WKS orders its second ContiwebVision System for Wassenberg facility
  • Web break analysis system is vital tool in optimizing efficiency
  • System diagnostics provide information for future prevention
  • Corporate headquarters receives real-time production data feed

Drupa, June 7th 2016 - One of Europe's leading high-volume printers, the WKS Group, has stipulated ContiwebVision web break analysis as an essential component for its latest installation at its facility in Wassenberg, North-West Germany. The decision follows the successful introduction of the system on an almost identical press line in 2013.

Holger Backes is the WKS project manager for the entire double web installation and was also a key player behind the original specification in 2013. He is convinced that ContiwebVision is the best web break detection technology on today's market and confirms that it is the only sensible choice for the scale of production at Wassenberg.

"Each web in our existing press line measures 2250 mm (88.6 inch) wide, giving it the largest paging capacity in the world," Backes explains. "We run the presses simultaneously into one folder at up to 50,000 revolutions per hour and each revolution uses 11.2 m2 (120.6 sqft) of paper. Obviously, with production on this scale we need to ensure our press operators have the very best control capabilities at their fingertips. ContiwebVision allows them to see what is happening to the webs on both levels in real time, precisely pinpointing the source of a disruptive event."

While this clarity and ease of use is of crucial importance, it is not the most significant USP for WKS: "Other systems can tell you immediately there is a web break and some also tell you where it happened, on top of this ContiwebVision is the only system that can tell you why the web break happened and informs the operator how they can prevent it from happening again," comments Backes. "When you're printing 560,000 m2 of paper per hour and it takes an average of 45 minutes to get the presses running again after a stop, this information is the golden ticket."

Receiving up to 50 signals from cameras and sensors strategically positioned throughout the press line - from web infeed through splicer, including web severer and web catcher, printing units, dryer, chill stand, turner bars and folder to outfeed - the ContiwebVision web break analysis system in Wassenberg gathers data to continuously monitor web edges, web tension and overall condition of the web. This information enables the system to determine factors including time and location and paper variations.

Immediately on detecting the small changes in web tension that indicate a web break, the system correlates all data to generate a report, which can be viewed both locally and remotely via VPN. The ContiwebVision system in Wassenberg, close to the Dutch border, is linked to WKS administrative headquarters 100 km away in Essen. The seamless link means that administration executives are alerted immediately of any web break. If a paper fault is detected, the press operator sends an automatic report to the accounts department with the push of a button, enabling a compensation claim to be submitted to the paper supplier within minutes.

"In fact, this scenario is relatively rare in Wassenberg," Holger Backes admits. "We are printing 24/7 on very lightweight stock, typically between 40 - 65 gsm so the web breaks are more usually due to the print dynamics such as build-up of ink and tack, water and stresses on the web on its journey through the machine.

"Nevertheless, the information we get from the ContiwebVision reports has proved very valuable," he adds. "Our 160-page press here now has the lowest incidence of web breaks of all the eight presses operating in Wassenberg and Essen. On our best day, the press printed 320 tonnes of paper, running non-stop for 24 hours."

This record helps to make the repeat investment in an identical press system much less daunting, according to Backes. The new installation, currently underway, is scheduled to be complete by winter 2016, producing more advertising circulars for supermarkets and other retailers. With the new press in full production, output in Wassenberg is expected to grow from 4.2 billion 16-page A4 pieces in 2015 to reach 6.0 billion in 2017.