The presses were upgraded to digital ink and spray bar damp in the late nineties; however, in recent years the communication and control hardware has become unreliable and increasingly difficult to support. While the management and operator teams were able to implement work arounds to deliver quality product, this was not a long term solution for such a critical print center in the newly formed Gannett Publishing Services.
Once the genuinely nonproprietary approach and implementation strategy avoiding press downtime during the busy holiday season, had been demonstrated, the vendor selection was a relatively short process. This was only helped by the growing relationship between the two companies, demonstrated on previous projects at The Burlington Free Press and The Tennessean combined with the ongoing manroland upgrade at The Des Moines Register.
Harland Simon will deliver three new Prima 6000 consoles for centralized control of the ink and damp systems, the Prima RIPSet system for calculation of the presets and Prima MS for upper level management, monitoring and calibration of the presets. The project has already started and commissioning is set to be complete later this year.
The consoles and system architecture have also been designed in such a way that it would be possible, at a later date to replace the obsolete press controls and integrate this into the existing system and consoles; ultimately cutting the cost of the future upgrade.
At all times, the existing system will remain operational until the new system is fully tested and commissioned, which eliminates any risk to production. This method also keeps costs down while replacing all the vulnerable parts of the system. The solution is based on techniques that have been successfully developed for the replacement of many systems originally supplied by Goss, Rockwell Automation, manroland and Honeywell over the past 15 years.
Charlie Brackley, Sales Manager for Harland Simon, further commented, “There are many presses still relying on vulnerable components and this projects illustrates there is an affordable and risk free future path, we are excited to have the opportunity to work with the team at Asbury to put this concern behind them.”