Advance investing $3.6M in Pa. print facility
Advance Central Services Pennsylvania unit is installing a fourstory Goss Metroliner, a 64-page Color liner folder and enhanced press controls as part of a $3.6 million expansion of its 177,000-square-foot printing facility in Mechanicsburg.
e investment, which also includes an additional conveyor for the second press folder, was prompted by ACSPA’s deal to print Lancaster’s daily newspaper, LNP. Starting in May, ACSPA will print 60,000 copies of LNP daily and some 80,000 copies on Sunday. e contract, which will add many as 20 positions at the plant, marks ACSPA’s rst to print a seven-day-a-week paper at the plant.
e expansion has also meant transitioning to a narrower webwidth for Advance Publications’ Patriot-News of Harrisburg, which is also printed at the facility. e inch-smaller Patriot-News debuted on Feb. 8.
Narrower size expands options
Running the narrower size will better position ACSPA to court a wider variety of commercial jobs.
“We are absolutely committed to adding additional work,” Paul omas vice president and general manager for Advance Central Services told News & Tech. “We are approaching this as a true commercial printer.”
In addition to e Patriot-News and LNP, ACSPA’s printing workload currently includes six regional weekly publications and several retail print jobs.
Britton Services handled the web-width reduction, adding the four-high tower and folder. Britton previously completed a multi-web modification to allow ACSPA to print at 48-inch and 43-inch web widths. e modification will allow it to print two products simultaneously.
“Our existing Colorliner presses were at a 48-inch web,” Kurt Hower, ACSPA’s director of operations explained. “We converted to the 43-inch web to be more in line with the regional publications that had already made that change.
“It gives us the opportunity to be inside the specifications of other papers around us.”
LW Graphics is supplying the conveyor and delivery from the additional folder. e new conveyor features a factory rebuilt pickup station and a new conveyor track. LWG is also replacing existing Aragon conveyor controls with non-proprietary PLC-based controls.
“We wanted to make the necessary conveyor changes to move products from press to packaging,” Hower said. ACSPA’s postpress operations reside in the same facility. Web Printing Controls (a unit of Baldwin Technology Co. Inc. since January 2014), will install its latest CCR+ Closed Loop Color Registration system on the additional press tower, complementing the existing
WPC color registration and cuto controls on the press.
Investing in additional Goss equipment made sense, omas said, based on the production sta ’s knowledge of Goss’ products and the Metroliner’s compatibility with ACSPA’s existing equipment.
“It also increases the quality of the product we can deliver,” Hower said. “We don’t have to commit to the 43-inch web — that is certainly the direction of the industry — but we have established a variable web width capability in the event we need to change.”
As part of the expansion, Harland Simon will upgrade Honeywell Press Controls on ACSPA’s Goss Colorliner press and add the additional folder, full-color tower and reelstand to the pressline.
“ at is a major complement to these upgrades,” omas said.
e folder and tower will be upgraded to use o -the-shelf Allen-Bradley PLC hardware. Harland Simon will also supply two new 250HP AC PowerFlex drive modules to control the new folder and tower, and replace PLC/5 master drive PLCs with ControlLogix PLCs con gured to support bi-directional units. All console-to-unit proprietary communications will be replaced with an Ethernet/IP network, ACSPA said.
“We are taking this opportunity to ensure the dependability so, we’re going through and replacing our press controls,” omas said.
ACSPA will still run all seven units of its existing Colorliner pressline, and all told, the combined 8-unit pressline will be capable of producing 64 full-color pages.
Depending on the size of the job on a given day, e Patriot-News will utilize the entire press. LNP meantime, will regularly use the entire pressline.
“We can actually split the press in two, or run it all as one unit,” Hower explained. “If we split it, we can run four towers on one side and four on the other for a total of 32 pages on each side.”
e entire project is slated for completion in May.”