Major upgrade works through Neckar-Alb Wifag

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A Wifag OF470 in Reutlingen, Germany, is being extensively modernised including the installation of ABB's positioning system.

ABB will upgrade controls and drives as part of an extensive retrofit of the six-tower, three-folder line at Druckzentrum Neckar-Alb.

The original Wifag positioning system on towers, folders and turner bar decks is being replaced by ABB's APOS solution, based on their AC500 system. While the original functionality of the positioning system will be retained, the new system will provide a state-of-the-art visualisation of diagnostics.

Tower and folder control systems will also be equipped with AC500 PLCs and the operator displays on the individual units will be replaced with new ABB CP635 touchscreen monitors. Drives on the towers, folders and turner bar decks - as well as for the ink ductors - will be replaced with new drives mounted in the original cabinets, and the communication protocol is to be upgraded from Sercos 2 to EtherCAT. Replacement of the control systems for the six reelstands will lead to a reduction of the number of hardware components in the overall control system.

Six existing ABB MPS consoles will be upgraded to the current touchscreen version, with the production management system upgraded to release 6.0-1.

Joint head of the print centre Ulrike Köhler and Valdo Lehari (who is also publisher) say the retrofit project replaces numerous components that are at the end of their lifecycle, "and gives us the production security that we need for the future".

First phase of the project, commencing in January, will cover the folders, turner bar decks, control consoles and the production management system. In the second phase, scheduled for early 2020, the printing towers and reelstands will be upgraded.

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