ABB controls and drives retrofit for Neckar-Alb print center in Germany

“Druckzentrum Neckar-Alb” has awarded ABB with an order for an extensive controls and drives retrofit for modernization of its Wifag OF470 newspaper presses.

Druckzentrum Neckar-Alb’s press line in Reutlingen, Germany comprises six printing towers, three folders and six reelstands. Divided into two main phases the modernization project carried out by ABB will see extensive work on the press.

The original Wifag positioning system on the printing towers, the folders and the turner bar decks will be replaced by ABB’s APOS solution. It is based on ABB’s AC500 system, a PLC that has been used in countless demanding industrial applications. The many advantages of this system include scalability, ease of handling in a service case and spare parts available from both ABB and third-party suppliers worldwide. While the original functionality of the positioning system will be retained on the new platform, the new system will provide a state-of-the-art visualization of diagnostics.

Druckzentrum Neckar-Alb
Druckzentrum Neckar-Alb

The printing tower and folder control systems will also be equipped with AC500 PLCs and the operator displays on the individual units will be replaced with new ABB CP635 touchscreen monitors.

The drives on the printing towers, folders and turner bar decks as well as for the ink ductor will be replaced with the new drives being mounted in the original drives cabinets. The communication protocol will be upgraded from SERCOS 2 to EtherCAT.

With the control systems for the six reelstands equally being replaced with ABB’s AC500, the number of hardware components used in the overall control system of the press will be reduced.  

The six existing ABB MPS Control Consoles on the press will be upgraded to the latest touchscreen version and the production management system MPS Production will be upgraded to release 6.0-1.

Ulrike Köhler, joint head of the print center, and publisher Valdo Lehari jr., also joint head of the print center, explain “This retrofit project replaces numerous components that are at the end of their lifecycle and gives us the production security that we need for the future. ABB has proven to be a very reliable partner over many years and ensures the long-term availability of our presses. We are delighted that the outstanding cooperation with ABB has led to this new project and we are convinced that this modernization will be another great success.”.

The first phase of the project, commencing in January 2019, will cover the folders, turner bar decks, control consoles and the production management system MPS Production. In the second phase, scheduled for early 2020, the printing towers and reelstands will be upgraded.

ABB is a leading automation supplier to the newspaper industry. ABB Printing delivers solutions that provide unique and totally integrated end-to-end control, protect existing investments and provide management information essential to improving profitability.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.


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