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Verlagsgruppe Passau in Germany: One system – dual output

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Verlagsgruppe Passau in Germany: One system – dual output

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26.07.2018 – Verlagsgruppe Passau has switched from manual insert picking to Ferag’s innovative one2out system. This enabled the company not only to bring the entire process in-house, but also give a further acceleration boost to production.

The clever one2out system consists of two tracks with up to 21 hoppers per track. Here, the system is set up in the plant in Hinwil (CH).

A new mobile phone for only 278 euros, no contractual strings attached. A barbecue spice set for 4.99 euros. Children’s shoes in sizes 27-31 – only while stocks last… Classic advertising brochures are effective: according to statistics, 42 percent of Germans are at least weekly readers of the brochures and supplements they find dropped into their mailboxes. Many take this traditional advertising to households as inspiration for their weekly shopping list.

And so it is in the territory covered by Passauer Neue Presse, where PNP ExCom under CEO Sabrina Tahedl makes sure that households get their regular doses of targeted advertising. PNP ExCom is the division of Verlagsgruppe Passau responsible for postpress processing of printed products in Passau on the one hand, and on the other for picking direct mail items – sortation and targeted delivery of advertising brochures and inserts, around 6.5 million of them, distributed to 660,000 households. And that 6.5 million must be processed on just two days.

Narrow timeframe
Until 2016 the inserts were all picked manually, prepped, weighed in bundles and readied for shipping. The direct mail carriers in turn had to assemble packages for each household by the traditional method of walking around a large table and collating individual items. Sabrina Tahedl has meanwhile brought almost the entire collation process in-house, along with the technology for doing it: since late 2016 / early 2017 PNP ExCom has moved to machine production using the newly developed one2out system from Ferag (Hinwil, Switzerland).

Optimized production
The name one2out says it all: the clever system consists of two tracks with up to 21 hoppers per track as well as one JacketFix module, and a loop linking them. Depending on the configuration and the insert volume, this enables either one “jumbo” production job with up to 41 brochures, or two parallel jobs with up to 21 brochures each to be run as required – one system with dual output. Up to 40,000 sets per hour are thus feasible, a capacity that permits the greatest possible flexibility for efficiently processing jobs of widely varying sizes. Moreover, two tracks laid out in parallel mean that the system occupies only half the space of two systems with similar capacity arranged in series. Thanks to the JacketFix module, no wrapper or TapeFix is required: a set can be jacketed using an insert from the job.

PNP ExCom makes equal use of both production variants and it is precisely this mix which achieves high productivity. With large editions, the system is of course operated in single mode. When there are not so many inserts running at once, tandem operation can compensate the time required for single-mode operation. But that’s not the only reason Sabrina Tahedl sees for using one2out: “It was important to us that we could break down a production job to individual streets and process small sequences. For example, some of our customers only want to insert 1000 items in a certain area, say to cover just the addresses nearest to their place of business.” Factors that make this possible include optimum interaction between the proven Ferag Navigator control software and the Ferag Optimizer. “The customer sends us jobs via the Ferag string, we load these into Optimizer and set up the production run.” Special attention is given to minimizing machine stops and insert changeovers, which would slow down production.

Sabrina Tahedl and her team are pilot users of the new system. That was clearly a bold move, she says in retrospect, “but someone has to get the ball rolling, right?” Furthermore, Ferag already has ample experience in the direct mail sector thanks to EasySert. On top of this, the Swiss manufacturer’s project support was excellent.

Meanwhile, the one2out concept has found yet more enthusiastic customers: afd Direktwerbung GmbH in Weinheim, for example, has optimized production using the advantages of this innovative system with its independently operable production tracks. Of course, some coordination was still necessary during installation and commissioning, “but we felt very well taken care of,” says Sabrina Tahedl. “Ferag was always open to our wishes and suggestions and responded very quickly.” The constructive exchange between PNP ExCom and Ferag has ultimately benefited both companies. “I am satisfied,” sums up the PNP ExCom CEO. “And I think Ferag is, too.”



Michael Spinner-Just's picture

Michael Spinner-Just


2018-08-01 10:56

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