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PowerPrinters Launches in North America with Inaugural Training Course

Press release from the issuing company

Westmont, Illinois - An advanced printing course at the MAN Roland Graphic/Training Center here has launched the North American chapter of PowerPrinters - the operator-oriented user group that is being organized to maximize the skills of pressroom professionals who run MAN Roland presses. The week-long training initiative, which took place from March 11th to March 15th, featured pressmen, press helpers and a supervisor from two printing firms - General Press Corporation in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania and the Waxahachie, Texas division of packaging giant Rock-Tenn. "The concept behind PowerPrinters, which has been very successful in Europe, is to take the best pressroom pros out there and make them even more proficient," notes Christian Cerfontaine, Director of Marketing at MAN Roland. "We do it through advanced training, special events, and by giving them opportunities to interact with and learn from each other. "The idea is that a certified PowerPrinter will be able to make full use of all the technological advances we built into our presses. We bring them here to immerse them in that technology." Rock-Tenn press operators Jeff Bassinger and Charles C. Hutson were among the inaugural group who took the course and were certified. They currently run an older Roland 800 at the company’s Waxahachie facility, but are moving up to automated advancements of a Roland 700, thanks in part to their PowerPrinter training. "They really developed a good format for the PowerPrinters course," Bassinger says. "The instructors were friendly and knowledgeable, providing us with a lot of useful information in a short period of time. But most importantly, they presented it all in a way that you’ll remember what you learned." Bassinger believes his new found knowledge will provide a productivity lift to his entire Rock-Tenn crew: "We’re good about sharing information and helping each other at Rock-Tenn. The guys I work with will benefit a lot from what I’ll take back. I can help them solve the problems they might have. I’ve seen these problems caused purposely here and learned how they were solved. So now I have the answers." The PowerPrinters course concentrates on a different operational area on each of its five days. Classroom presentations are limited to an hour each day to maximize prepping and running time on the Graphic/Training Center’s six-color Roland 700. The press is equipped with the latest technology, including a coating system and the PECOM command and control system. "The training concentrates time to allow the operators hands-on experience on the 700 before examining the theory and details of the PECOM press console," explains Hal Stratton, Director of the Graphic/Training Center. "In the end, this method helps the operator better understand the theory and take advantage of all the networked printing benefits of PECOM." General Press, a commercial and label printer located near Pittsburgh, saw four members of its pressroom staff become certified PowerPrinters: Pressroom Supervisor Robert Sudy, Senior Press Operator Mark Woyt, and Pressroom Helpers Wayne Presseau and Scott Helgert. The company is in the process of installing a new eight-color Roland 700 with in-line coating and perfecting, and also runs a six-color Roland 300. "We picked up a few tricks that we can use on both of our MAN Roland presses," says Sudy. "My management will also be interested in what I’ve learned. I can tell them from this what we can expect from the new press. I can give my press operators a baseline on what this press can do." The pressroom supervisor indicates that his crew’s PowerPrinters training is the perfect prelude to starting up a brand new press: "It’s nice to know we’ll be the first to run it and set the standards for this press in our shop. The PowerPrinter training gave us the confidence to do that." Sudy is also impressed with the depth and diversity of the instruction. "They had different experts teaching different parts of the course," he says. "Plus, I got to meet all of the people I will be dealing with - the service people, the parts people, and the people in charge." General Press’s Mark Woyt feels that his PowerPrinter experience "helped take the fear factor out of running a brand new press," adding that he is now prepared to "use 100 percent of the 700’s capabilities. "Now I’m ready to go for it all - less makeready time, less spoilage," Woyt declares. "I feel that whatever they designed this press to do in terms of performance is going to happen in our pressroom." In addition to their PowerPrinter certification, all graduates of the course receive a PECOM simulator disk that they can run on their at-home and in-shop computers. "It will be very helpful," Woyt notes. " I just have to put it in my computer and I can practice what I’ve learned." Press Helper Wayne Presseau sees his PowerPrinters training as a career booster: "My PowerPrinters’ certification is important on a personal level. It gives me extra confidence that I’ll apply in the pressroom. There’s going to be a lot of interest in what we learned when we get back to the shop. I’ll be able to share my know-how." For more information on future PowerPrinters’ courses or to sign up for the user group, visit manroland.com.