At Drupa 1990, MAN Roland launched its B1 700 series machines to replace the 600, the first unit the German manufacturer had built.
“Going from the 600 to the 700 was like going from a bi-plane to a space shuttle,” says Gary Doman, sales director of the sheetfed and post-press division at MAN Roland GB.
While the 600 was analogue-driven and a highly mechanical machine, the 700 claimed to be the first fully automated press in the world.
“The 700 was the first digital press with embedded PC,” Doman says. Aimed at medium to large commercial printers and packaging printers, it was a huge leap forward in press control with an automated digital control console.
When the company introduced its DirectDrive models featuring MAN Roland’s DirectDrive system earlier this year, the standard models were renamed HiPrint.
“We renamed the standard machines because we didn’t want confusion between standard and DirectDrive. But the control systems are the same on both models,” says Doman.
HiPrint machines are available in all configurations, with the ‘Hi’ standing for high quality. When renamed, the HiPrint machines were enhanced with new features such as QuickChange and a range of inline options.
The inline options include InlineFoiler, InlineSorter, InlineObserver, InlineSheeter, InlineCoater and Inline- Inspector – which detects flaws on a printed sheet while the press is still operating at top speed. “On a HiPrint, you can buy a machine to produce commercial or packaging jobs with inline process or creasing with foiling all done in one pass,” says Doman. The inline options can be retrofitted.
QuickChange packages offer a series of optional automation modules that work together to accelerate changeover from job to job. On DirectDrive, there are very few options because packages such as QuickChange
DirectDrive is a servo-based concept which enables all plates to be loaded simultaneously. While loading plates you can also wash the blankets. The servo-motor drives the top half of the machine independently from each unit, which means the machine can perform several tasks simultaneously.
“Five back five jobs with seal on both sides can go from job to job in just five minutes flat,” says Doman.
The maximum number of units the press can be configured with is 12. The machines can achieve a print speed of 16,000 sheets per hour straight and 12,000 sheets per hour perfecting.
MAN Roland has sold 30,000 HiPrint units worldwide and more than 1,000 HiPrint units (not presses) in the UK. The manufacturer has 55 engineers in the UK, all MAN Roland trained.
Machines are sold with Proserv, a warranty aligned to a service program that offers six scheduled visits throughout the year. Customers can then choose to extend the package.
“If the 700 was not bought used through MAN Roland, then check for the usual things like damaged cylinders and the condition of the rollers,” says Doman.
MAN Roland deals in used 700 presses through its used machinery arm. A new five-colour and coater straight
printing press costs around £1.3m, while a secondhand version is around £800,000. Machines that are bought through an independent dealer can still be refurbished by MAN Roland.