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Novel approaches and Ferag technology for more efficient mailroom processes

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Novel approaches and Ferag technology for more efficient mailroom processes

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IFRA World Publishing Expo 2018 in Berlin

30.07.2018 – Swiss company Ferag continues to launch new as well as enhanced technologies that offer innovative newspaper publishers and printers improved revenue opportunities, cost reductions, or both. At the IFRA World Publishing Expo 2018, set to take place at Messe Berlin from 9 to 11 October 2018, one Ferag focus will be “personalized inserting”. On show will be new applications for the TapeFix module and a newly developed single sheet feeder. Tailor-made retrofit packages for Ferag systems will also be under the spotlight in Hall 21a, Stand E.02.

Latest-generation Ferag inserting systems facilitate “guaranteed personalization” and bundles sorted according to delivery route sequences.

Personalized inserting
Personalizing a newspaper’s insert structure continues to offer plenty of potential. For example, if newspaper publishers are so well informed about their subscribers that supplements can be inserted according to target groups, this would considerably reduce both the logistical effort involved and distribution costs. Ferag has already solved the technical side of the task with a software solution that enables “guaranteed personalization” and bundles sorted according to delivery route sequences. The latest-generation Ferag inserting systems come ready for individual assembly of collations. The moment a particular insert is fed off the stack, it is already firmly assigned to a delivery address.

Closing the printed product with TapeFix
New thinking is also required at the end of the inserting process, hence the TapeFix system that Ferag presented at the IFRA Expo back in 2014. The self-adhesive strips were initially intended to hold together bundled direct marketing inserts without the need for a separate jacket product. Accordingly, the TapeFix modules have until now dispensed on the binding side. This year Ferag is presenting a variant – TapeFix Blume – which allows a newspaper or magazine to be closed on the open side using readily removable adhesive strips. It retains inserts within a printed product and prevents them from falling out during the delivery process. This method of securing the product will help distribution and postal organizations to dispense with individual film jacketing, which has always been eyed critically from an environmental viewpoint.

Optimized supplement handling
Especially when it comes to supplement insertion, many newspaper publishers rely on proven processes and the know-how of long-serving employees. However, when Ferag added the “Optimizer” to its software range a few years ago, it became clear to users that it makes sense to scan through different possible variants, especially for complex jobs with changing JetFeeder assignments. This is where the “Optimizer” can help to identify the more time-saving variants with less material movement and optimum hopper utilization. In this respect the new SingleSheetFeeder can also be very interesting. As a specialized module with a particularly capacious hopper, it requires little in the way of operating manpower.

Retrofit solutions
A sharp rise in the volume of inserts in some countries has brought postpress processing generally to the fore as a production area that generates growing added value for publishing customers and readers. As capacity utilization increased, so did requirements for the systems’ production reliability – reason enough for many company managers to look into Ferag service packages and customized retrofit solutions. Over Ferag systems’ frequently long service lives, it can happen that hardware components, particularly control electronics, are no longer available. Retrofits can extend the operating lifetimes of older systems that in mechanical terms often continue to be absolutely reliable.

PRA Plus and MSD/RSD
At the heart of many mailroom configurations is the PRA PC central line control unit, which enables functions such as regionalized inserting, inkjet individual addressing of products and programmed bundle production. Since 2013, Ferag has been offering customers the successor model PRA Plus, which is fully compatible with the Internet addressing protocol IPv6 and modern network architectures. With PRA Plus, customers can continue to control all existing Ferag machine technologies into the future without having to make any changes there. PRA Plus has additional capability for operation via two different user interfaces: the DOS interface familiar from PRA PC, or a modern windowing GUI along the lines of Ferag Navigator. PRA Plus runs under the Debian Linux operating system. A changeover to PRA Plus also meets the requirements for converting MultiSertDrum and RollSertDrum inserting drums to the latest ECB control technology, which promises all-round dependability in terms of spare parts supply and software updates.

Among the most important components of every inserting line are the hoppers and feeders, which must be adaptable to many different products and yet extremely reliable. Ferag JetFeeder units achieve astonishing feats time and again: at Naumann Druck- und Pressehaus in Gelnhausen (Germany), for example, certain JetFeeders had clocked up 160 to 180 million processed inserts by the time the company decided on a comprehensive retrofit package in 2015. Ferag won the day here not only with the right mix of services, cost level and quality guarantee. Following a “traffic light” concept (red/yellow/green depending on the degree of urgency), the wearing parts of the overall system at Naumann were gradually replaced and Ferag technicians brought all 25 JetFeeders into shape for the coming years. Such an approach can make sense for many newspaper printers.




Michael Spinner-Just's picture

Michael Spinner-Just


2018-07-31 11:00

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