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Planning a printing company or modernising plant and equipment should be carefully planned and implemented. Many years of experience and up-to-date know-how, together with sound project management, are the cornerstones of successful projects, which we and our team can implement worldwide.

Planning investments

The right implementation

 

For large projects, for example building a new printing company or renovating an existing one, professional implementation is decisive. After strategic planning has been completed, processes and equipment are planned. This is followed by the building planning. Only now are building and commissioning carried out, until the building is ready for daily operation. The indispensable basis for smooth completion is sound project management, which is an important factor in the project in all phases and can act immediately as soon as things threaten to go wrong. With the many years of Kirchner + Robrecht's experience in project management, your project is also sure to be a success.

The right choice

 

The definition of suitable machine facilities is followed by an invitation to tender, with tender specifications and performance specifications. The quotations by the manufacturers can be compared with the help of a cost-benefit analysis. In this way, special company requirements and the quotations by the manufacturers can best be analysed. A points system can help to compare the weighted decision-making criteria of the future operator with the technical functions offered by the machine(s). Our evaluation catalogue, for example for printing presses, comprises 1,800 characteristics relating to operation, technology, price, service and maintenance. Here we analyse the quotations down to the last detail, and come to a future-proof decision.

The right planning

 

The fundamental requirement for successful investment projects is strategic planning. If mistakes are made here, this can lead to long-term problems, the correction of which can be difficult and expensive. In the worst-case scenario, subsequent correction is not possible at all, so that the project may endanger the existence of the company. In order to be properly equipped, it is important not only to take account of one's own newspaper titles and markets, but also to look forward and to draw up and run through realistic future scenarios. The involvement of the entire company, from the editorial staff through the advertising department to sales and delivery, is essential for production planning.

Project example "Printing shop alternatives"

 

The customer's objective

A regional newspaper publisher prints various editions of its newspaper in an in-company printing shop. With its enormous capacity, which is however no longer needed today, the publishing house still dominates the regional market, but competitive pressure is constantly rising. Since the printing presses are no longer state of the art in terms of automation, and since individual electronic assemblies have been discontinued by the manufacturer, an e-retrofit was carried out shortly before the beginning of the project, but without any noteworthy upgrade in functions. Finer regionalisation and greater topicality of the editions is not feasible on account of the long set-up times of the existing presses and for reasons of space. The customer would like to reduce his labour costs, modernise his production processes and find a cheaper location.

Project example "Electronic retrofit"

 

The customer's objective

A well-known regional newspaper publisher has been running a Goss Universal 50 printing press for 15 years. Essentially, the press has 16 reel changers, a heatset dryer, a UV dryer, 12 printing towers and two folding units. The system, with Bosch Rexroth Intradrive drives (DIAX 3, DIAX 4), was upgraded some years ago and is essentially controlled by Alan Bradley / Rockwell units. There is no ink zone pre-adjustment option, and a closed loop colour register control system is only installed in one tower (heatset). In practice, the waste paper rate is comparatively high, and this is costly particularly due to the use of enhanced/bright white paper types. Important electronic components are no longer offered by the supplier, and are not stored in the warehouse of the printing company either. Individual components can be obtained on the spare parts market, in some cases at highly inflated prices. The press has not yet suffered any great mechanical wear, so that an electronic retrofit and automation upgrade is now due.

The road to the objective

In order to be able to guarantee or improve future printing production, Moritz Schwarz supports the customer in the examination of the following production alternatives:

  • Continuation of production at the existing location with new presses

  • Construction of a new building on a greenfield site (with the company's own operating personnel, outsourcing to service providers, hybrid versions)

  • Cooperation with neighbouring publishing houses: joint construction of a new printing plant or extension of the cooperation partner's existing facilities

  • Awarding of several print jobs with medium-term run times to printing plants in the surrounding area

  • Awarding of a long-term print job, which would have led to investment in a more remote printing plant

The publishing house received an independent expert's report, with costing for a period of 10 years, with a clear recommendation for action.  

The road to the objective

The publishing house asked us to examine several retrofit quotations. Kirchner + Robrecht went into great detail: for all electronic assemblies involved, we worked out a risk assessment and where necessary a substitute strategy (harvesting, puzzle, complete replacement). We checked the availability of each individual component with the original supplier or subcontractor, as well as on the market. System productivity and quality were also improved. In addition, upgrade measures were carried out with new functions (ink key presetting, automatic colour and side lay register, closed-loop ink density control, softproofing). For this purpose, the electronics of the printing press were replaced by another manufacturer during ongoing operation. At the same time, a modern register and colour density control system ensures improved quality at lower costs. After the invitation to tender had been published and after the system had been ordered, the publishing house also commissioned us to monitor implementation within the framework of a project management mandate.

 

Improvement for the publishing house

A new printing press would mean an enormous investment for the publishing house. In financially uncertain times, an e-retrofit, that is, a general overhaul of the electronics of the printing press, is a good alternative, particularly when the mechanical system is still in good condition. In this way, the existing equipment can still be used for years – more efficiently and more effectively than before. The overhauled equipment of our customer will also work more productively than before. As a result of the retrofit measures, the failure risk will go down to that of new equipment. Risk assessment by a neutral expert proved to be very good policy for the publishing house, as it has no retrofit expert of its own and otherwise would only have to rely on the information from the manufacturer.