No operator involvement from platemaking through to mounting the printing plates in the rotary press: in Barleben close to Magdeburg in Germany, manroland and ppi Media have implemented a highly automated solution on a COLORMAN autoprint.
One of the stars at Druckzentrum Barleben seems unremarkable at first glance: orange, smaller than an adult, but a tireless worker. It is a robot that takes care of important tasks in the plate workflow at Druckzentrum Barleben. This print services provider uses four modules to automate the makeready processes: APL transport, APL supply, APL sequence, and APL control. The IT core of the new printing workflow is the printnetwork OM software from ppi Media. This Output Management system takes care of important tasks between the CtP system in prepress and the press.
With the aid of APL transport, the exposed printing plates are automatically conveyed to the robot, which then with APL supply automatically loads the plates into boxes. APL sequence ensures that the plates are imaged and made available in the right sequence. The complete workflow is controlled by APL control. After the robot has sorted the plates in the transport boxes, they travel via a rail system to the COLORMAN autoprint where they are automatically unloaded and mounted in the press by APL robots. “The printer becomes a process monitor,” summarizes Peter Kuisle, leader of the sales, service, and marketing divisions at manroland web systems, who goes on to say: “With autoprint we are on the right track towards a fully automatic printing system. Our autoprint installations so far are proof of this.”
Following the initial discussions in July 2008, the COLORMAN autoprint commenced production in November 2009. It prints in the format 1,020 x 1,400 mm at 45,000 revolutions per hour. APL logistics started up in stages until August 2010. Besides 18 editions of the “Volksstimme”, other newspapers and preliminary products are printed in day and night shifts. APL logistics is a great success at Druckhaus Barleben: the system has handled around half a million plates during the first year.