WPC's PressPoint System

Posted By admin at 1/28/2011 12:00:00 AM

News and Tech Article

Web Printing Controls Co. Inc. rolled out a press upgrade service that adds a layer of automation to legacy singlewide presses.

The service, called PressPoint, combines color registration, remote inking with presets (from CIP3/4 files), motorization and other features through a single platform. “It’s designed to give newspapers a high level of automation to machines that have either little or no automation,” said Herman Gnuechtel, WPC’s president. “A lot of newspapers (with older singlewide presses) have had to outsource printing or forgo taking on commercial work. This brings a press that requires a lot of manual operation into the 21st century.”

Two Sun Media Corp. dailies, Le Journal de Quebec and the Ottawa Sun, tested PressPoint and now use it to manage their 20-year-old Urbanite machines.

Le Journal de Quebec Vice President of Production and Logistics Jean-Pierre Robitaille said the automation package “is working very well.” The paper, which operates two, 16-unit Urbanite presses, has PressPoint deployed across 12 units of each machine. Last month, Le Journal de Quebec signed a new order with WPC, which calls for the vendor to add PressPoint across the remaining four units of each press.

“I knew we needed more color pages, and I wanted to be more profitable, and for that if I wanted to introduce commercial work, I had to have more quality,” Robitaille said, explaining why the newspaper installed PressPoint.

Since the system was installed, Robitaille said Le Journal de Quebec has been able to cut startup waste, but more importantly, use fewer operators to run the two machines. At the same time, the paper went from printing only its core daily to a regional production center, producing two dailies and a number of other weekly and monthly publications for Sun Media.

“It represents more than 50 cold starts each week,” Robitaille said. “It’s a major change, and we have had a major improvement in quality, all because of automation.”

Claire-Anne Lalonde, director of manufacturing at the Ottawa Sun, said the paper has experienced a significant drop in startup waste since going into production with PressPoint.

The Sun, with a 14-unit Urbanite press, prints the core daily as well as more than a dozen other Sun Media publications, including 24 hours. “We were having quality problems,” she told News & Tech. “As soon as we were able to automate the press, we became much more efficient.”

The Sun has eight sensors installed on its press to monitor registration. Once the preset lineups are input, the system automatically makes any adjustments necessary and operators can monitor performance through the PressPoint console. “With 14 units, we no longer have to run up and down the press to input the settings,” Lalonde said.

“The biggest advantage, though, is reducing our startup waste,” she said, adding that the Sun was able to reduce the number of unusable copies by almost 50 percent.