonstrated live. Rapid makeready were the watchwords of the ROTOMAN presentation. A six-unit, single-web configuration of the press demonstrated how rapid-fire job changeovers make ROTOMAN the solution for short runs as well as long-run work. A new innovation called AutoJobChange helps make it so. The productivity package includes: • Automated Plate Loading (APL) to complete plate exchanges at the push of a button, with plates automatically positioned and tensioned to near-perfect register • QuickStart 2 to automate multiple functions of start-up sequencing, and shut-down sequencing, including blanket washer control and ink key setting • Closed Loop Controls that integrate press functions into a single streamlined system for enhanced production efficiency consistency In addition to speeding the transition from project-to-project, AutoJobChange significantly reduces start-up waste. The reason: the productivity package eliminates the need for human intervention in places where a press operator can slow-down or otherwise hinder the makeready process. The press operator is also relieved of duty during webbing up on the new ROTOMAN. A fully automated webbing-up system is being put through its paces to show how it eliminates manual handling, requires no bleed removal and includes complete web-up of the press through the folder in the time-saving process. New single-chopper folder technology was also introduced on the ROTOMAN, dazzling show goers with a production rate of 70,000 copies per hour. It too features fast makeready capabilities, while requiring a lower investment at the time of purchase and less maintenance throughout its operating lifetime. MAN Roland is also helping web printers cope with the growing demand for versioning within a project. The answer is AutoTransfer, which was demonstrated live on the ROTOMAN. The option allows press crews to take a printing unit out of the loop and change its plates on the fly. Meanwhile the press continues to produce at top speed, utilizing an adjacent unit to print a new version of the piece. By continuing to switch back and forth between black plate printing units, crews can produce an unlimited number of different versions without ever stopping the press. That maximizes uptime and sharply reduces waste. Accelerating the speed of several commercial web presses was also on MAN Roland’s drupa agenda. The ROTOMAN S now runs at 90,000 revolutions per hour. And the 48-page version of LITHOMAN 4 X 6 now clocks in at 45,000 cylinder revolutions per hour. The ultimate in print production integration — DICOweb — performed with new postpress capabilities. Working in the Commercial Factory in PrintCity, DICOweb switched between two in-line postpress solutions throughout the show. The objective: to show printers first-hand how DICOweb not only delivers offset quality printing without the need for plates, but provides a streamlined but highly versatile CIM workflow — combining prepress, press and postpress. The presentation also detailed how DICOweb pilot sites are thriving in the print marketplace, with the newest recently expanding to around-the-clock production, while contemplating the addition of more DICOweb modules. In a separate display featuring a DICOweb printing unit, the press’ ability to adapt to new production sizes was demonstrated. A single pressman changed sleeves on the system’s cylinders to show how easily different diameters can facilitate different print formats in a matter of minutes. MAN Roland is also making progress with the migration of DICOweb technology to other presses. DICOkit, which can add plate-free offset capabilities to existing MAN Roland web presses, was featured in a multimedia simulation. Speed, format expansion and automation are also the headlines on the newspaper side of MAN Roland’s web press activities. A multimedia simulation of the new COLORMAN XXL illustrated how the 6 X 2, 24-page machine can produce at the rate of 36 feet per second. That equates to 90,000 copies per hour, depending upon the cutoff employed. Compared to a 4 X 2 press producing 48 pages, COLORMAN XXL gets the job done with one-third less units and one-third fewer reel stands. And as its name indicates, COLORMAN lets newspapers put four-color quality on all of their pages to hold their readers’ attention and raise their advertising revenues. Power Plate Loading (PPL) on the COLORMAN was also introduced. The option allows press crews to exchange plates in under a minute. Newspapers that are under the gun to increase their color capacity within the shortest timeframe are also turning to MAN Roland for a cost-effective solution. The company has launched a tower add-on program that enables newspapers to upgrade their presses’ color capacity and never miss a production run with MAN Roland color technology, regardless of the brand of their existing equipment. The open-ended architecture of MAN Roland’s press control systems and the flexible nature of its advanced shaftless direct-drive technology make tower add-ons a profitable strategy for newspapers that need to exploit the rising demand for increased color advertising. The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune are already taking advantage of the program. In both cases, MAN Roland is overseeing all aspects of the upgrades. Additional details about MAN Roland’s commercial and newspaper web press systems can be obtained at www.manroland.com or at 1.800.268.4673.