EAE wins key Geoman retrofit order from Times of India

Bennett-Coleman to modernise Sahibabad plant

L–R: Bernhard Schmiedeberg, EAE sales manager; Snehasis Roy, BCCL technical director; Mohit Jain, BCCL executive president of supply chain; Menno Jansen, QIPC-EAE chairman; Shyam Shanker, BCCL director of business & commercial; Werner Ringel, EAE managing director; Raj Nargis, chairman, Krause India & agent, QIPC-EAE; and Heiko Küttner, EAE managing director

The Times of India, India’s largest English-language daily newspaper, has assigned Engineering Automation Electronics (EAE) with the modernisation of a newspaper press at its printing center in Sahibabad, near Delhi. The new retrofit project represents EAE’s biggest direct order to date from a South Asian country so far.

Established in 1838, The Times of India belongs to the closely held Indian Bennett-Coleman group, which operates 13 of its own printing centers across the country. Its circulation currently totals more than 3 million copies a day. At the Sahibabad site in the Delhi national capital region, newspaper production takes place on manroland double width double circumference web offset presses consisting of a pair of Geoman presses and a pair of Colormans. The four presses are used to produce The Times of India in English and Navbharat Times in Hindi, both dailies, as well as various other titles for Delhi and the surrounding area.

The company had been thinking about modernising the manroland Geoman web press in Sahibabad that was installed in 1995 and was keen to find an open solution that relied on components and spares available in the local markets in India as far as possible. After evaluating its options in considerable depth, Benett-Coleman decided to work with EAE, a strong OEM supplier of control systems to newspaper press manufacturers. EAE’s retrofit experts will upgrade the web press—which has five 4-Hi towers, one double folder and eight reel stands—to a functionality that is claimed to be 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 replaced 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 old press control consoles. The retrofit guarantees 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 that 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. 

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 taken care of by 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 and chief executive officer 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.” The preparations at EAE will begin in June 2017 and the plan is for the retrofit to be implemented in Sahibabad between February and July 2018.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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