News International networked by printnet
Monday, November 30, 2009
Press release from the issuing company
19 COLORMAN, XXL press lines at three News International production locations in Great Britain are networked via printnet. PECOM is a component of printnet and controls the production, and the presses are monitored 24/7 with the new smartmonitoring tool.
Newsprinters is the UK production company of Rupert Murdoch's News International, and the dimensions of the printing facilities are impressive: in full operation 300,000 tons of paper are printed per year for the company's own titles such as The Sun, The Times, Sunday Times and News of the World alone. At the Eurocentral, Knowsley, and Broxbourne locations there are two, five, and twelve COLORMAN, XXL press lines respectively, each with five or six towers. They all print non-collect – per press line 86,000 copies of a 120- or 144-page tabloid newspaper. The degree of automation in the materials flow varies. Reel preparation is generally done fully automatically by AUROSYS, including delivery of the paper to the reel splicers. The press lines are controlled and coordinated by manroland's PECOM system, and the entire printing plant from the editorial offices to the presses to AUROSYS and to the mailroom is networked by printnet.
The vast amount of data from production is stored within seconds on a server around the clock, seven days a week. printnet Monitor with the modules pressMonitor, pressReport, pressState, pressStatistics, and postpressMonitor delivers reports according to specific, combinable filter criteria for the entire production chain to provide exact analyses and statistics for each day and production so that the newspaper publisher can immediately identify trends and react accordingly.
Optimal print preparation and control
PECOM takes care of presetting and control of the press lines. Positioning of the turner bars or alignment of the cut-off register is done automatically which rules out the risk of error-prone double inputs. Production runs are pre-planned and the data is transferred to printnet pressManager. Press data is added and it is defined which press is to print the job, along with presettings for web lead, folder or drive components. "printnet and especially PECOM makes setting up our presses very simple even when the product requirements are complex", is how Allan Wain, Operations Director North at Newsprinters (Knowsley) Ltd., summarizes his experience. "Product data can be stored as required and even downloaded to other presses. This information is shared with our prepress supplier to enable automatic production of plates to the relevant job. Data can be modified very easily as required to take account of different running conditions to produce good quality copy quickly."
pressProof helps to avoid errors. Instead of expensive hardcopy proofs, the actual content of the newspaper pages can be visualized on a full-page monitor at the press control console. All information from production status through to delivery is collected in the Control Center. If a job situation changes or there are technical problems, from here the Production Manager can intervene.
printnet filters and evaluates data
The comprehensive networking at Newsprinters not only serves for work preparation. Also during production printnet Monitor stores all technically relevant data from materials consumption through makeready time, printing time, and interruptions right up to press speed and the status of copies produced. The automatically generated data is supplemented by manual inputs in the production data acquisition system DataCollect. Here the human resources can explain operations more precisely. "We wanted to be able to monitor the performance of multiple presses at multiple locations in real time," says Allan Wain. "The printnet Monitor facility provides all the information I need to know about how a production run is going as it happens. This facility enables quick and informed decisions to be made which ensures our production is completed in an efficient and cost-effective way. The copy counting facility is a major factor in reducing our run waste." After the job is completed the data can be evaluated and compared, both technically and commercially. The versatile filter function via pressMonitor is decisive. A search command could be for instance: "Show me all jobs run on press A last week with more than 100,000 copies and also show me the production plan".
The tool selects production data according to the widest variety of parameters via logical links, which enables weak points and trends to be detected. pressReport visualizes the progress of a print job in detail via a press logbook. The printer can see at a glance key figures regarding paper waste, production duration or web leads. Here actual and target data of the printing process is compared. pressState shows press status in real time: paper waste data and net copy counter, press speed and anticipated end of the run. Based on data updated daily, pressStatistic provides a statistical evaluation of all production runs of the 19 presses over any nominated period. postpressMonitor collects the postpress production data and permits an overview of the entire production process. This enables Newsprinters to quickly detect every change in productivity. If one of the printing plants develops a Best-in-Class procedure, the others benefit from this as well. This is how Newsprinters maintains a consistently high level of productivity.