(07/31/2023 / sbr)

Swiss leading-edge technology in the Far East

The South Korean Hankyung Media Group, publisher of the business newspaper “The Korea Economic Daily,” is investing in a complete new newspaper printing plant. The long-established media company wants to ensure not only top quality but also the highest possible production speed and process automation. For the equipment of the mailroom, the company has therefore opted for cutting-edge Swiss technology from Ferag.

At the new production site in the Bupyeong National Industrial Complex in Incheon, west of the capital Seoul, a state-of-the-art printing plant is currently being built on a plot of land measuring around 3,700 square meters. As early as September 2022, the Hankyung Media Group had ordered from Manroland Goss Web Systems the printing presses, which will form the core of the newly built printing plant.

The scope of supply of the Augsburg-based machine manufacturer has now been expanded to include the mailroom technology. The Hankyung Media Group has opted for a solution from Ferag (Hinwil/Switzerland). “The Swiss cutting-edge technology ideally complements our Colorman e:line presses,” says Hyun Seung-Yoon, Executive Director at Hankyung Media Group. The South Korean company is also convinced that the partnership between Manroland Goss and Ferag is a guarantee for the success of the project.

Clear commitment to printed products

According to Seung-Yoon, the aim is to offer the best print quality of all Korean newspapers for the company's 60th anniversary in 2024. The director said this directly after signing the contract with Manroland Goss Websystems in September 2022. “In this context, the production system also offers many attractive advantages for contract printing orders from the Korean newspaper market.” The goal of becoming the largest newspaper contract printing company in Korea in the next few years is understood as a clear commitment to the future of printed daily newspapers in South Korea.

The Manroland Goss printing systems allow a total production volume of 190,000 copies per hour. This corresponds to the production of up to one million newspapers per night. Thanks to the high level of automation, it is possible to achieve the stated goal of profitability with reduced unit costs for both long runs and shorter contract print runs.

Highly automated production with maximum availability

To ensure that this performance can also be realized in the mailroom, the presses are equipped with four Ferag UTR conveyor chains for up to 100,000 copies per hour each. These convey the newspaper copies to the bundling lines with four Ferag MTS3 MultiStack high-performance compensating stackers. The Hankyung Media Group deliberately opted for cutting-edge technology from the Swiss company, which already has excellent references worldwide as well as in South Korea itself. “The selected high-performance mailroom guarantees an optimal workflow through the Ferag Navigator software as well as highly automated production with the highest availability and maximum service life,” adds Hyun Seung-Yoon.

Since the bundling lines are located one building level higher than the loading ramps, Ferag also supplies a PKT plate chain conveyor with a spiral to connect floors. By means of this, it is possible for the newspapers bundles to reliably overcome the height difference and be allocated to the loading ramps according to the cover sheet data. The plate chain conveyor system is based on a chain, supported by low-friction rollers. Due to the low rolling friction, very long conveying distances can be achieved with only a few drives and without any transfers. The Ferag mailroom equipment is scheduled for delivery to South Korea in early 2024 to enable Hankyung Media Group to have the project operational in time for the company's anniversary.