• Printing Presses

    Rotation printing presses for newspapers and books – fast, very accurate and economical.

  • Printing Presses

    Rotation printing presses for newspapers and books – fast, very accurate and economical.

Intensive discussion on maintenance topics

13.05.2016 - Retrofit, service and maintenance are currently among the special challenges facing managers at newspaper printing companies. It therefore comes as no surprise that this subject in particular was intensively discussed also at the 2016 //wifag User Meeting in Fribourg, Switzerland.

The //wifag customers were especially interested this year since so much had taken place since 2014, the year of the last user meeting in Lucerne. They came to Fribourg from across Europe to share experiences and to network.

It was the first time newly designated Delegate of the Board of Directors and CEO Martin Tschumi was able to welcome the //wifag customers from the newspaper sector. Tschumi provided an overview of the corporate group, noting that besides printing presses/services, it mainly conducted business in packaging. The subsidiaries Polytype and Mall-Herlan produce printing presses for decorating cups and tubes as well as complete production lines for printing metal cans and bottles.

CEO Martin Tschumi emphasized the major significance of //wifag newspaper customers for the overall wifag//polytype Group and the willingness of the corporate management to safeguard maintenance and retrofit services for newspaper rotary printing presses. After //wifag Services Manager Hugo Haymoz had introduced the new structures in his area, several very detailed presentations were given. Head of Automation Thomas Zehnder took on the task of introducing a series of automation possibilities and retrofit products while Sales and Project Manager Martin Santschi gave a summary of recent //wifag projects.

Hugo Haymoz

Hugo Haymoz

Even when newspaper printing presses can be assigned to a given series, they are actually always one of a kind. These custom solutions then continue each time a press is reconfigured and retrofitted, thereby reinforcing its uniqueness. That is why the attending experts in newspaper printing were so fascinated to see what had already been reconfigured and further developed in other //wifag machines and what //wifag has to offer beyond that.

Newspaper printing plants have long service lives, sometimes in excess of 20 years. Suppliers constantly discontinue individual parts. It is not always so easy for the //wifag service team to come up with substitute solutions, which if possible, are also expected to improve performance and/or operation. The pace of technical progress is especially fast in the segment of control systems. The user meeting therefore had the task of updating interested users on the latest state of the art.

Pascal Clemençon from the Scandinavian representative office of //wifag provided myriad topics for discussion when he analyzed the changes in service and maintenance philosophy within the printing industry at the end of the presentations. The challenges are growing ever larger for everyone keen about the technical availability of the means of production – be it at newspaper companies, at local service providers or within the Fribourg service team of //wifag. The reason is the diminishing financial leeway in many quarters, which makes the decision of undertaking new investments but also retrofits more difficult and arduous.

Regular inspections and preventive maintenance are steadily more important, as is close collaboration between users and machine manufacturers. Another key objective of the //wifag User Meeting in 2016 was to strengthen the basis of trust for this collaboration even further.

//wifag drive and controls retrofit step for Rheinisch-Bergische-Druckerei GmbH, Wuppertal, Germany

20.06.2013 - Freiburg, Switzerland – 20 June 2013 - Rheinisch-Bergische-Druckerei GmbH, Wuppertal, Germany has chosen //wifag to retrofit the drives and controls on one printing tower and one reelstand on their large //wifag press line in Wuppertal.

In 2010 //wifag introduced its extensive retrofit offer for the partial or complete replacement of the ageing WPOS 2 control on //wifag shaftless machines. The retrofit, which can be carried out either in stages or implemented in a single step, is based on the //wifag automation platform tried-and-tested automation functions, installed in over 2,000 printing units worldwide.

The WPOS retrofit represents just one aspect of the complete //wifag retrofit product portfolio. In subsequent stages the entire printing press from the planning system to the autopaster can be transformed into a consistent, coherent and highly efficient overall system featuring all the latest automation functions. Each stage of the retrofit can be combined with optimized mechanical and/or printing technology measures to cut down on waste or reduce the setup times.

The Rheinisch-Bergische-Druckerei GmbH [RBD] is a subsidiary of the Rheinische Post Mediengruppe with production facilities in Düsseldorf-Heerdt and Wuppertal-Varresbeck. RBD is specialized in the technical processing of full color newspapers and newspaper-similar products in the “Rheinische” format as well as in the Berliner format. RBD also realizes printing and processing of small and medium sized editions for company magazines, employee newsletters as well as for off-prints for fairs, major events and events of any kind.


For further information, please contact:

Rolf Mani
Head of Automation // Printing Presses
WIFAG-Maschinenfabrik AG
Phone +41 26 426 18 88
Direct +41 26 426 16 88

Noel McEvoy
Director of Sales & Marketing // Printing Presses
WIFAG-Maschinenfabrik AG
Phone +41 26 426 18 88
Direct +41 26 426 18 11
Mobile +41 79 300 74 26



New smart //wifag S-Line Presses Enhance Competitiveness

30.10.2012 - At the World Publishing Expo 2012 in Frankfurt, //wifag launched their new S-Line, a range of smart presses. Designed for operational excellence, they unite low investment and cost-effective operation with high functionality. Mechanically, the S-Line presses are well equipped and optimally automated for industrial printing with //wifag state-of-the-art machine controls and press consoles.

The four-high tower press is based on a single modular printing unit design. Thereby, the number of different components is reduced to a minimum. This lowers the number of spare parts and makes maintenance straightforward.

Less than 5m high, the new S-Line press can neatly fit into a standard industrial building. The S-Line design is a fine balance between size and optimal ergonomic conditions.

Other benefits include quick make-ready time, fast webbing up, low start-up waste, short washing cycles, quick changeover times and optimised user friendliness with easy-to-read displays.

Optional extras include semi-commercial package, the ability to handle webs of different widths and a choice of semi-automatic and fully automatic plate changing.

Configurations 2/2, 4/1 and 4/2

The new S-Line has a maximum rated output of up to 80’000 copies per hour, depending on the format. Cut-off range is from 470 to 578mm. Web widths according to customer specifications.

Print Quality

The new S-Line is designed to meet the highest print quality criteria.

Automatic functions

The //wifag machine controls “Platform” stands for a standardized and modular framework which controls the many automatic functions. With over 10 years of industrial printing experience the “Platform” solution has been implemented on all //wifag presses since 2003. Since its launch, “Platform” has been continuously further developed. New functions have been added and new technologies such as real time Ethernet, powerful and safe VPN based remote support concepts as well as touch-based user interfaces adopted.

The new, state-of-the-art and ergonomic press consoles enable easy planning and efficient presetting. Automatic start-up, changeover and production end sequences mean good copy is rapidly reached and waste is kept to a minimum.

The S-Line is equipped with the following automatic functions:

  • Web lead presetting

  • Web tension control

  • Ink key presetting

  • Colour, cut-off and density controls

  • Quick start, stop and changeover sequences

Depending on the production needs and the press configuration, an optional motorised or fully automated reel-handling system can be supplied

“Platform” for automation functions

30.10.2012 - The //wifag automation solutions “Platform” and “Platform plus” are at the heart of //wifag’s new “Competitive Printing Solutions”. The “Platform” can now look back on almost a decade of practical experience. The automation “Platform” was used in a customer's project for the first time in 2003. Since then, all machines throughout the entire range of products from //wifag have been equipped with this solution.

What does the automation “Platform” include?

The names “Platform” and “Platform plus” stand for standardized, modular frameworks that combine a number of automation tasks.

These include, for example, a universal control cabinet concept for all machine components, such as autopasters, printing units and folders. Innovative cooling concepts allow closed control cabinets with no exchange of air with the surroundings; this results in less maintenance and keeps the electrical and electronic components installed in the control cabinets clean and free from dust for many years. Standardized electrical engineering that uses identical components throughout the machine leads to simple, easy-to-understand solutions and minimizes the diversity of components in the spare parts package.

Uniform hardware engineering also permits the production of standardized modules in software development which – once tested – can be used repeatedly. This is an important aspect for the high reliability and technical availability of a printing machine.

Continuous development

The “Platform” has been continuously further developed since its first use in a customer's project. Not only has the scope of its functions been constantly expanded, but even more importantly new technologies have found their way into the solution – for example real-time Ethernet, powerful and safe VPN-based remote maintenance concepts as well as modern touch-based controls. //wifag was one of the first companies in the world to use SERCOS III in a machine on a daily basis.

A further important milestone was the integration of the //wifag control systems for colour register and cutting position in the automation “Platform”. This is why //wifag is able to offer customers a one-stop, universal solution. Complicated and often expensive interfaces are not needed.

Facts and figures

A glance at the installed printing machines equipped with “Platform” provides some impressive figures. Since 2003, for example, more than 300 autopasters, 2,350 printing couples and over 90 folders have been delivered to customers around the world and put into operation. These statistics are supplemented by over 70 installed //wifag cut-off controls as well as 190 printing towers, in which the colour register is monitored by a //wifag colour register control system.

These figures prove that the majority of all shaftless printing machines ever made by //wifag are equipped with the //wifag automation solution.

Current developments

The further development of the “Platform” has been in full swing for almost 10 years now. At the beginning of the year a new, single-width autopaster – the //wifag Autopaster A1 – was developed, manufactured and delivered that is based completely on the //wifag automation “Platform”. Since then, 18 units have been delivered, the majority of which are already being used in daily production.

A further decisive development took place on the control console and planning level. //wifag delivers the latest machines with its own control console technology. The control consoles have been developed with the aid of the latest technologies and offer optimal ergonomics and operator convenience. Intelligent visualizations of the production processes paired with intuitive, touch-based controls make it easier for the printer to monitor newspaper production. Optionally, the control consoles can also be equipped with a //wifag softproof monitor.

The //wifag press manager provides a comprehensive and easy-to-use tool for production planning and machine configuration. Additional functions such as reporting and production statistics can be supplied as necessary.

In the field of closed-loop systems, the mark-based ink density control was the latest development to be added to our product portfolio. The 3D-controller function, consisting of cut-off, colour register and ink density controllers, is a standard feature in the new S-Line press ranges. However, use of these controllers is not restricted to //wifag printing machines – they can be installed on almost any printing machine.

The “Platform” is also used within the wifag//polytype group. The latest Virtu Quantum large format digital printer from the Virtu Business Unit is based on this “Platform”. What is remarkable here is the link to digital printing that has been realized for the first time with this machine. The forthcoming DigiCube digital single-pass print solution is also equipped with the same “Platform”. The //wifag automation “Platform” is a safe investment with respect to new technologies since it is ready and open for later technology upgrades.

Complete one-stop solution, also for third-party printing machines

The entire product portfolio from //wifag automation is used in the new S-Line and to retrofit existing //wifag printing machines as well as machines from other manufacturers. One excellent example of this is the recently placed order for the complete conversion of a KBA Express and its equipment with //wifag automation solutions in Lahti (Finland).

Esa Lehtipaino Oy in Lahti (Finland) decides on a comprehensive retrofit project with new //wifag automation technology

30.10.2012 - Following an intensive evaluation phase accompanied by GAMAG and nps (nordic printing solutions plc Finland, //wifag's agent), Esa Lehtipaino Oy in Lahti placed a comprehensive reconfiguration and retrofit order with the two Swiss companies GAMAG and //wifag.

Since GAMAG and WIFAG Maschinenfabrik AG only recently signed a cooperation contract to work the global printing machine market together in terms of the modernization, modification and retrofitting of web printing presses, this order from Lahti in effect launches the partnership cooperation.

Esa Lehtipaino Oy will purchase a KBA Express that is currently located at Kaleva Oy in Oulu. This machine will be completely reconfigured and then installed in Lahti following a comprehensive retrofit by GAMAG and //wifag that will include new automation and press controls. It is expected to go into operation at the end of 2013. The overall project is being managed by GAMAG.

For Finland, Esa Lehtipaino Oy is a medium-sized newspaper printer and publisher headquartered in Lahti. The annual turnover this year will be eight million euros, with the publisher's own newspaper products accounting for around 85% of this.

The reconfigured newspaper printing press consists of four reelstands, three printing towers in a satellite design, two angle-bar modules for three webs each, and two jaw folders 2:5:5 with balloon formers, skip slitter and a quarter folder. These allow the production of a broadsheet paper with a maximum of 48 pages or a tabloid paper with a maximum of 96 pages in full colour.

The use of the //wifag Platform drive and press control system requires the upgrading of the printing towers, the drive rollers in the angle-bar module, folder superstructure and the folders to the latest direct drive technology. The electromechanical sidelay register drives as well as the mechanical auxiliary registers and their electromechanical servo drives will also be renewed. Furthermore, the newspaper printing press will be operated from two //wifag control consoles and equipped with a new softproof system from //wifag. A //wifag production planning and machine presetting system rounds off the scope of delivery.

The availability of spare parts will be ensured for many years to come through the retrofit. In addition, the renewed newspaper printing press will have a number of innovative functions to improve the quality and reduce waste. These functions correspond to those of a new machine. The renewed printing press can be equipped with the latest generation of //wifag color and cut-off register controls.

Plans are already being made for the conversion of the building scheduled to begin in February so that the newspaper printing press can be installed in Lahti starting in May 2013. The scope of delivery includes dismantling the machine in Oulu, all transports, the retrofit, which will be split between Lahti and Petäjävesi, the reconfiguration and integration of the //wifag automation solutions, as well as the start-up of the press. In other words, the order is for a turnkey project.

The newspaper printing press has been provisionally scheduled to go into operation on 6 December 2013 (Finland's Independence Day).