California’s Bay Area News Group, owned by Digital First Media, has chosen to upgrade their controls and electronics on the Colorliner press equipment installed in their production facility in Concord, California, to increase production flexibility and improve operational efficiency. Bay Area News Group – printing The Mercury News, East Bay Times, 29 community newspaper titles, and many more – saw the need to make their software and hardware controls components current, due to the need to print multiple daily and weekly newspaper titles. They have chosen manroland web systems as their high performing business partner for this.
manroland web systems’ team of controls upgrade experts have developed and implemented a comprehensive solution for press equipment of any brand to use PECOM–X, the widely respected and extremely flexible controls system. The controls upgrade accesses the award-winning PECOM–X ControlDesk through off-the-shelf electronic gateways, increasing capabilities to make job changeovers faster, reduce waste, improve color and register quality, and raise the level of format flexibility for printed products. The unit controls upgrade will use a modular approach, together with the manroland web systems “gateway umbrella” controls strategy. This strategy allows control upgrades and replacement of press sections without interfering with production. The flexible gateway umbrella allows the operation in Concord to maintain its heavy daily production schedule. Upgrades to the press include adding a multitude of components which have appropriate logic reporting technology, so they can be used with touchscreens at the ControlDesk, and on MobilPad consoles. The new upgrades also include improvements to the RTP, replacing older components with non-contact parts for longer life and reliability. Additionally, the upgrade will include new press features like manroland’s reflected light scanner web break detectors, upgrades to obsolete page displays, and PLC control of digital inkers and spraybar systems. As a part of the selection process, the team at Bay Area News Group, including operational personnel led by Kevin Garris, BANG’s Director, Operations/Printing did an extensive study to determine the scope needed to give them the performance parameters necessary for future success. After familiarizing themselves with PECOM–X features, the phased process used for the upgrade, and speaking with others who experienced recent successful controls upgrades with manroland web systems, they determined that it was the right fit for their needs. “The improvements to the controls and drives on the Bay Area News Group press in Concord, California will not only enable Digital First Media to keep the equipment relevant for the long-run, but the changes to the system will increase productivity and efficiency,” stated William Higginson, Executive Vice President of Operations for Digital First Media. “Our team did extensive research on what our preferred scope for the project would be, and manroland web systems came up with the most comprehensive solution that will carry us into the future.”
The significance of this undertaking is fully understood by the team at manroland web systems. “This is a milestone opportunity for our company. It is possible due to the confidence that Bay Area News Group and Digital First Media have placed with manroland web systems to execute this very demanding project, Now we again have the chance to proof that “WE ADD VALUE.” to the customer by our solutions” said Ron Sams, Vice President of Sales for manroland web systems. Bay Area News Group is the single leading source of news and information for communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Their weekly audience exceeds 5 million through a portfolio of print and digital products, including The Mercury News, East Bay Times, and additional publications, including the Marin Independent Journal and dozens of community weeklies. Bay Area News Group is a part of Digital First Media.