World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Mechanical audit of printing presses

Mechanical audit of printing presses

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Mechanical audit of printing presses, an initiative from WAN-IFRA South Asia, was first launched in the 2016. After discussions during South Asian Committee meetings, now being launched in a new format.

Mechanical audit of printing presses helps to identify the overall performance of a press, improve the efficiency and save cost. This project adapts basic condition-monitoring techniques such as vibration analysis, ultrasound analysis and thermographic analysis to analyse the condition of the machine.

WAN-IFRA’s Research and Material Testing Center (RMTC) did mechanical audit projects in many printing plants in the year 2016 and based on the industry response, this project is now being scaled up to benefit more printing plants under a new business model.

Why mechanical audit?

Publishers are looking to cut down costs by various means, like saving energy, optimizing material consumption etc. One major area where huge such savings is possible is printing press which is the heart of any newspaper company and with no doubt, one should pay a great attention to it. In recent years, printing industry has developed many best practices for operational excellence, however the machine ageing and associated problems are unavoidable. Mechanical audit of printing presses play a vital role in identifying the early fault signs and prolonging the life of a printing press.

Benefits of mechanical audit

  • Track the trend of mechanical wear of all critical parts.
  • Replace the parts in dangerous condition immediately.
  • Have planned maintenance schedule for critical part replacement.
  • Have controled inventory of critical parts.
  • Avoid energy loss due to heating in electrical parts/connections.
  • Keep the machine ideally to the newest conditions by replacing the worn-out parts on-time.
  • Enhance the machine life with regular audits and with limited budget.

Condition monitoring techniques

PF curvePF curvePredictive maintenance technologies used for condition monitoring tells you where you need to act exactly. There are several technologies available in the market for condition monitoring purpose. Any failure sign start with vibration, then leads to noise and causes elevated temperature, eventually it fails (ref PF curve image). Our auditing methodology of printing presses employes the basic technologies which are given below

Vibration analysis

Mechanical vibrations in a machinery is common due to various dynamic forces, and mostly they are calculated frequencies allowed to some extent. Any uncalculated frquency due to wear and tear or misalignment or imbalance are completely unacceptable and reduces the service life of the mechanical systems. 

The project measures vibration in all three axes which enable us to pin point the problem exactly. Whether its a new machine or into few years of service, vibration analysis helps to fix the issues at early stage.

Ultrasound analysis

In the process of mechanical system failure, prolonged vibration leads to noise generation. The generated noise is not audible to human ear, but an ultrasound instrument could receive these signals which could be analysed for the reason of failure. Not only the mechanical wear problems but also air leak, starvation of grease, electrical circuit issues also could be analysed in this way.  

In the printing presses, problems are identified in the cylinder bearings, oscillator roller scratchings in the housing, clutch issues etc.,

Thermographical imaging

As mentioned, stages in the wear process is not explicit, unless otherwise it causes very frequent problems. Therefore, to look at the hidden problems, the mentioned special instruments are required.

Much worst situation could be like elevated temperature levels in the system. For example, lack of grease may increase the temperature and linear expansion of metals may cease the function or loose connection in a electrical fixture may cause fire accidents and so on.

But the temperature escalation is not visible, but through a IR camera, it is visible and obvious. In printing press audits, the project will identify reel brake temperature, bearing temperature, electrical connections etc.,

In a nutshell, ultimate aim of the mechanical audit is to act before a part fails, and reduce the repair cost to bring back the system to good condition and extend the service life of machine.

For further information and fees, please contact us.

Project Partner

Our knowledge partner for this project is " pme maurer GmbH, Germany".

Project starts from January 2018 onward, hurry up to avail your slot in the first phase of the project.


Jaiganesh M's picture

Jaiganesh M


2017-10-30 13:26

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WAN-IFRA South Asia, headquartered in Chennai, started its operation in 2001 as a private limited company registered under the Indian Companies Act. But the origin of IFRA in India dates back to 1992 when the services of IFRA, with only an Annual Conference, were offered in this country through a representative office. From this modest beginning, it today stands as a separate company catering to the needs of the Indian publishing industry. Read more ...

To stay abreast of the latest techniques, strategies and practices helping the industry's top managers to excel at their publishing operations, we provide a number of reports, advisory services, and events. Read more ...

Publishers and printers around the world have come to expect WAN-IFRA to provide the most up-to-date know-how about production processes, whether it be in prepress, printing, workflow or postpress. Its range of advisory services, trainings, reports and events are unparalleled. Read more ...