Roland says the higher output of the press does not mean it is only useful for high circulation papers, in fact first customer A Beig produces relatively low circulation newspapers with numerous regional editions. The three formers side by side, up to two former levels, and the turner bar nest and folder super structure allow a high number of sections to be produced.
The XXL has a nine-cylinder satellite printing system, with a central impression cylinder and four blanket cylinders. Roland says this enables short web leads between the printing points, so eliminating fan out. Start up waste is reduced through innovations including automated plate lock up and the use of metal back blankets. Output capacity is 45,000cph collect of 90,000 straight. It is available in five different formats, Berliner (470mm cutoff x 1890mm web width) , US (533mm cutoff x 1905mm web width), Rheinisches (510mm cutoff x 2100mm web width), NI (578mm cutoff x 2211mm web width) and Nordisches (560mm cutoff x 2400mm web width).
According to Anton Hamm the motivation for developing the new press included the need for four-colour throughout, the need to create a high profit low operating cost system, and one that is able to accommodate various editions. It had to be able to handle small format or compact production, as well as selected commercial work, and had to have high levels of automation. Hamm also pointed to the evolving nature of newspaper products, with concepts such as stitched sections and heatset covers over coldest pages coming on board as impacting the XXL.
Hamm says the new six plates wide two around concept of the COLORMAN XXL gives it 50 per cent more capacity, and reduces ongoing costs. Innovations include very short nips, short web leads and predampening systems. Hamm said to get the XXL into production a ‘lot of homework’ had to be undertaken, with a three step programme; calculate everything, measure everything, print it.
To print in the 6/2 configuration Hamm and his team had to develop a new lock-up systems for the plates and blankets, making it as narrow as possible in order to eliminate vibrations, the press is designed to run at 90,000cph in straight mode, with Hamm claiming 100,000 has been achieved in the test plant at Augsburg
The XXL takes 192 plates at Pinneberg, and Hamm says it takes two staff just 18 minutes to unload and load a complete set of plates. The blankets are metal back, following the lead of the Regioman newspaper press, of which more than 100 are running around the world, and all four major blanket manufacturers are now developing metal backed blankets. Lifetime of the metal backed blankets is now up to 20 million impressions, with 25 million the target. Changeover of a metal backed blanket on the XXL is 2.5 minutes,. compared with 15-20 minutes for standard blanket.
On the press the ink train has been modified, with a 16 per cent increase in cylinder diameters, resulting in less maintenance and a higher quality. A new innovation is IROLOC, the acronym for intelligent roller lock up, which Hamm says reduces the temperature of the ink rollers, reduces maintenance by two thirds, extends the lifetime by 20 per cent, and contributes a two to three per cent saving of energy consumed by the press.
The folder superstructure is not new, but the jaw folder is, with a new 4:7:7 configuration single drive systems allowing for 144pp broadsheet production. At 1.5 tonnes this is a mighty piece of engineering, however Hamm says it is a precision piece.
Closed loop control is an integral feature of the new press. It uses measuring heads and cameras, with colour register control, web tension control and ink density control. The closed loop systems has been developed by MAN Roland and external suppliers. According to Hamm this is leading to a drastic minimization of waste, he says that users should produce only 75 waste copies from cold start, and just 35 from warm start.
MAN Roland is now approaching press manufacturing with a theory of life cycle management. By this it means that the total cost of a press is like an iceberg, with the 20 per cent visible part of the iceberg representing the initial cost of the press but underneath a further 80 per cent representing the ongoing costs. Roland’s aim is to make its machines so efficient that the original 20 per cent of the lifetime costs are reduced, thus meaning that the press itself actually comes for free. If so it will have achieved a great deal.
The launch of the 6/2 COLORMAN XXL represents a step forward in newspaper production technology. Its early adoption by newspaper publishers in Germany and the UK from the small to the large will guarantee this innovative press will be marked for assessment by publishers the world over when they come to look at new presses themselves. As a 24pp machine the ability to increase or decrease paginations by 12pp will appeal to many, although not all, but those for whom it is suitable it may well provide new cost, productivity and quality benefits.