Singapore Press Holdings retrofitting its Colorliner presses with ABB


ABB has announced an order from Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), the leading newspaper publisher in Singapore with titles like “The Straits Times”, for retrofitting controls and automation systems on its four Goss Colorliner newspaper printing presses.

ABB’s systems are already familiar to SPH. The four other presses at SPH’s print center were installed six years ago with ABB controls and automation systems.

The ABB scope of supply includes one MPS Production press management system with a geo-cluster server and four clients, ABB’s production data analysis system, MPS Inform, a total of 16 control consoles, eight of which are to be fitted with calibrated soft-proof monitors, and ABB controls that completely replace the existing systems.

Goh Yew Soong, Assistant Vice President, Production (Engineering) at SPH and their project manager for the control replacement project, explains: “our aim is not only to have the presses under our complete control, but also to know exactly what was done when by the operators and what the consequences of these actions on the presses were.”

This is an area where ABB’s experience with plant-wide tracking and data warehousing brings dividends. Every single action of the printers will be logged and a long list of press parameters will be tracked continuously: a situation more reminiscent of the testing of jet aircraft than printing newspapers! This will give SPH the data they need to drive their quality improvement process even further.

Goh’s superior, Anthony Cheng, Executive Vice President Production and a highly respected professional within the industry, explains the decision for ABB. “We have worked with ABB on the previous project very closely and we scrutinised every aspect of the MPS systems. Both SPH and ABB have overcome the usual growing pains in the early stages, and over the last 6 years, the system has proven itself in terms of performance reliability. ABB has also taken in our ideas and incorporated them in the updated versions of the MPS systems. I can say ABB has an established track record with us and it makes sense for us to extend similar and proven control systems to the Colorliner presses. This award is also a testimonial of our confidence in ABB.”

"The project is the product of a successful cooperation between ABB’s Center of Excellence Printing and ABB in Singapore," says James Foo, country manager for ABB in Singapore and one of the signatories of the contract with SPH. "It is an excellent example of how ABB can use its size, expertise and global presence to find the best solution for the customer, and that means not just the best technical solution but also the best execution and delivery solution."

The international teams are already hard at work and the installation of the systems for the first press commences at the middle of November this year. This first press then goes back into production at the end of February 2010. The remaining presses then follow at regular intervals.

One of the Colorliner presses at SPH

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