In recent years, newspaper printers and manroland Goss began to rethink. A press retrofit is a real alternative to the purchase of a new press or a high-quality second-hand press. Significant benefits of a retrofit are obvious: It ensures the press availability of the existing system for many years to come and decreases operating cost by the improved availability of spare parts. Matthias Heißler, Manager Engineered Solutions in manroland Goss, and his colleagues have adapted to the different customer needs all over the world. ‘In shrinking newspaper markets, the development turns to the direction of retrofit. It seems as if printing companies merge virtually every day.
The readiness to invest in a press having a production cycle of per se 20 years is accordingly low.’ Heißler added, ‘A popular retrofit is the exchange of old electronic components and simultaneously the installation of modern diagnosis or reporting systems that have established on the market in the last 15 years.’ However, not every printer is ready to immediately invest a large sum and to refurbish the complete press. To allow for a completely new efficiency and productivity result and to extend the service life of the systems, manroland Goss offer smart retrofit solutions – small partial retrofits for little money and much benefit.
For manroland Goss, smart solutions are conventional solutions that are modified conceptionally in such a way that customer requests can be satisfied even better. For example:
UnitController retrofits, which in former times could be carried out for complete machines only, can be realized now component by component.
- Interbus LOOP retrofits, which could be carried out at a stretch only by now, can be easily replaced component by component and even sensor type by sensor type meanwhile.
- DC drive retrofits, too, could be executed system by system only, and have been reduced now by much effort and development activities to a smart retrofit that can be carried out step by step.
- manroland Goss retrofits at section and print-unit computers (with S5 software), which had to be raised to a new control platform by an expensive software development at earlier times, can now be raised to the new platform by a newly developed software at reasonable cost.
- The valve terminal retrofits, which required high programming efforts at earlier times, as they were realized with the valve terminals of the new press business, are now retrofitted by a valve terminal series newly included in the portfolio, significantly deceasing the cost of the retrofit.
In addition to the alternative to the PECOM-X hardware retrofit, the ‘virtualisation of the PPM software on customer hardware’, it is also possible since recently to offer the Control Center software as a virtual solution.
‘All these examples offer real added value for the customer, they keep presses young and sustainable, extend their availability and durability and update their automation. Thus, when everything in printing technology remains the same, the availability – of possibly already discontinued equipment – does not exist anymore, but efficiency shall be increased, then one of the smart solutions retrofits of manroland Goss is exactly the right choice,’ Heißler summed up.