Harland Simon Upgrade Inserter Controls at The Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA


RichmondTimesDispatchThe Richmond Times-Dispatch, a BH Media Group newspaper, has selected Harland Simon to replace the ICON controls, legacy drives and obsolete PLCs on four 2299s at their facility in Mechanicsville, VA.

The upgrade is scheduled to begin second quarter of 2015, with the inserters remaining in production throughout the upgrade process.

The new Harland Simon system replaces obsolete ICON controls and is based on off-the-shelf PCs and Allen-Bradley PLC/Drive hardware.

The project also includes the addition of a new upper level Mailroom Management System [MMS], which has been designed to give the operator a central point from which to manage the post press environment and interface to and from various other systems crucial to the process.

An important function of any MIS is reporting and the web based reporting provided through MMS can be accessed remotely with a number of pre-agreed reports to be supplied with the system detailing data on production efficiency (based on such factors as machine downtown, excluding lunch breaks, and hopper efficiency), quantities of inserts required, inserted and detailing shortages.

As the Reports package is based upon the SQL Reporting Services tool, the customer can configure and add additional reports when required.

To complete the picture for Richmond, an Insert/Inventory system, an interface to SAM and support for overhead screen monitoring, allowing inserter relevant information to be displayed on large screens in the mailroom, will be included within the MMS.

Darrell Foster, Production Manager for The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Hanover production plant commented, “This project has been on our capital needs list for a number of years, and we are pleased that our leadership team has recognized its benefits and approved the requested funding. Six vendors were invited to bid and present their best solutions to our project team. We visited a number of mailrooms around the country to talk to operators and see systems in operation. Harland Simon was selected due to their system’s functionality, variety of options, potential for growth, ease of use, support network, reputation and competitive pricing. We are looking forward to realizing all the benefits these upgraded controls and drives will bring our employees and customers.”

Harland Simon’s upgrade methodology means that throughout the project the existing system will remain operational until the new system is fully tested in order to remove any risk to production.

Costs are minimized by retaining elements of the old system that can still be used and supported.

It’s an approach that Harland Simon has used on many occasions previously.

John Staiano, Managing Director – Americas for Harland Simon further commented, “We have been in discussions with Darrell for a number of years, so it’s great to see this project go forward.”

Today’s newspapers urgently need to replace obsolete hardware, whilst at the same time reducing on-going cost and minimizing risk.

Harland Simon’s core solutions are based upon improved technical support and enhanced features such as comprehensive monitoring, touch screen technology, advanced reporting and 3rd party interfaces; all with the use of ‘off-the-shelf’ industry standard hardware.

This will be the forth inserter controls upgrade project Harland Simon has undertaken in North America, these being: Register Guard OR, Ventura County Star CA, Windsor Star, ON and now Richmond Times-Dispatch, VA.

For further information, please contact John Staiano at our Chicage Office.  Tel: +1 630 572 7650.