“We’d do it this way again”
No longer able to deal with an increased volume of inserts for freesheets in particular, the printing plant at Aschendorff Medien GmbH & Co. KG in Münster has invested in new Ferag mailroom technology. In addition to a higher net output, the overall situation in the department has also improved considerably.
Print media has been the core business of Aschendorff Group for 250 years. Aschendorff publishes the “highest-circulation daily newspapers in the Münster region”, the Westfälische Nachrichten and Münstersche Zeitung with around 20 local editions in total. Together with the Münsterland advertising group’s free newspapers and advertising freesheets, Aschendorff's dailies cover a large part of the region around Münster.
Success comes through expertise
The Aschendorff printing plant has been a Ferag customer for 35 years. Back in 2000 it had already invested in a completely new mailroom: initially composed of three inserting lines, each with a MultiSertDrum inserting drum, followed by a RollSertDrum in 2009. A steadily growing quantity of inserts, as well as the age of the plant in general, prompted the people at Münster to invest in replacements.
Moreover, in 2016 a new KBA Commander CL press went into operation, designed for up to 50,000 copies per hour – a volume the existing MultiDisc winding machinery could no longer keep pace with.
The special thing about this project was that the company wanted to continue using existing components, such as the bundle transport lines and also the MultiStack stack turner: there had already been some modernisation of the mailroom installation in 2013/2014 and they wanted to integrate this still quite recent machinery with the new lines.
One project, seven phases
For this reason, the entire project was divided into seven phases of successive rebuilding. Work began with the first delivery in January 2018, and was wrapped up with commissioning.at year-end. The two new production lines each have an RSD inserting drum, with an existing and modified MSD line as backup. Due to the increased volume of inserts, behind the RSD drums Aschendorff opted for Flystream collating systems, each fed from 16 JetFeeders. The RSD also has two feeders for preprints. The MSD line is equipped with 20 feeders for collecting inserts and likewise with two preprint feeders.
Another important aspect of the new conveyors was the decision to invest in additional MultiStack stack turners. With each of the UTR conveyors now able to distribute products between three MTS stack turners, the lines have gained significantly higher net output. Should one stack turner develop a fault, the production line is only affected to the extent that its speed must be reduced slightly. After one year of experience with the new system, this has proven to be “a step in the right direction,” according to Markus Schrubba, the mailing manager at Aschendorff.
Clear sky overhead and contented faces
The second line has been operating since autumn 2018, the first having already gone operational in March 2018. This has impacted positively on daily newspaper production, with shorter production times, higher net output and a better environment throughout the department. The fact that it was possible to dismantle the feed chains from the old conveyors did more than just decrease background noise levels. “We now have clear sky overhead, so to speak, and much better illumination,” sums up Markus Schrubba.
The concrete benefit
Greater insert volume was, after all, one of the main reasons for Aschendorff’s new investment. “Throughout, we can now fill inserts 16 times in one pass, which is a huge step for us,” says Thomas Wenge, technical operations manager at the Aschendorff printing plant, pointing out a major benefit of the mailroom investment. Now undesirable stops during changeover times can also be eliminated in many cases, as the new conveyors have a splitting and backup function installed.
Even though cooperation with Ferag was well honed thanks to a long-standing relationship, the people at Münster are very satisfied not only with the investment, but also with the installation and commissioning. “We’d do it this way again,” Thomas Wenge affirms.sbr / 05/22/2019