Modernization of the Interbus Loop software, electronics components


The electronics on HT Media’s 12-year-old Colorman in Greater Noida have been modernized to make the new technology good for at least 7 to 10 years of secure production. “Retrofits of the controls and operating elements are particularly popular currently among users of manroland web systems’ newspaper presses; this also applies to our long-term partners in India,” explains Daniel Popp, service manager India at manroland web systems. The electronics, the connected sensors, and software or operating elements, are currently subject to much faster technological change than previously.

Recently, HT Media, which produces The Hindustan Times has secured the second position in circulation among English language dailies in India. It replaced the Interbus Loop on their Colorman press at their main printing plant in Greater Noida in Delhi-NCR. This involved a complete exchange of the now obsolete and no longer contemporary system. The spare parts, which were not yet scrapped can be rather stored for usage on other printing presses in the plant.

Precise troubleshooting and faster production

The new system links all sensors and actuators directly with one computer. Possible faults (e.g., a faulty component) can therefore be precisely located and exchanged without major production delays. Additionally, this improves the diagnosis possibilities for manroland web systems’ remote diagnostics tool TSC (TeleSupportCenter).

The just installed software and electronics provide more features than just the future availability of components. One such feature is that of more detailed error descriptions enabling faster and more precise troubleshooting. These more complex sensors and automation innovations allow everyday tight production loads at a high volume newspaper plant.

The retrofit was done within two weeks without any disruption of the nightly production of the dailies printed at the plant. “The new technology was installed by manroland parallel to the existing system. It was then tested and after approval by the customer, commissioned,” according to Popp.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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