Retrofitting at News Limited - An Australian-German success story

(PresseBox) ( Augsburg, )
Newspaper publishing companies around the world are still facing many challenges. Print runs have stagnated or continue to fall, while advertising customers are investing considerable amounts of their budget in electronic media, which is also permeating more and more editorial content. And this is exactly where the dilemma starts for many of these companies; turnover and profit need to be secured, however, with what strategic, competitive solutions?

manroland web systems, one of the world's largest newspaper publishing companies, together with News Limited in Australia, a company of the international media company News Corporation with headquarters in New York, have come up with a solution.

Retrofitting and modernization replace reinvestment

News Limited has taken the decision to invest in retrofitting, on the one hand in order to ensure its machine equipment at the Brisbane, Sydney and Townsville printing locations remains up-to-date for the next 10 to 15 years, and on the other, to actively strengthen business. It is also fundamental for the headquarters in Sydney to generate valid, standardized print data reporting. All locations within the group can thus be controlled in an integrated framework, and production processes made more efficient in the future. The sophisticated autoprint functions from manroland web systems were another decisive reason for investment.

Together with the printing press manufacturer from Augsburg, a long-standing partner of News Limited, the newspaper publishing company is now taking another step forward - through modernization and retrofitting instead of reinvestment. The company is poised to equip all of its print lines with the latest technology. All four NEWSMAN (COLORMAN) lines at the Brisbane production site have delivered results consistently and reliably for the past two decades and will now be upgraded with a number of innovative automation and reporting features.

This retrofitting project is particularly interesting because it offers an alternative to the common belief that a machine park that is no longer up-to-date requires costly reinvestments. Thanks to the latest automation solutions and a trend-setting operating concept with manroland web systems' state-of-the-art ControlCenter, another highly automated and high-performance printing system is ready for use.

For News Limited, this means greater production reliability through the use of modern electronic components and autoprint functions, reduced production costs as a result of more efficient production processes, plus better print quality - and thus a watertight investment for the future. This comprehensive retrofitting project will be taking off in Brisbane from the middle of this year, providing News Limited with the opportunity to further cement its top spot on the Australian newspaper market.

Potential for improvement realized through automation

In the future, automation and reporting of a printing system will be crucial factors for constant and reliable production and production planning, in addition to hardware and software. Module performance and intuitive operation are playing an important role here. News Limited is replacing all central control consoles with the new ControlCenter from manroland web systems. Highly automated, coordinated autoprint functions control the complete production process from the automatic startup of the presses to the finished printed products in the delivery system. The ControlCenter guides the printer through the entire printing process - as easily and conveniently as a navigation system. The printer no longer manually intervenes in the printing process, but is instead responsible for simply monitoring the production process.

At the same time, new manroland web systems components, with their comprehensive and modern control features for convenient operation, are replacing the outdated control units from Reliance. News Limited has made the conscious decision to go for a tailored, embedded solution from manroland web systems. Its perfectly coordinated hardware and software ensure optimum function and availability of the print systems.

Network solutions for the entire workflow increase efficiency

The printnetwork Monitor facilitates a detailed and transparent assessment of all production data, from pre-press to paper handling, up to printing and finishing.

The advantage? Greater production efficiency in terms of both technical and commercial aspects as the error ratio is virtually zero, leading to remarkable saving potentials. Furthermore, the new printnetwork Mobile ensures absolute mobility. The user is kept updated with the latest production data on his mobile phone and is thus able to conveniently monitor ongoing production, without needing to be on site. This has been made possible by the DataCollect function which, based on log book recordings, collects and analyzes all press data. For comprehensive reporting allowing for human involvement, data can also be recorded manually. DataCollect thus offers an ideal basis for quality analyses, in order to fully exploit the potential for continuous improvement in the production process.

Through the integration of new automation features, such as the Inline Control systems, quick start, as well as the production planning tool with monitoring and reporting, News Limited will manage to considerably reduce waste, as well as increase production efficiency.

In line with this "press facelift", News Limited is also using the improved tools of the TSC (TeleSupportCenter). The remote access function, for example, allows manroland web systems to directly access the functions of the NEWSMAN installations online, across the entire production line from the reel splicer to the folder delivery, and 24/7. The printing system is thus ready to go again after a press stop in no time at all, in other words, long and expensive downtimes have become a thing of the past.

All of this means far greater efficiency for News Limited. More streamlined processes create potential for leaner production, thus resulting in considerable cost savings.

Cooperation with competent partners

The extensive retrofitting project will be carried out by News Limited in close cooperation with ABB Printing. ABB supplies all drive control systems for the main drive control of printing units and the folder for all four print lines. Proven solutions from manroland web systems and ABB are providing News Limited with the ideal foundation for achieving ultimate efficiency.

Close customer relations and quick response

A tight-knit project team has made it possible to quickly implement the challenging retrofitting project, with less than six months between the purchase decision and the actual project start. And once the first installation gets going this April in Brisbane, it will be plain sailing for the project thanks to the extensive support for manroland web systems' Australian market organization provided by experts on site.
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