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Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

Interbus Loop retrofit is running smoothly in the USA

Friday, April 24, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

Strategic modernization extends the service life of newspaper presses considerably

Are humans and machines more alike than we think? A glance at the population dynamics of newspaper presses would seem to support the idea. Presses are getting older, working longer hours, and in need of increased maintenance, resulting in a retrofitting boom. One working example is the manroland web systems retrofit of the Interbus Loop.

In the last one and a half years, GEOMAN and REGIOMAN production configurations in North America have had increased installations of Interbus retrofits. Companies are securing their printing presses’ performance, as the new components are less susceptible to failure and are optimally integrated in the PECOM system. The latest Interbus Loop retrofit installation is at Treasure Coast Newspapers, the publisher of three daily newspapers in Florida.

As Matthias Heissler, Team Leader of Upgrades & Retrofits at manroland web systems explains, “Our North American customers are pioneering this method; they approach us and seek our advice. As producers for a high-tech nation, they want to use new technologies to become as efficient as possible.”

The new sensors and Interbus modules replace old, discontinued components. Usually, the web break detectors, valve block interfaces, control panels and ink level sensors are modernized in the printing unit. In the case of folding and turnerbar units, angle encoders are installed. Hardware and software are adjusted accordingly. The advantages of an “Interbus Loop” retrofit are obvious: The printing system’s operational capacities are maintained and stabilized. This reduces downtime, improves diagnostic capabilities in the production process, and increases spare parts availability.

“Puzzle Strategy” convinces customers
The term used by some customers for manroland web systems’ unique approach of incrementally retrofitting individual components is “Puzzle Strategy.” Mike O’Leary, Regional Director of Newspaper Operations at Treasure Coast Newspapers, describes the retrofitting process as follows: “Our press and maintenance team worked with manroland to analyze the failure rates of our components. After we had established the spare parts requirements, we prioritized the components which caused the most disruption upon failure. As a special service, manroland web systems developed a tailor-made, phased retrofit approach which improved reliability during phase one and allowed us to spread our capital over two years. The manroland web systems implementation of phase one went very smoothly and met all of our expectations.”

Consulting is the basis for success
For the “Puzzle Strategy” to work, comprehensive technical consulting is required before an investment decision. There are important questions to answer: What is the state of the existing printing system? What reasons are there for upgrading and wanting to implement the latest technology? How can we define the future requirements?

“Through objective consulting in regards to risk management and prioritizing individual measures, as well as transparent discussion of upgrades and retrofits, we can create a foundation for mutual trust,” says Andreas Wecker, Vice President Service for North and South America at manroland web systems.

In addition, manroland web systems offers its expertise as an OEM with in-depth knowledge of printing press automation. manroland web systems can optimally adjust the interaction of old and new electronics components. Moreover, this fulfills an essential customer requirement: a smooth production process during retrofitting. Thorough planning ensures that there are no unforeseen downtimes during the conversion, and the total project expenses can be accurately planned.

Long-term production safeguard
Due to financial constraints, many customers are intimidated by a high initial investment. Matthias Heissler thinks that the phased-in modernization service strategy is a legitimate, efficient alternative in this case.

“Fully functional components don’t have to be replaced all at once just because they’re no longer available on the market. Our primary focus is to ensure the long-term availability of spare parts.” Andreas Wecker adds: “By partially upgrading individual components to state-of-the-art technology, we harvest spare parts for the remaining components at the same time. This way, we can offer all customers, even across locations, an efficient and personalized approach. Customers get exactly what they wanted: a longer service life for their presses.”

 

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