Herald Printing made perfect with Marand Robots and Automation

The Challenge :

Herald & Weekly Times approached Marand to engineer a solution to overcome capacity constraints with the handling of newspaper bundles to match the growth in local newspaper distribution. Herald & Weekly Times were confident in Marand’s ability to engineer the right solution first time following visits to other Marand customer sites involving successful automated and robotic solutions to similar complex problems. The complexity involved with the handling and palletising was predominantly driven by the variation of bundle and product sizes combined with the velocity at which they are travelling. The need to make the process safer by removing the need for human intervention in the high traffic area was also a driving factor in automating the handling processes.

The solution required accommodating 22 variations of locally distributed newspapers at an out feed rate of one bundle every 3 seconds.

The Solution provided :

Marand engineered and supplied three modular robotic systems and integrated them into the existing product out feed line to remove the papers from the line and palletise them ready to be loaded onto the distribution trucks. The benefits of providing three identical modular systems enabled customer savings in commonality of programs, commissioning and testing time in addition to the through life savings on spare parts.

Each system is capable of accepting bundles from a two tier out feed system that delivers papers from one of six print presses. The robots handle 3-4 bundles at a single time and automatically account for the variations in bundle height due to changing inserts that are introduced in the papers.

The Outcome :

The Marand project management team ensured the three robotic systems were designed, manufactured, installed, commissioned and operational within the required project time frame. Marand also planned the integration work in a way that allowed Herald & Weekly Times to maintain complete production throughout the project and the system has been running in production successfully since June 2010.

The Customer :

The Herald and Weekly Times Pty Ltd

The Herald and Weekly Times Limited Pty Ltd (HWT) is a newspaper publishing company based in Melbourne, Australia. It is owned and operated by Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited Pty Ltd. The Herald & Weekly Times Pty Ltd is the publisher of four market-leading publications - the Herald Sun, Sunday Herald Sun, The Weekly Times and mX. The HWT newspapers dominate their market and, in terms of circulation and market penetration, are among the most successful in the world.