MAN Roland focusing on increasing color & reducing costs at NEXPO
Press release from the issuing company
Washington, DC — MAN Roland’s exhibit at NEXPO 2004 focuses on the solutions it has developed in recent months to make newspapers more attractive as a communications medium and more profitable as business enterprises.
“Newspapers don’t invest in presses because they like to watch them run,” says Vincent Lapinski, COO of Web Operations. “They want to see how we can add more color to their publications, more variety to their capabilities and more productivity to their overall operations. That’s why our exhibit focuses on how our advancements can increase advertising revenue, build circulation and even allow newspapers to expand the scope of their businesses to add additional revenue streams to their bottom line.”
PECOM & printnet join forces
The integrated efficiencies provided by the combination of MAN Roland’s PECOM press operating system and its printnet digital backbone will also be explored.
MAN Roland is interfacing its upgraded PECOM press operating system with the printnet digital backbone from ppi Media to deliver total networking solutions to its newspaper customers.
ppi, which is a subsidiary of MAN Roland, is a leading print-centric software systems developer. The company’s printnet package automates newspaper production by organizing an end-to-end workflow — from page planning to output management.
PECOM, on the other hand, is the press control system that drives the automated features and integrates operations on all MAN Roland web presses. “Think of PECOM as the central control tower,” explains Lapinski. “By itself, it does a great job of overseeing the airport, all the taxiing and take-offs and landings.
“But when you integrate it with printnet, suddenly you’re controlling every plane in the sky, all the way to their final destinations. In that way, printnet and its PlanPag module fulfills the networking capabilities of PECOM. That gives newspapers a fully integrated workflow that will save them time, money and manpower.”
Lapinski points out that no other press manufacturer is equipped to offer a front to back Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) solution like the PECOM/printnet combination provides. “We have a head start because all of our presses are digitally controlled and digitally networked thanks to PECOM, “ he declares. “ Now the appropriate printnet modules can be plugged directly into that proven digital base to provide whatever level of networking a newspaper requires.”
At the Daily Herald, which serves suburban Chicago, printnet and PECOM are in control of two new REGIOMAN presses that total 66 couples.
“PlanPag has automated our design and pagination workflow that connects with REGIOMAN’s PECOM operating and automation system,” says Bob Finch, Vice President/Process at the Daily Herald. “ppi did a lot of customizing to their program for us because of our extensive zoning requirements. Since we cover so many communities, we typically produce different versions for 30 zones in the afternoon to anywhere from 7 to 18 zones at night.”
What makes the situation more confusing is that there is often no consistency to the count. The number of different zones for which Finch has to print different sections varies from night to night. “ppi’s PlanPag and ppi’s Print Planning Module work together to organize and execute every aspect of each production run on the press,” he notes “Both have been very successful.
“PlanPag has increased our speed and ease of use. Those benefits are enhanced by PECOM, which automates our ink presets and register controls.”
Another advantage of printnet stems from the system’s open architecture. Newspapers that are shopping for new presses can upgrade their old machines with key printnet modules. The result: their pressroom crews will be well versed in networked operations by the time the new presses arrive.
“That also builds enthusiasm for the new machines before they are installed and it makes the learning curve less steep during ramp-up,” Lapinski adds.
Tower extension program accelerates
MAN Roland’s tower extension program, which was introduced at the previous NEXPO, will be the subject of its own display this year. Since initiating the service, MAN Roland has won two of the industry’s largest tower add-on projects, one at the Los Angeles Times and the second at the Chicago Tribune (see separate stories).
“We’re adding our COLORMAN towers to presses that were built by another manufacturer at both of those papers,” says Lapinski. “We’re responsible for every component, every piece of software and every deadline. We’ve got the training covered, along with everything else involved in transforming a newspaper pressroom into a more versatile and productive environment.”
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