Tampa news­pa­per and com­mer­cial printer up­grades press to ex­tend ser­vice life and gain ef­fi­cien­cies

Newspapers & Technology Magazine - - Sponsored Content - ▶ Special to News & Tech from Sam Wag­ner Web Off­set Ser­vices p

Up­grad­ing older presses with the lat­est in au­to­ma­tion and con­trol tech­nol­ogy al­lows print­ers to ex­tend the ser­vice life of their ex­ist­ing presses while at the same time re­al­ize gains in ef­fi­ciency and qual­ity that are pos­si­ble with the higher level of tech­nol­ogy now avail­able. Tampa's News­pa­per Print­ing Com­pany (NPC) has just com­pleted such an up­grade, working to­gether with DCOS, a Swe­den-based drives and con­trol au­to­ma­tion com­pany, and Web Off­set Ser­vices, a Sara­sota, Florid­abased con­sul­tancy and pro­ject man­age­ment com­pany.

NPC is a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion, fam­ily-owned com­mer­cial and con­tract printer of both cold­set and heat­set prod­ucts, in­clud­ing news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, di­rect mail and other ad­ver­tis­ing and pro­mo­tional prod­ucts. There are two lo­ca­tions in the Tampa area com­posed of seven presses. The com­pany has grown sig­nif­i­cantly since the Tevlin fam­ily got into the busi­ness in 1972. They are well known for high qual­ity and con­sis­tent de­liv­ery for a vast ar­ray of cus­tomers across the re­gion.

The old­est pressline at NPC con­sists of what was orig­i­nally two sep­a­rate 8-unit presses, now con­fig­ured as a 16-unit Goss-Hei­del­berg-Harris V-30 with two fold­ers and six splicers with a gas dryer for one web of heat­set that can be run to­gether with the other webs of cold­set. Be­cause this equip­ment is ap­proach­ing 25 years in age, the ex­ist­ing au­to­ma­tion (color reg­is­ter, cut­off con­trol, pre­set­ting) had be­come ob­so­lete. In ad­di­tion, the main drive sys­tem was also reach­ing the end of its ser­vice life.

When it came time for NPC to look at re­plac­ing their ex­ist­ing sys­tems, they con­tacted Web Off­set Ser­vice con­sul­tant Sam Wag­ner, whom they have worked with over the past 25 years. Wag­ner was in­volved in a num­ber of the orig­i­nal in­stal­la­tions there and was very fa­mil­iar with the re­quire­ments as well as pos­si­ble so­lu­tions.

For many years, there have been a mul­ti­tude of aux­il­iary equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers who sup­ply var­i­ous "add-on" com­po­nents for such presses. It is not un­usual to see two, three, four or even more dif­fer­ent brands of equip­ment all in­stalled on the same press. Of course, that means the print­ers must learn the dif­fer­ences in how to op­er­ate each sys­tem and the main­te­nance peo­ple must deal with all the dif­fer­ent ven­dors for sup­port and spare parts.

As the level of tech­nol­ogy has ad­vanced along with the ad­vent of PC-con­trolled equip­ment, a higher level of au­to­ma­tion and in­te­gra­tion have be­come pos­si­ble, not only for the day-to-day op­er­a­tion, but also for main­te­nance and re­mote sup­port. Although many ven­dors still in­sist on sell­ing "stand-alone" equip­ment, a few have em­braced the in­te­grated "all in one box" ap­proach.

One such com­pany is DCOS (also the par­ent com­pany of Illinois-based Ten­sor In­ter­na­tional press com­pany). They of­fer a com­plete range of ad­vanced press au­to­ma­tion equip­ment, in­clud­ing color-to-color reg­is­ter con­trol, cut­off con­trol and closed-loop den­sity con­trol, press drive and con­trol sys­tem up­grades as well as new HMI and press con­trol desks, which have been in­stalled on presslines world­wide, in­clud­ing sites in Europe, Asia, South Amer­ica and the U.S.

Be­ing fa­mil­iar with DCOS and their ca­pa­bil­i­ties, Wag­ner or­ga­nized a meet­ing and ini­tial site visit to Stuttgart, Ger­many, with Mat­tias An­der­s­son, DCOS manag­ing direc­tor, so that NPC could be­come fa­mil­iar with what DCOS’ ca­pa­bil­i­ties were. What they saw there was a fully in­te­grated ap­proach for a press up­grade on a man­roland Geoman press line.

Once the de­ci­sion was made to move ahead with up­grad­ing the V-30 back in Tampa, NPC felt con­fi­dent in choos­ing DCOS to do the job. Hav­ing a sin­gle sup­plier for all com­po­nents and a sin­gle point of con­tact for any ser­vice needs down the road was also an im­por­tant fac­tor in this choice. On the au­to­ma­tion side, color-to-color reg­is­ter, cut­off con­trol and closed-loop den­sity con­trol were in­stalled. In ad­di­tion, the old DC drives and con­trol sys­tem were re­placed with a new AC drive and con­trol sys­tem.

Be­cause this is a press that runs pro­duc­tion 24 hours a day and seven days a week, plan­ning would be a critical com­po­nent to the suc­cess of the pro­ject. Sev­eral ad­di­tional meet­ings and press sur­veys were made to iden­tify and plan for all the de­tails.

The ac­tual in­stal­la­tion started at the on­set of the July 4 hol­i­day pe­riod and was com­pletely fin­ished by month's end. NPC Pro­duc­tion Man­ager Shorty Se­bet­zki and the NPC main­te­nance staff worked closely to­gether with DCOS, not only to as­sist with the in­stal­la­tion, but to learn the new equip­ment as it was be­ing in­stalled to gain a bet­ter over­all un­der­stand­ing of how the sys­tem goes to­gether.

Min­i­mal dis­rup­tion to on­go­ing pro­duc­tion oc­curred and the press crews have adapted quickly to the new equip­ment and user­friendly con­trols. "This was a very smooth and seam­less in­stal­la­tion," said NPC Pres­i­dent John Tevlin. "DCOS was very pro­fes­sional and ex­ceeded our ex­pec­ta­tions," he said.

Now, this 20+ year old V-30 has got a new lease on life. Ini­tial waste fig­ures af­ter just a month of run­ning with the new sys­tem have been re­duced by about 50% and over­all qual­ity has been im­proved. For most print­ers these days, it can be very dif­fi­cult or nearly im­pos­si­ble to jus­tify buy­ing a new press in or­der to in­crease ef­fi­cien­cies and im­prove qual­ity. As this ex­am­ple demon­strates, there are now other al­ter­na­tives avail­able to achieve sim­i­lar re­sults.

Sam Wag­ner is prin­ci­pal of Web Off­set Ser­vice, a press and con­trol sys­tem de­sign and pro­ject man­age­ment com­pany based in Sara­sota. He may be reached at we­boff­set­ser­vice@aol.com.

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