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Higher quality and greater working efficiency: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Ferag are together refurbishing the mailrooms

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Higher quality and greater working efficiency: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Ferag are together refurbishing the mailrooms

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07.03.2018 – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Ferag are together refurbishing the mailrooms at the production site in Atlanta. This has involved the relocation of two MSD lines from Austin (Texas) to Atlanta (Georgia), some 1000 miles away. The beneficial outcome for the company: increased efficiency, quality, functionality and production reliability.

The mailroom of Atlanta Journal-Constitution (photo source: Ferag).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the largest printing plant belonging to one of the world's biggest media companies: Cox Enterprises. The American conglomerate traces its beginnings to the Dayton Daily News. That newspaper was purchased in Dayton, Ohio in 1898 by James M. Cox, who went on to become state governor and also ran for the US presidency. The family-owned business today is made up of three divisions: Cox Communications, Cox Automotive and Cox Media Group. Together they count around 60,000 employees and generated revenues exceeding $20 billion in 2016. That puts the Atlanta-based group among the largest privately held enterprises in the U.S.. Cox Media Group operates fourteen television stations, a cable channel, more than sixty radio stations and publishes eight daily newspapers as well as over a dozen weeklies. According to company claims, the newspapers alone reach more than 3.5 million readers.

Initiating technology change
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution printing plant produces several large daily newspapers, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mundo Hispanico, USA Today, Birmingham News, and the New York Times. Add to those dailies further weekly as well as monthly publications, and the Atlanta plant turns out a weekly total of around 1.5 million copies. Into those, some 1.5 billion supplements are inserted annually. Quality, efficiency and production reliability are all crucial at this order of magnitude. Which is why for years, Cox Media Group has used dependable Ferag technology at its printing plants. That was also true at the recently-closed Austin American-Statesman plant. While much of the equipment at The Atlanta Journal Constitution plant was significantly aged and demanded increasing maintenance, the Ferag technology in use at Austin was relatively new. So having closed the American-Statesman plant, it was decided to move all its equipment to Atlanta, nearly 1000 miles away, and begin changing the technology there.

Inside just four months, the two mailroom lines in Austin had been dismantled, shipped to Atlanta and set up in a new layout with a new UTR conveyor chain – and this with full-scale production going on at the same time. Also operating in Atlanta now is MultiDisc, the high-performance, space-saving storage system for newspaper and magazine processing that is both gentle on products and linkable with the external Goss Magnapak inserting system. With two consecutive UTR infeed stations on each line, the Atlanta Journal Constitution plant needs just one folding machine to produce two different newspapers at once. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Senior Director of Operations Clarence Jackson sees plain advantages in the technology exchange: 'We can work far more efficiently and we now wind products automatically, rather than stacking them by hand. That has also led to a marked increase in workplace safety for our employees.' Thanks to the significant increase in performance and superior quality of the finished product, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is setting the stage for redesigning the mailroom and positioning itself for the future.



Michael Spinner-Just's picture

Michael Spinner-Just


2018-03-12 14:07

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