Integration, automation, hybrid print

manroland web systems’ print finishing systems

Digital non-stop production of various products with differing page numbers, sections or books – the workflow at manroland web systems’ drupa stand. Photo manroland web systems

At drupa 2016 manroland web systems showed its new press console interface, its improved blanket washing system and its eCommerce type of spare parts supply system, for its existing and potential customers of newspaper and commercial web offset presses. However, given the decline in the sales of large newspaper presses globally, the company took a major call on demonstrating its technologies for growing the capabilities of digital printing, from book printing to newspaper printing at drupa.

manroland web systems has continuously developed its digital know-how in three distinct areas – workflow integration, automation and hybrid solutions. The results are seen in several business models being implemented worldwide by offset as well as digital printers. Alwin Stadler, head of digital printing at manroland web systems says, “We establish postpress processing and in-line finishing as the central part of the system in digital printing systems and additionally ensure integration in the customers workflow.” 

Successful live demos 

A digital workflow made up of a Kodak Prosper 6000S Hybrid and the manroland web systems FoldLine as a flexible in-line folding unit with varied product applications, was demonstrated at the company’s stand at drupa 2016. Using its new digital print reel splicer, pre-printed reels were processed in alternating offset and inkjet modes with digital over printing in the required areas for personalization or variable data and then guided to the FoldLine. The stacking of the printed and processed newspapers, books, booklets and brochures was taken on by a Rima system. The changeover between three different successive newspaper versions was carried out at full speed ‘on-the-fly’ enabling smooth transfer from one version to the next. The individual jobs were connected to become a continuous production run using manroland web systems’ MasterQ imposition software tool.

Integration, automation, hybrid print

With its in-line finishing units and software solutions, manroland web systems have managed to digitalize workflows to an extent that high copy runs can be efficiently and flexibly produced. The cardinal element here is the Workflow Bridge software which delivers clear job instructions to the folding unit FoldLine and the FormerLine for a postpress processing which is volume variable, and indeed for the complete production including book blocks.

Each incoming print job is checked and immediately assigned to the production unit where it can be produced most economically and efficiently. Even if the job parameters or production conditions change, the digital printing and offset systems in any plant can be linked using Master Q. It automates and updates job scheduling permanently

Digitally printed and processed newspapers

manroland web systems has developed its digital workflows independent of printing machine manufacturers, for both web offset and digital print environments. The overriding principles are production variability, low cost production of small partial runs, regional editions and personalization, all of which enable new business models. The Swiss printing house Mengis Druck produces the first purely digitally printed daily newspaper, the Walliser Bote in the evenings on a FoldLineWorkflow, and during the day they produce advertising inserts. 

The French Imprimerie de l’Avesnois produce their weekly newspaper L’Observateur including regional editions with the FoldLine and the WorkflowBridge software. The objective is strongly localized newspapers. Rotolito Lombarda, Milan, uses the FoldLine System in in-line as well as offline operation to produce newspapers, brochures, magazines and individual book signatures. This complete product flexibility in in-line finishing is also relied upon by Masar Printing and Publishing in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Digital book production 

The FormerLine book block solution is aimed at the Print-on-Demand book market. While one FormerLine after another takes care of economically viable book production at Chinese book printing giant Hucais’ plant in Dongguan, the huge German book printer CPI sees the FormerLine as an efficient solution for digital 4-color book printing. At the beginning of 2016, the Brazilian educational book publisher FTD Educação started production on FormerLine. The Polish company Legra has discovered an additional production field for the FomerLine by using it to produce calendars. 

Stadler explains the company’s strategy as a lead integrator, “Instead of offering the customer isolated applications, we have connected the complete printing system with our core competences, folding technology and workflow networking, and that from the very beginning.” Low makeready times as demonstrated by the folding systems FormerLine and FoldLine are key while Master Q is the central integration tool which coordinates imposition.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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