Major refit brings 20-year-old Dresden pressline up to scratch

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Colour density control and the replacement of eight control consoles with a system including four control tablets feature in a comprehensive update at DDV Druck in Dresden.

The DDV Mediengruppe unit has signed EAE for a performance package which embraces technology from both Engineering Automation Electronics - which provided the original controls - and its partner, QI Press Controls.

The ten-tower, four folder manroland Geoman line was commissioned in 1998 in a newly-built newspaper centre in the city's north of Dresden. Today, it produces the 200,000-250,000 copies of the Sächsische Zeitung, daily tabloid Dresdner Morgenpost (40,000-70,000) and more recently Dresdner Neuesten Nachrichten (20,000-25,000), plus advertising journals, supplements and third-party products as well as semicommercial products.

The press had QI colour register control system and cut-off register added in 2006, and as the original EAE systems aged, thoughts turned to a retrofit programme. Managing director Ralf Oberthür says the trigger and primary goal is to maintain production reliability: "A number of software and hardware components have been discontinued years ago and support for them is no longer available," he says. "The retrofit is intended to help ensure the availability of our printing press for the next five to eight years."

He says the integration of EAE and QIPC will mean that "everything we want" is available from a single source with only one project contact.

The package of upgrades and extensions will see the printing centre jump several generations of operating systems and software, with the replacement of the eight previous OS/2-based press control consoles with EAE Baltic Star consoles with new hardware and console software based on Windows 10, replacement of the old EAE AVE system with current EAE production planning and presetting, reporting and logging systems, and installation of new PC hardware where necessary.

New for DDV Druck will be the use of four control console tablets, which will enable press personnel to act more easily and quickly, especially during maintenance and servicing of the printing units. A four-station EAE softproof and VIP statistical database will expand the system.

The QI Press Controls systems on the press will be replaced and expanded with the company's IDS-3D colour density, dampening and register control system involving 20 cameras and under a further order, the four folder superstructures will have mRC-3D systems for cut-off register and side-lay control for three webs each.

"In addition to production reliability, the package increases the overall level of automation so that we need less manual intervention during the start-up and production phases," says Oberthür. "By expanding our quality assurance systems with ink density and dampening control, we will be able to produce more efficiently, achieve a more stable print quality and significantly reduce waste."

Expansion of cut-off register control will be particularly helpful for tabloid production, which is increasing due to external orders.

Implementation on site in Dresden starts in July, and is scheduled to be completed during the year.

Pictured (from left): EAE sales head Marcel Wollgramm, DDV Mediengruppe technical director Volker Klaes (who is managing director of DDV Druck), Ralf Oberthür

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