Finishing with digital letterpress printing

manroland web systems played a key role as an Océ partner when Océ opened its doors to the printing world at a two-day drupa follow-up event held recently in Poing near Munich, Germany, presenting the solutions for industrial digital printing, with a focus on processing variable data in publication and packaging print applications. This past summer, Océ, a leading provider of document management and printing solutions and member of the Canon Group, achieved a milestone within their strategic alliance with manroland web systems, and the news that the French printing house Rivet Press Edition in Limoges had invested in an extensive digital newspaper production project turned heads. “Our strategic partnership took shape with the joint development of a complete digital printing system for newspaper production with integrated finishing,” added Alwin Stadler, vice president of digital printing at manroland web systems.

In Poing, the Augsburg-based company showcased its talents in the area of digital letterpress printing. Explaining this involvement, Stadler states, “Our contribution consisted in the implementation of finishing as a central system component, as well as the development of an integrated workflow solution.” Meanwhile, manroland web systems has lent an additional major impulse to digital book production with its printnetwork Bridge control software. This programme uses a JD/JMF-based software solution to make full automation a reality, right through to postprocessing. In Poing, printnetwork Bridge controlled postprocessing for letterpress printing on a JetStream 5500 mono with the “FormerLine VFF” finishing system, as well as the Rima RS-34S compensating stacker for book block formation and integrated auxiliary gluing. The JetStream 5500 mono printed with an industrial web speed of 254 m/min; the FormerLine creased signatures inline with ease and in top manroland quality. The attendees could simply pick the finished auxiliary-glued book blocks up from the stack.

Even experts were impressed by the productivity of the digital printing system. The 368-page book blocks were produced inline by collecting 46 signatures of 8 pages each, or 304-page blocks with 38 signatures of 8 pages each. This demonstrated the versatility of the production line: The two books, produced back-to-back, had both different formats and paper types. For production efficiency during job changeovers, the FormerLine was automatically converted while webbing up for the new job. This saves paper and reduces makeready times.

Emphasizing how the finishing system is integrated in the digital workflow, it was highlighted that it is controlled by the printnetwork Bridge software, which sets finishing components fully automatically according to the current print job and communicates with the printer front end Océ PRISMA production via JDF/JMF. printnetwork Bridge checks the parameters of a print job for validity and makes changes when required. This prevents any stops along the production line. manroland web systems provides open component interfaces. In the near future, it will be possible to link third-party components to printnetwork Bridge. For evaluations and follow-up calculations, printnetwork Bridge will send post processing production data to MIS systems.

Group Publications