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Live performance at Offenbach Graphic Centre

Looking for "future oriented solutions for packaging printing" some 1,000 specialists from all sectors of the packaging industry from 30 countries and four continents visited MAN Roland Druckmaschinen's Offenbach Graphic Centre early this year.

Together with Agfa Deutschland, the company staged the Technology Forum 2002 in its demonstration and training centre and attracted label printers, folding box producers, corrugated board printers, services providers and materials manufacturers. Michael Nitsche, MAN Roland’s product marketing manager, says: “It was a great event. There was a real buzz and a packed agenda, but still all our visitors had enough time for an intensive exchange of views with our specialists, which made it a genuine forum. Practically all of the leading packaging producers came along.”

Twenty prominent suppliers to the graphics industry – MAN Roland’s system partners – also took part, demonstrating their range of goods and services for packaging printing: board, inks, coatings, printing aids, blankets, rollers, drying systems, logistics systems, die cutting equipment, and much more.

The presentations, providing an overview of the industry’s current situation, were followed by live presentations on equipment installed in the centre. Talks also featured printing plant networking and digital printing. Focal point of the prepress presentation was the Artwork company’s workflow solutions linked to the high performance computer-to-plate systems from Agfa. Digital plate making for the 100x140cm sheet size widely used in converting was demonstrated with the Galileo and Xcalibur platesetters.

On the press front, the Roland 500, 700 and 900 were running packaging jobs – with full solids, special colours, windows, fine reverse lettering, single and double applications of coating including gold, primer and UV. Substrates alternated between thin label material, thick solid board, and G-flute micro corrugated board.

Great interest was shown, reports the company, in the Roland 700 linked to the AUPASYS logistics system, a fully automated, unmanned, pile handling system, which also features a non-stop pile changing facility at the delivery. Another major attraction was the digital printing centre where for extremely short runs the DICOpack ran linked to a pattern plotter.

A demonstration of the WSD system rounded off the event. This enables perforating, cutting and creasing to be performed in-line on a sheet-fed press. It is possible, for instance, to die cut labels in-line, saving a separate postpress operation.