WhatTheyThink

Landmark orders for QIPC and EAE

Monday, March 20, 2017

Austrian Mediaprint Group renews trust in partnership with QIPC and EAE for controls and automation solutions

Oosterhout - Mediaprint, Austria’s biggest newspaper printing company, has placed large-scale orders with Q.I. Press Controls (QIPC) and EAE Engineering Automation Electronics. QIPC and EAE will equip several Mediaprint presses with new automation and control systems aimed at maximising production efficiency, quality and reliability while cutting waste and costs.

Mediaprint is responsible for printing the national dailies Kronen Zeitung and Kurier as well as the contract-produced daily Der Standard and part editions of the freesheet Heute and Niederösterreichische Nachrichten. TV guides published in-house, various weekly newspapers, direct mail items and a range of other publications round off the portfolio. Mediaprint owns 13 newspaper presses at its printing centres in Vienna-Inzersdorf, St. Andrä (Carinthia) and Salzburg. Production at all three sites takes place on virtually identical KBA Commander web presses, each with three towers with a 9-cylinder satellite design.

Mediaprint recently chose QIPC to equip seven of its printing presses in Vienna as well as all three presses in St. Andrä with IDS-3D colour and register control and IQM (Intelligent Quality Management) systems. QIPC will supply the IDS-3D systems for ink and dampening control, ink fountain roller control, fault detection and an automatic ink mist shield (AIMS). This colossal order is a follow-up to one received at the end of 2015, when Mediaprint had an IDS-3D system with six cameras installed in one of the eight web presses at its Vienna facility together with an mRC-3D cut-off register control system.

QIPC – a choice informed by experience

Erich Manhardt, Manager Maintenance and Central Administration at Mediaprint, has this to say about his previous experience of QIPC technologies: “Our web presses were built back in 2001 and they’ve never had any colour, dampening or register control functionality; everything has always been set and controlled manually. We wanted to install the QIPC system in the first press and then experiment around to see if our aim of significant cost savings could be realised by reducing the number of personnel and the amount of paper wastage without compromising on quality and productivity. That’s now been confirmed without a shadow of a doubt. We’ve also discovered that, thanks to the automated QIPC systems, we can achieve a much higher quality standard and above all maintain it reliably. Our goal is for each of our printing centres to be upgraded to the same technical level.”

“We’re delighted that Mediaprint has elected to put such tremendous faith in QIPC technology and work even more closely in partnership with us”, says QIPC Chairman Menno Jansen. “At the same time, this shows that our cost-cutting automation and quality optimisation solutions are helping newspaper printers to get a handle on today’s economic and quality challenges.”

“Before deciding which equipment to add to our first press, we carried out a very thorough analysis of what relevant manufacturers were offering because this project was all about fundamental automation and labour saving issues,” Manhardt explains.

“Apart from price, innovativeness and sustainability were key criteria. We had the greatest confidence in QIPC in this respect, not least because in our opinion they lead the field in the area of integrated dampening control.”

IDS-3D integrated in EAE Desk 7 pilot

Under the new order QIPC will install 60 more IDS-3D cameras in a total of 30 towers at the Mediaprint facilities in Vienna and St. Andrä. Operation of the IDS-3D system will ultimately be integrated in the user interface of EAE Desk 7 press control consoles, which EAE will supply in the framework of a major retrofit. 

Desk 7 is an innovative remodelling of the web press command centre which was originally unveiled by QIPC and EAE to international industry professionals at Drupa 2016. Mediaprint is the first customer worldwide whose web presses will be controlled using the new Desk 7 control consoles. The pilot at all three Mediaprint printing centres will comprise 26 of these new consoles.

EAE selected for enterprise-wide retrofit

Mediaprint has charged EAE with retrofitting the entire control system for 13 web presses at its three printing centres through KBA as general contractor. Specifically, EAE will replace the existing ABB control technology in 39 towers with modern EAE solutions, the majority of them based on standard hardware. Parallel to this, the number of control computers required per tower will be drastically reduced (from eleven at present to a mere one); the same will also apply to the bus systems. The package includes an EAE Print production planning and preset system as well as an EAE Info reporting and logging system. EAE has moreover been directly commissioned to implement the EAE V.I.P. (Visual Intelligent Plant) management execution system and the EAE Maintain maintenance management system at each of the three Mediaprint sites.

“Some of the main controls for our web presses have already been discontinued by the manufacturers, which meant we were forced to take action in the interests of reliable production in spite of still having spare hardware available in reserve. Mediaprint expects to persevere with these presses for another 10 to 15 years yet. We don’t believe in delaying retrofits until too late in the technology lifecycle. Now is the time – because we’re now at a stage where this kind of project can still be planned and realized efficiently,” Manhardt claims. When asked why EAE is the partner of choice for such a demanding retrofit project, he doesn’t have to think for long: “The cost aspect is obviously at the forefront, but we’re not simply modernising our presses; we’re also revolutionising our software landscape at the front end. Continuous, forward-looking innovation is clearly visible in all of EAE’s solutions and V.I.P. is no exception. That’s precisely what we need.”

Biggest single order for QIPC – EAE

“This is the biggest complex of orders QIPC – EAE has ever received from a single customer,” reports Jansen proudly. “The Mediaprint investment package is simultaneously a clear sign that the industry has faith in the future of printed newspapers and in the ability of print and digital media to coexist. It’s our wish that the systems in our portfolio today, plus those yet to be developed, will help the newspaper sector to ensure the survival of print in the media mix and stay profitable in the future.”

The installation of the newly ordered QIPC systems will be completed by August this year; the press retrofit at the three Mediaprint sites will be undertaken in several phases up until the end of 2018.