manroland web systems Inc.

ROLAND 700 DirectDrive Cuts Printing Downtime

Motorists in Germany spend around six years of their lives stuck in traffic jams. Some printing presses are faced with a similar situation. For up to the half of potential production hours they stand still and generate no income. Modern presses reduce this non-productive time considerably but the ROLAND 700 DirectDrive takes a quantum leap forward. With direct drive technology and QuickChange modules it reduces makeready time by 60 percent. However, what sort of job structure makes the ROLAND 700 DirectDrive a wise investment?

Customers are ordering ever-shorter run lengths, insist on lower prices and have high quality expectations. At the same time a printing company has to operate profitably. Printing systems that can be made ready quickly provide the efficiency needed to produce faster and less expensively. This is a crucial pillar of manroland’s Value Added Printing philosophy, which is embodied by the ROLAND 700 DirectDrive. Regardless of whether the run length is 500 or 30,000: DirectDrive can dramatically reduce the ratio of makeready time to total production time over a very wide range of different jobs. This increases production capacity in the pressroom, which results in higher turnover and profits.

Faster with multitasking

The ROLAND 700 DirectDrive concept is more than simultaneous plate changing; it reduces makeready time through multitasking. DirectDrive features a drive motor with a control unit and an intelligent clutching system that disconnects the plate cylinder from the rest of the press. This allows changing plates in all printing units simultaneously and washing the impression and blanket cylinders at the same time. With a so-called large job changeover (including an ink change), the ROLAND 700 DirectDrive can as a first step simultaneously wash the inking units and blanket and impression cylinders at different speeds.

In a second step inking up takes place during simultaneous plate changing. DirectDrive has advantages during production: the start of print can be adjusted by up to 99 millimeters. Moreover, the unique electronic print length correction of +/- 0.1 millimeters enables the printer to correct the length of the image on the run.

When is DirectDrive unbeatable?

Which job structure is optimal for DirectDrive? Commercial and publications printers whose run lengths are generally long swear by direct drive technology. However, the fact is that with short runs makeready time is over proportionally high. Therefore the ROLAND 700 DirectDrive is unbeatable for runs up to 5,000 sheets, more than ten jobs per shift and double-shift operation. Makeready time of course depends on the number of tasks to be carried out. A small job changeover with plate changing and cylinder washing can be reduced from ten to four minutes. With a large job changeover that includes washing the inking rollers and then inking them up with the new profile for the next job, makeready time can be reduced from 16 to six minutes. What effect does this have on a working day?

With jobs with five colors (CMYK plus a spot color), an average run length of 5,000 sheets and a production speed of 15,000 sheets per hour the makeready time savings with the ROLAND 700 DirectDrive amount to 20 minutes per job. In two-shift operation this means that 24 jobs can be printed per day instead of 15. These nine additional jobs boost a company’s profitability. Projecting this example over a year results in additional production capacity of 13 million sheets per year.

A new dimension of target group-oriented advertising

With DirectDrive a printing company can not only produce more jobs in a given period but can also offer new types of print products. More jobs can be entered into production planning at short notice, including jobs that only become economically viable with DirectDrive. Target group-oriented product catalogs for example with individualized title pages or contents that can be produced with DirectDrive at an attractive cost per copy.

With declining run lengths, some printing companies are using DirectDrive technology to considerably reduce their costs. It may make sense for instance to replace two older presses with one ROLAND 700 DirectDrive. This reduces capital employed and personnel costs and aligns capacity with the actual job structure. With DirectDrive technology therefore a company is already well equipped for growth at a later time.

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