After a trial on one of its eight KBA presses in Vienna, Austrian publisher Mediaprint will add QI Press Controls' IDS-3D colour and register control to the remaining seven presses, plus three more in St. Andrä.
The "colossal" order for QIPC and sister company EAE calls for ink and dampening control, ink fountain roller control, fault detection and an automatic ink mist shield and IQM quality management systems. QIPC Chairman Menno Jansen describes it as "the biggest complex of orders" for QIPC-EAE ever received from a single customer: "The package is simultaneously a clear sign that the industry has faith in the future of printed newspapers and in the ability of print and digital media to coexist."
Mediaprint Group is the country's biggest newspaper printing company, producing national dailies Kronen Zeitung and Kurier as well as the contract-produced daily Der Standard and part editions of the freesheet Heute and Niederösterreichische Nachrichten, and other work including TV guides, weekly newspapers and direct mail.
Mediaprint has 13 presses at centres in Vienna-Inzersdorf, St. Andrä (Carinthia) and Salzburg, using virtually identical KBA Commander web presses, each with three nine-cylinder satellite towers.
Maintenance and central administration manager Erich Manhardt says the presses, built in 2001, has always been controlled manually: "We wanted to install the QIPC system in the first press and then experiment around to see if our aim of significant cost savings could be realised by reducing the number of personnel and the amount of paper wastage without compromising on quality and productivity.
"That's now been confirmed without a shadow of a doubt. We've also discovered that, thanks to the automated QIPC systems, we can achieve a much higher quality standard and above all maintain it reliably. Our goal is for each of our printing centres to be upgraded to the same technical level."
Under the new order QIPC will install 60 more IDS-3D cameras in a total of 30 press towers, with operation ultimately integrated in EAE Desk 7 press control consoles, to be supplied as part of a major retrofit. Mediaprint is the first customer worldwide for the Desk 7 consoles, with 26 needed for the pilot at the three Mediaprint centres.
EAE will retrofit the entire control system for the 13 presses through KBA as general contractor, replacing existing ABB control technology in 39 towers and reducing the number of control computers per tower from 11 to one. The package includes an EAE Print production planning and preset system as well as an EAE Info reporting and logging system.
The installation of the newly ordered QIPC systems will be completed by August this year; the press retrofit at the three Mediaprint sites will be undertaken in several phases up until the end of 2018.
Pictured: Vienna print centre manager Thomas Hofinger (left) with Erich Manhardt; and (below) one of the 13 KBA Commander presses