For the second time in less than three years, Allied Litho, one of the Midwest's premier package printers, has purchased a manroland Roland 900 six color press with UV coater-- this time the 56" version. Allied Litho has been experiencing rapid growth with the purchase of a 73" Roland 900 XXL 6-color press with UV coater 30 months ago. Now the company is looking to bolster its productivity and profitability with the addition of a similarly versatile press.
Tim Heier, Allied Litho's CEO, understands that the business of selecting a printing press can be like a chess game. "You just hope you make the right moves, because there have been an awful lot of people who thought they made the right move and didn't. We believe we have and we like where we are positioned in the industry right now."
In 2008, when Allied was looking to add more capacity, the final choice boiled down to a either a 64" or a 73" press. "We thought the 73" press would give us more bang for the buck. Even though we knew the consumables would be more expensive, we decided to take a chance. As a result, we have done quite a bit of work that would not fit on a 64. It was a roll of the dice that came out well for us."
"We are currently operating that Roland 900 XXL press 24 hours a day, six days a week and looking to add a couple more shifts. This has forced us to begin looking for a little sister to the XXL press to increase our capacity."
Heier said that the new addition is capable of performing 70 percent of the work that is currently being done on the Roland 900 XXL and will nearly double Allied Litho's capacity. This should stimulate further growth, since a number of customers have expressed a willingness to entrust the company with more work but are uneasy because the company is pushing a huge volume of work through a single press.
"Eventually," said Heier, "We would like to get to a point where we are running our two presses on a two shift basis. Our third shift would be a swing shift where we would use one or the other, depending on the requirements of the work at hand."
In addition to increasing its capacity Allied Litho is also looking to the new press for improved profitability. The company will realize considerable reductions in the cost of consumables by using a smaller press when the large format press is not necessary. Balancing the work over a smaller number of shifts will result in less overtime costs.
The company will also be in a better position to protect its investment with more thorough maintenance. "We like to take very good care of our equipment. However, when you run a press as much as we have this one, you don't have time available to maintain it as well as you would like to. Now we will be in a position to maintain both presses in the thorough manner they deserve," he said.
The Roland 900 56" 6-color press, with speeds up to 14,000 sheets per hour, provides superior print quality and significant automation, including automated plate changing and printnet workflow integration. It can be used as a flexible system for paper and carton right through to corrugated board as it can process substrates from 0.04 up to 1.2 mm on the press. It can use either aqueous or UV coatings. Like all manroland sheetfed presses it is supported by the unique Telepresence remote service which resolves nearly 95 percent of all service issues without the user having to pay and wait for a dispatched service technician.
With its advanced printing unit design, sheet guiding systems, inking and damping units, all the prerequisites are provided for constant and dependable print quality. In addition, modern inline coating systems, chambered doctor blade/anilox roller technology and ROLAND Secconmatic dryers allow high standards to be set for the production of creative up-market products.
Heier said that, since the company's founding in 1949, Allied Litho has owned six or seven manroland presses. "By and large it has been the only machine that we have really felt in tune with. We have worked hand in hand with them over the years. When we have been in trouble, manroland has stood behind us. I feel like they have got my back," he said.
Allied Litho will take delivery on its new Rolland 900 press in the 3rd quarter of 2011 and it will be in operation early in 2012.