• 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.

WIFAG keeping busy with services and modifications

10.10.2017 - The safeguarding of production is a growing priority for many newspaper printers thanks to a ready availability of technology. “We are generally noticing a welcome increase in demand for service and preventative maintenance work. Customers are planning to use existing equipment for the longer term again and are investing in revisions, retrofits, and, where possible, technical modifications,” explains Hugo Haymoz, Head of Customer Service at WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG (Fribourg, Switzerland).

In 2017, nobody at WIFAG plans to attend the Ifra World Publishing Expo. “We visit our customers regularly and aim to speak to them directly to discuss individual requests and needs. We are therefore pursuing our adopted strategy, which has been successful in previous years,” adds Hugo Haymoz.

 

Active demand

In 2017/2018, as in recent years, various WIFAG customers across the world are replacing their servers with new and up-to-date components. The connections to the WIFAG service platform have also been changed to the latest system in light of this.

WIFAG is enjoying buoyant demand for products in its service range. Demand has been particularly strong for products and services in the following areas: 

  • Helpdesk/24-h hotline;
  • Audits/assessments of the condition of individual machine components or entire systems;
  • Follow-up training and refresher courses.

These jobs often generate subsequent orders for the replacement parts service and for revisions or possibly repair jobs. Follow-up training or refresher courses are usually requested because of staff fluctuations experienced by WIFAG users but also because of the need to return to “best practice”.

 

Successful service strategy

The “service agreement strategy” started by WIFAG in 2011 continues to be actively pursued. Hugo Haymoz: “On this basis, service contracts have been concluded with many customers across the world. Each customer who had signed this kind of service agreement with WIFAG extended it once it had expired.”

A service agreement such as this can be very extensive depending on the customer’s own resources. For example, a renowned printing company on the east coast of the U.S. has been using services for seven years – amounting to 27 to 30 weeks on site a year, which are split into mechanical, electrical, and printing blocks, each lasting six to ten weeks.

Hugo Haymoz and his highly motivated and professional WIFAG service team benefit from first-rate infrastructure and short logistics routes at the site in Fribourg.

 

Modifying existing systems

The constant flow of new WIFAG components from the production halls is down to commissioned modifications. WIFAG fitters and service technicians are working on this all over the world. A project by ABP Private Ltd. in Kolkata (India) is one of the most recent of these expansions and modifications.

The sub-project involves the customer wanting to run four webs on the lower former level on all four machine sections. This means that they want to be able to run the same book structure of 32 pages four times. This is not possible on sections 2 and 3 in the current machine configuration due to the previous technical design. Therefore, these sections will be fitted with an additional paper guide, including an extension to the existing cutting position control.

The second sub-project involves fitting a printing tower with a UV dryer to each machine section. The first two printing towers were fitted in this way in 2015 under the guidance of WIFAG. After successful outcomes, the customer decided to extend this option to all four sections. The WIFAG autoturns need to be raised up and repositioned by the appropriate distance to enable the dryer to be installed. This in turn requires adjustments to the platform, web guide elements, and web-threading system.

Another particular feature of this project is that drying is only provided for half of a platform. The printing tower will be used as a normal coldset tower for six out of seven days and will only be modified to UV for one production a week. This modification is expected to be completed by late 2017/early 2018.

 

More color imposition for Angers

At “Courrier de l’ouest/Le Maine Libre” in the western French city of Angers, the customer has decided to increase the color imposition in their system and is adding an additional printing tower to their machine. The major challenge of this project lies in modifying the additional printing tower purchased directly by the customer from a cut-off length of 509 mm to 500 mm. To do this, all cylinders are being reconstituted, remade and mounted as per the basic machine. The four bridge units are being delivered back to WIFAG in Switzerland for this. Therefore, all the inking units must have their geometry altered to fit the new conditions.

The control design also needs to be adapted to the existing machine and refitted. An additional angle-bar module must also be installed above printing tower 4. This easily dismantled double module is being completely rebuilt and delivered from Fribourg. Production is expected to start in summer 2018.

 

Retrofit projects in the Netherlands, Brazil, and France

Machines are currently being modified as part of retrofit projects to meet the demand for obsolete components at three WIFAG customers (De Persgroep in the Netherlands, RBS Zero-Hora in Brazil, and D.N.A. in France).

The autopaster control with the external control terminal is being replaced together by a compact solution from AMK with a new control and integrated display in both the Netherlands and Brazil. When implementing the projects, it must be ensured that 1:1 operation of the terminal is maintained and the previous hard-key functions are still used via touch control so as not to change the controller’s usual sequences.

In the current project at D. N. A, the control terminals on the printing mechanisms have been adjusted to the new WIFAG-H control concept and therefore halved as a result of a software adaptation. This modification has enabled the customer to increase their stock by 12 spare control terminals.


WIFAG mit Service-Dienstleistungen und Umbauten gut beschäftigt

04.10.2017 - Bei vielen Zeitungsdruckereien genießt die Absicherung der Produktion durch eine hohe Technik-Verfügbarkeit zunehmend Priorität. "Generell spüren wir eine erfreuliche Zunahme und Nachfrage nach Service- und präventiven Unterhaltsarbeiten, Kunden planen den Einsatz des vorhandenen Equipments wieder längerfristig und investieren in Revisionen, Retrofits und wo möglich technischen Modifikationen," erläutert Hugo Haymoz, Leiter Customer Service der WIFAG-Polytype Technologies AG (Fribourg/Schweiz).

Bei der WIFAG plant man 2017 keine Teilnahme an der Ifra World Publishing Expo. "Wir besuchen unsere Kunden regelmässig und suchen das persönliche Gespräch um individuell auf Fragen und Bedürfnisse einzugehen. Wir verfolgen damit die bereits in den vorherigen Jahren erfolgreich eingeschlagene Richtung" – so Hugo Haymoz.

 

 

Rege Nachfrage

In den vergangenen Jahren wie auch im Jahr 2017/2018 werden bei verschiedenen WIFAG-Kunden weltweit die Server durch neue und aktuelle Komponenten ersetzt. In diesem Zusammenhang wurden jeweils auch die Anbindungen an die WIFAG-Service-Plattform auf das neueste System umgestellt.

WIFAG registriert eine rege Nachfrage nach den Produkten aus dem Angebots-Portfolio seiner Service-Dienstleistungen. Speziell herauszuheben sind dabei vor allem die Produkte und Dienstleistungen in den Bereichen

 

  • Helpdesk / 24-h Hotline;
  • Audits / Zustandsbeurteilungen von einzelnen Maschinenkomponenten oder Gesamtanlagen;
  • Nachschulungen bezw. Refresh-Kurse.

Diese Einsätze generieren oft Folge-Aufträge für den Bereich Ersatzteilservice sowie  für  Revisions- oder eventuell Reparatureinsätze.  Die Nachschulungen bzw. Refresh-Kurse werden vor allem aufgrund von Personalfluktuation bei den WIFAG-Anwendern aber auch aufgrund des Bedarfs einer Rückkehr zur "Best Practise" nachgefragt. 

 

Erfolgreiche Service-Strategie

Die von der WIFAG 2011 begonnene "Service Agreement Strategie" wird weiterhin intensiv verfolgt.  Hugo Haymoz: "Auf dieser Basis konnten mit vielen Kunden weltweit Service-Verträge abgeschlossen werden. Durch jeden Kunden, der einmal ein solches Service-Agreement mit der WIFAG vereinbart hat, ist dieses nach Beendigung der Laufzeit auch verlängert worden." 

Je nach eigener personeller Ausstattung der Kunden kann solch ein Service-Vertrag sehr umfangreich sein. Ein renommiertes Druckhaus an der Ostküste der USA beispielsweise nimmt seit sieben Jahren Serviceleistungen in Anspruch –  im Umfang von jährlich 27 bis 30 Wochen vor Ort,  wobei sich diese in mechanische, elektrische und drucktechnische Blöcke von jeweils sechs bis zehn Wochen Einsatzdauer aufteilen.

Hugo Haymoz  und sein hoch motiviertes und professionelles WIFAG-Serviceteam profitieren am Standort Fribourg von einer erstklassigen Infrastruktur und kurzen Logistikwegen.

 

Umbau bestehender Anlagen

Dass immer wieder neue WIFAG-Komponenten die Werkshallen verlassen, liegt an den in Auftrag gegebenen Umbauten. Auch hierfür sind WIFAG-Monteure
und -Servicetechniker weltweit unterwegs. Zu den jüngsten dieser Ausbauten und Modifikationen gehört ein Projekt der ABP Private Ltd. in Kolkata (Indien).

Im ersten Teilprojekt geht es darum, dass der Kunde auf sämtlichen vier Maschinensektionen vier Bahnen auf die untere Trichterebene fahren will. Das heisst er will viermal dieselbe Buchstruktur von 32 Seiten fahren können. Bei der heutigen Maschinenkonfiguration ist dies aufgrund der damaligen technischen Ausführung auf den Sektionen 2 und 3 nicht möglich. Deshalb werden diese Sektionen mit einer zusätzlichen Papierführung inklusive einer Erweiterung der bestehenden Schnittlageregelung ausgerüstet.

Im zweiten Teilprojekt geht es darum, pro Maschinensektion einen Druckturm mit einem UV-Trockner auszurüsten. Bereits im Jahr 2015 wurden die ersten zwei Drucktürme unter der Leitung von WIFAG damit ausgerüstet. Nach dem entsprechenden Erfolg, hat sich der Kunde dazu entschieden, diese Möglichkeiten auf alle vier Sektionen auszuweiten. Um den Einbau des Trockners zu ermöglichen, müssen die WIFAG autoturns um eine entsprechende Distanz erhöht und neu platziert werden. Dieser Umstand wiederum bedingt Anpassungen an Galerie, Bahnführungselementen und Einziehsystem.

Eine weitere Spezialität in diesem Projekt ist, dass die Trocknung nur für eine halbe Bahn vorgesehen ist. Der Druckturm wird an sechs von sieben Tagen als normaler Coldset-Turm eingesetzt und nur für eine Produktion pro Woche auf UV umgerüstet.

Dieser Umbau soll Ende 2017/Anfang 2018 realisiert werden.

 

Mehr Farbigkeit für Angers

Beim „Courrier de l’ouest/Le Maine Libre“ im westfranzösischen Angers hat sich der Kunde dazu entschieden, die Farbigkeit seiner Anlage zu erhöhen und ergänzt seine Maschine mit einem zusätzlichen Druckturm. Die grosse Herausforderung bei diesem Projekt besteht darin, den vom Kunden zusätzlich direkt gekauften Druckturm von einer Abschnittslänge von 509 mm auf 500 mm umzubauen. Dazu werden sämtliche Zylinder neu beschafft, gefertigt und analog der Basismaschine montiert. Die vier Brückeneinheiten werden hierzu zurück an WIFAG in die Schweiz geliefert. Sämtliche Farbwerke müssen aus diesem Grund in seiner Geometrie den neuen Gegebenheiten angepasst werden.

Die Steuerungsausführung muss ebenfalls an die bestehende Maschine angepasst und neu ausgerüstet werden. Weiter muss ein zusätzliches Wendemodul über Druckturm 04 installiert werden. Dieses einfach ausgebaute Doppelmodul wird komplett neu gebaut und geliefert ab Fribourg. Die Produktionsaufnahme soll im Sommer 2018 erfolgen.

 

Retrofitprojekte in den Niederlanden, Brasilien und Frankreich

Aktuell werden bei drei WIFAG-Kunden (De Persgroep/Niederlande, RBS Zero-Hora/Brasilien, D.N.A/Frankreich) Maschinen anhand von Retrofitprojekten umgerüstet um der Nachfrage nach obsoleten Bauteilen zu entgegnen.

In den Niederlanden sowie in Brasilien wird die Rollenwechslersteuerung zusammen mit dem externen Bedienterminal durch eine Kompaktlösung von AMK mit einer neuen Steuerung mit integriertem Display ersetzt. Bei der Realisierung der Projekte wird darauf geachtet die Bedienung des Terminals 1:1 beizubehalten und die bisherigen Hardkey Funktionen auch weiterhin via Touch-Bedienung zu nutzen um dem Bediener, die gewohnten Abläufe nicht zu verändern.

Beim aktuellen Projekt bei D.N.A wurden die Bedienterminals an den Druckwerken anhand einer Softwareanpassung an das neue WIFAG-H-Steuerungskonzept angepasst und somit halbiert. Durch diesen Umbau konnte der Kunde sein Lager um 12 Reserve-Bedienterminals aufstocken. 


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).