The presses at the McAllen site in the Rio Grande valley in the southernmost part of Texas are used to print regional newspapers including “The Monitor”, the “Valley Morning Star” and the “Brownsville Herald”.
In common with the owners of many presses of this generation, AIM Media has been confronted with increasing problems with obsolete systems and major issues with the availability of spare parts. “This is where an ABB press controls retrofit makes such a big difference,” says Jeff Gelfand, ABB Printing’s Sales Director for North America. “The retrofit will mean not only that there will be brand new state-of-the-art control systems on the press, but with ABB’s spare parts policy and life cycle management, we can give a 15 year assurance against obsolescence.”
The McAllen presses are in intensive use every day, so the retrofitting of the press controls has to be done without interrupting the daily production. “A technical challenge,” says Gelfand, “but one that we have mastered many times by using the right solutions and careful planning.”
Customer support was also a key element in AIM’s decision to turn to ABB for the press retrofit, as confirmed by Jeremy L Halbreich, Chairman and CEO of Aim Media Texas: “we selected ABB for this critical task due to their reputation for quality work and performance, impeccable customer service and support, and the relationship we have developed over many years with their key personnel.”
The scope of the press retrofit includes the following:
- New press controls, based on ABB’s industry standard AC500 PLC system that is available worldwide.
- New drives control based on ABB’s MPS Open Motion Control to replace the existing system, which has been declared obsolete by its manufacturer. The use of this ABB solution means that the same VPN connection and service PC can be used for trouble-shooting and maintenance as for the main control system, and also that the drives can be replaced step-by-step at a later date.
- A total of four ABB press control consoles, two per press, all configured for operation in both English and Spanish.
- ABB’s press management system, MPS Production, in a twin configuration, for planning, optimizing and monitoring the productions on the presses.
The commissioning of the new systems begins in February 2014 and will be completed for both presses by mid-June of the same year.