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Experts Connect with Print integration at Printcafe User Group Conference

Press release from the issuing company

Las Vegas, Nevada -- What is the future of integrating the production processes that constitute printing? That was the question addressed by a special session of Connect 2002 -- Printcafe’s annual users’ conference. Delving into the issue from a system provider’s point of view, Yves Rogivue, CEO of MAN Roland Inc., traced the accelerating emergence of Computer integrated Manufacturing (CIM) in the graphic arts. "The Internet is a fantastic communications device, " Rogivue told the audience of 700 printing professionals. "But what happens to its connectivity when it reaches into your prepress suite? Into your bindery? Into your pressroom? The answer is CIM." In printing, CIM requires connecting all of the components of a facility’s workflow, including administration, management and production, so that every component can communicate with and work within the entire integrated system. "When that happens, you’re using information as a productivity tool," Rogivue noted. "And every element in your workflow is suddenly performing at peak efficiency, because CIM has made the whole greater than the sum of its parts." The MAN Roland CEO stressed the importance of open architecture to make CIM effective: "That means working with several providers who will serve you, each focusing on their company’s special strengths. What you don’t want to do is be locked into one supplier who claims to know it all and is looking to take over your entire operation." Using an example, Rogivue pointed to MAN Roland’s PECOM automation and plant management system. "We introduced the PECOM concept over a decade ago, and now it’s the only press operating system that facilitates the networked printing paradigm that makes CIM a reality. PECOM was able to advance through the years because it is software based. So it’s highly modular and fully upgradeable." PECOM stands for Process Electronic Control, Organization and Management. And as the name indicates, the system goes beyond control of press operations to organize the pressroom’s workflow, while connecting the management function to the pulse of the printing plant. "It can link every production factor of every MAN Roland system in a printer’s pressroom to a Management Information System, such as the ones provided by Printcafe," Rogivue said. "Using the Job Definition Format, MIS and the press can converse back and forth, before, during and after the job to optimize production." Describing himself as the session’s "output expert," Rogivue noted that presses need "to turn on the dime" by offering reduced makereadies and greater printing efficiency. "That’s why MAN Roland developed DICOweb," he said. "It feeds CIM content directly to an imaging cylinder, eliminating the need for printing plates, to accelerate the production process." Concluding his presentation, the MAN Roland CEO noted that while technologies such as variable data printing hold promise, there’s no need to wait for them to come into their own. "Printers have an immediate solution for today’s output challenges in front of them, and it’s called CIM," he declared. "It satisfies print buyers because it reduces print prices and improves quality. It makes printers happy by widening their profit margins. And it’s based on technology that works. You just need to get together with the right partners who can put the tools together for you."