The Times of India, India’s largest English-language daily newspaper, has charged EAE Engineering Automation Electronics with the modernisation of a newspaper press at its printing centre in Sahibabad, just outside Delhi. This new retrofit project represents EAE’s biggest direct order to date from this country in South Asia.
Established in 1838, the Times of India belongs to the Indian media group Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. (The Times Group). Its circulation currently totals more than 3 million copies per day. The newspaper company operates 13 printing centres across the country. At the site near Delhi, newspaper production takes place on four web presses. The portfolio includes the Times of India and Navbharat Times, both of which are published daily, as well as various other titles for Delhi and the surrounding area.
The company had already been thinking about modernising a manroland GEOMAN web press in Sahibabad, which was getting on in years, for some time. The situation became more urgent when technical defects and production stops started to become a regular occurrence at a time when several components of the control electronics were discontinued and it grew more difficult to get hold of spare parts. After sounding out the options in considerable depth, the newspaper company elected to cooperate with EAE. EAE’s retrofit experts will upgrade the web press – which has five four-high towers, one double folder and eight reel stands – to the latest state of the art.
Reliable production for the next decade
EAE will exchange the entire press and drive controls, all of the most important drives and the obsolete Interbus loop system. The existing PECOM system will be superseded by a modern EAE solution plus an EAE Print production planning and preset system. Three control consoles belonging to the very newest EAE Desk 7 generation will simultaneously replace the present PECOM press control consoles. The retrofit should guarantee reliable production of the newspaper web press and maximum availability for the next ten years.
“We opted for EAE, or rather QIPC-EAE India, because they’re a supplier with enormous experience in press retrofits. They were able to offer us a solution that is very much geared to standards and based on hardware which is freely available in the market. The decision to equip the press with the most advanced control, drive and preset technology possible will profit us not only with higher availability but also with a leap in productivity,” says Snehasis Roy, the Times of India’s Technical Director. “We were also persuaded by the fact that EAE presented themselves from the outset as a partner interested in long-term collaboration with us on a local level who would adopt a flexible approach to our specific needs.”
Key order in the Indian market
A slightly unusual procedure was chosen regarding the execution of the retrofit work. Whereas EAE in Ahrensburg (Germany) will take care of the planning, software development and project-related coordination, the operational implementation in the field will be in the hands of QIPC-EAE India. QIPC’s Indian subsidiary will source the necessary hardware from the local market, then carry out the essential preassembly and testing and finally the installation. QIPC-EAE India will additionally provide primary service and support and set up a spare parts depot.
“We’re delighted that the Times of India has put its trust in EAE’s retrofit expertise and standards based solutions by entering into a partnership with us,” comments Vijay Pandya, Managing Director & CEO of QIPC-EAE India. “This key order will help us demonstrate our retrofit capabilities to the whole of the Indian newspaper market. It’s also further proof that QIPC and EAE’s seamless cooperation is working in a global context.”
Menno Jansen, Chairman EAE expressed his gratitude to Mohit Jain, Times group Executive President Supply Chain during his visit at EAE’s headquarter in Ahrensburg Germany. Thanks to EAE’s ingenious retrofit concept, all modifications to the newspaper web press will be undertaken in the midst of normal production, which will not experience hindrance in any way. The preparations at EAE will begin in June 2017; the current plan is for the retrofit to be implemented in Sahibabad between February and July 2018.