Omaha World-Herald Upgrades Its manroland Geoman Press with New Electronics
AUGSBURG, Germany—December 10, 2015—At the "Freedom Center," one of North America’s biggest newspaper printing facilities, manroland web systems has realized a retrofit for the Omaha World-Herald. The Geoman presslines got new electronic components. Therefore the leading daily newspaper opted for a "puzzle" strategy.
The printing center "Freedom Center" in Omaha, Nebraska, has been given its name to pay homage to the newspaper as a daily guide for democracy. Since the inauguration in 2001, three Geoman presslines with altogether 18 printing towers, 18 reel splicers and three folders, have been producing the daily Omaha World-Herald. Now Production Leader Ron Headid proactively prevented the aging of the presses. The electronic retrofits are supposed to extend the lifecycle of the presslines.
Exchange of Electronics
manroland web systems received the order for the retrofit because of its comprehensive know-how, Ron Headid explained, "Bringing a third party into play would have been expensive and a big risk. In our view, choosing manroland web systems was the best possibility to close the project reliably and in time."
The electronic retrofit includes the PLCs and the discontinued InterbusLoop. This is an additional Interbus path for connecting sensors and actuators to the local Interbus structure. These electronic components have been replaced at four printing units, one folder superstructure including turner bars, the section- and safety computers and at four reel splicers. Now, the printing company works with the latest powerful computer generation from the manroland web systems PECOM-X product portfolio and therewith secures a more efficient press run as well as the preserving of spare parts for all remaining components.
For Headid it is very important to have the possibility to replace discontinued parts 1:1—today and for the future. Furthermore, the new production offers an additional possibility for powerful advertising: "We are now able to produce half cover for newspapers in-house," Headid explained. This cover application with two half- and two full newspaper pages (also called "spadea") offers more possibilities for brand new advertising campaigns and thereby shows new sources of revenue.
"Puzzle" Strategy Receives Acceptance
When it comes to retrofits, the "puzzle" strategy from manroland web systems receives broad acceptance—especially in countries overseas. Anyway, not all computers or other components have to be replaced at once. This can be handled step by step, in an economic and tailor-made individual retrofit approach.
The know-how lies in the discussions with the customer and the preparation of the project, Andreas Wecker, service manager North- and Latin America at manroland web systems is certain: "We give advice regarding risk management, prioritize actions and show perspectives and limits of retrofits and upgrades.” What is important for the customer, Wecker explained, is a nonstop production at the printing room. "After all, Nebraska and Kentucky shall not be left without their daily.”
Production Leader Headid is satisfied. "We were able to produce every night during the entire retrofit project," he said. "The press and all its components were available Fridays to Sundays."