Funke Niedersachsen Druckzentrum GmbH in Braunschweig is one of the two printing centres operated by Funke Mediengruppe. The other is located in Hagen (central Germany). QI Press Controls (QIPC) embraced the challenge to participate in the project to modernise their existing manroland Colorman XXL. A project with unprecedented acceptance requirements in an extremely short lead time, QIPC once again proved itself more than worthy of the task.
With the additional Erfurt site’s productions in the pipeline, Braunschweig had to make thorough operational and organisational preparations. Especially since they also wanted to realise the increased production with lower manning and lower waste. QIPC installed eight IDS-3D cameras for colour control and additional functionalities like damp control, fault detection and smart ink and damp pre-setting. Six mRC-3D cameras control the cut-off register of the non-turned ribbons. All being monitored by the Intelligent Quality Management (IQM) and the process management system IPM.
Says Adrian Soballa, managing director, Funke Niedersachsen Druckzentrum GmbH: “The investment was made as we felt it was important to have colour, cut-off and damp control fully automated during start-up and production. This way, printers can concentrate on core activities like process monitoring and troubleshooting.” He continues: “We had extensive technical discussions with QIPC about services offered and technical requirements. We also visited various installations (Amsterdam and Hagen) to have a good reference. In our other print centre in Hagen QIPC has installed their solutions already several years ago. There the installation of automatic colour and cut-off register is also very successful.”
Various tests had to be completed successfully before final acceptance of the installation. The timeframe in which the acceptance needed to be completed did not make it any easier. As the Erfurt location would close its doors on 31 December 2021, QIPC had limited time for installation and acceptance.
In basis there were two types of acceptance. The first one was in relation to the daily production. In standard operation and in all production variants, the system should fully automatically control all quality components and run as close as possible to the firmly defined target points. Druckzentrum Braunschweig allowed one intervention per production, which also had to achieved for five consecutive night shifts and in a timeframe of 14 days. The quality aspects that were inspected, evaluated and documented during the trial period, were cut-off- and colour register and colour- and dampening control.
QIPC took the challenge and agreed upon writing this press release in case results were achieved. The operators only needed to intervene once for the dampening control. With regard to other aspects no intervention was registered. This is only possible with out-of-image colour control that considers dot-gain and has the ability to measure the required damp.
The second part for acceptance was related to the colour quality. The manroland XXL press had been prepared with pre-settings for register, damp and ink values. Similar as the first part of acceptance, the requirement was that during the entire production the IDS-3D would control all relevant ink keys per printing unit fully automatically with a maximum control deviation of Delta E3. Next to that the control system should automatically detect and eliminate scumming and smearing in the shortest possible time. Also this proved to be no problem for QIPC’s IDS-3D. Not a simple intervention was needed in the automatic control during the entire production run.
“The installation runs reliably and supports the printer in the printing process. It is possible to produce a consistent quality with lower waste due to smart pre-setting and a fast automatic control. We were able to implement the revised manpower set-up and are very satisfied with the results achieved,” Soballa says, adding: “Through the use of QIPC’s technology we expect an efficient and quality ensured production. Through the possibilities of the reporting tools, we hope for early technical error detection and corresponding advantages in maintenance and installation.”
All agreed upon deadlines and milestones were met. That is only possible when the cooperation between all parties is well aligned. The weekly sessions surely contributed to that. Soballa says: “There was only a short time window from the order to the commissioning of the control system. The cooperation within the project with QIPC was very professional, cooperative and solution-oriented. This was the only way to successfully implement the project and in such a short period of time. We expect to continue the very good working relationship with QIPC in terms of servicingour installation and will be pursuing new technical solutions.”
The Funke Mediengruppe is one of the largest media companies in Germany. Funke stands for strong brands in newspapers, magazines, online portals, radio and more. Next to twelve daily newspapers and over fifty magazines in print and digitally, they also offer online job exchanges, health portals and digital service offerings for small and medium-sized businesses.
The Braunschweig plant boasts in excess of 7500 m² of production floor space. Around two thirds of production is accounted for by daily newspapers and other publications of the Braunschweiger Zeitungsverlag (BZV Medienhaus GmbH). In the newspaper sector, the company prints several newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe with their various local editions as well as various advertising journals which are distributed in and outside the region. Course booklets for the adult education centres as well as numerous advertising brochures and inserts round off the portfolio.