In February 2017, Mohn Media put the third 96-page-rotation into operation. This time it is equipped with two rotary trimmers by Merten Maschinenbau/IN-LOG. When it comes to supplements and brochures, a trend towards smaller formats has become apparent. Therefore, the company had to find a postpress solution, which also enables processing smaller formats in multiple-up production with a maximum speed of 45,000 cylinder revolutions. Merten Maschinenbau/IN-LOG mastered this challenge across the entire format spectrum.
“The technology of the 96-page-rotation together with its productivity and differentiation in production perfectly fit our business model for printing brochures and advertising supplements in long runs. By this, we are able to meet customer demands in this challenging market segment even better.” This is how Roland Witte, Head of Production and Technology at Mohn Media, explains the further investment decision. Especially household advertising with supplements and brochures is highly stable in Germany and used as key component of the media mix by large retail groups. This is the reason why editions at Mohn Media size up to tens of millions.
Jens Klingebiel (r.), Head of Department Technology and Roland Witte, Managing Director of Production and Technology, have planned and implemented the investment project with Merten Maschinenbau/IN-LOG.
According to a study by Deutsche Post, household advertising was one of the most popular advertising materials in 2012 among companies and their customers. In Germany, this part of the advertising market (unfortunately there are no up-to-date surveys) made up about 7 billion Euros. This values approximately 9 per cent of the total advertising expenses of about 76 billion Euros. Approximately 25 per cent of the advertising companies use advertising materials for household advertising, because they know that 78 per cent of the recipients make regular use of the supplements and brochures for their shopping preparation.
Supplements and brochures: a premium product
Especially for retail sale, quick availability of supplements and brochures is important for responding to changes on the market. There are high qualitative requirements when it comes to color reproduction and cutting tolerance. “Supplements and brochures have become a premium product, even in large runs”, assures Roland Witte. For several years there has been noted a trend towards smaller formats. As a result, the plants need to work with a lot more flexibility – especially in postpress processing. In the first two 96-page-rotations, trimming drums are used. They work perfectly for DIN-A4 and bigger formats, but reach their limits with smaller formats. This has a negative effect on the productivity of the whole plant. “Therefore, we searched for a postpress solution that enables the printing machine to process the entire format spectrum at a maximum speed of 45,000 cylinder revolutions”, Jens Klingebiel, Head of Technology Department.
Printing markets are changing
Mohn Media, based in Gütersloh (Germany) is Europe´s leading print and media services provider with customers from various fields. They cover inter alia: publishing, industry, service, trading and dispatch. Mohn Media has approximately 2,000 employees, offers comprehensive printing services and provides support for customers during the whole production process – from making a concept through to printing and also shipping. As part of Bertelsmann Printing Group, the company forms the biggest European printing group that employs 9,000 persons and has an overall turnover of 1.7 billion Euros. As Europe´s leading printing group, Bertelsmann Printing Group is in an excellent position to play a part at the forefront in printing business and to meet the challenges of this industry in a flexible and appropriate way.
Solid planning of all investments
Investments at Mohn Media are prepared and covered (technically and economically) by a separate team of engineers and print technicians. This is because almost every year a new rotation including periphery is installed. As mentioned before, the trimming drum shows a tendency to sacrifices in productivity. Therefore, the team took a closer look at the principle of rotary trimmers and checked the offer. Pretty quickly they came across Merten Maschinenbau/IN-LOG, whose IN-LOG rotary trimmers have repeatedly worked successfully in connection with a 96-page-rotation. When preparing an investment of such a magnitude, it is not only about technical questions; also planning and integration play an important role.
Cooperation with the producer
From the beginning, spatial conditions for the 96-page-rotation were restricted. Where previously two 32-page-rotations were located, the new rotation with its 2 folding devices and 6 folder deliveries had to fit in. This also presented a huge challenge concerning routing. Merten/IN-LOG convinced Mohn Media with solid and extraordinary planning. Weight-bearing columns in the building had to be circulated; Merten was able to solve this problem by going directly through the folding device by using a high conveyor line. “During the whole planning phase, which took one year, Merten/IN-LOG provided recommendations for improvement repeatedly. This is exactly how we imagine the cooperation with a producer”, expresses Roland Witte.
Load-bearing columns inside the building had to be circulated. Merten solved this by going with the Overhead Conveying System directly throught the folder.
It was also important to Mohn Media to integrate rotary trimmers in the existing IT world of Ferag. Only Merten dared to do this. “For us, this was an absolute criterion of exclusion and finally led to choosing Merten Maschinenbau”, ensured Jens Klingebiel. The experienced workflow may be maintained and the employees work at the plants in the fields of postpress and logistics with perfectly processed data. This also leads to shorter set-up times – but more of that later.
Both trimming lines RT/1140S are able to process up to 135.000 copies per hour.
Rotation sets the pace
When it comes to flexibility, Mohn Media places high demands on rotation in printing, but subsequently also on postpress processing. The rotation has a horizontal and a vertical folder and enables various forms of design. In a comprehensive technical specification it was noted, which products, extents and formats are to be obtained to what number of uses and at what speed at the postpress lines. The extents range from 8 to 96 pages. Furthermore, products may be glued, tacked and equipped with a file divider or a cover from the printing machine. The speed of the printing machine – in this case 45,000 cylinder revolutions – equals the speed for postpress processing, which however may increase several times in case of a multiple-up production.
Pushing the limits
One example is the production of a 16-page signature where 6 sheets at a time are processed on the 96-page-rotation. Thus, the rotation obtains a production of 270,000 copies per hour. The two rotary trimmers RT/1140S share this task and are able to process up to 135,000 copies per hour. “Since we often print in multiple-up production, the rotary trimmers are pushing the limits”, confirms the Head of Technology. He further continues, “Anything noted in the technical specification concerning extent, format and speed was obtained in practice. Especially when it comes to printing formats, we gained unbelievable flexibility.”
The rotary trimmers RT/1140S, equipped with the new cutting technology LQC 30, guarantee high quality and lifetime – even at high speed, page numbers and weights.
Very short set-up times
Due to fully automated recording of formats at all postpress plants by Merten/IN-LOG, set-up times may be kept to a strict minimum. The postpress team reports that set-up times are very short, which enables going into production again more quickly. But also when it comes to paper waste, the rotary trimmers are able to meet the standards of the trimming drums. The degree of automation has advanced considerably. From the roller bearers of the rotation through to the robot that drops the products on the pallet only 5 employees are needed.
The postpress team reports that set-up times are very short, which enables going into production again more quickly.
The whole plant at Mohn Media is designed for 24/7 production, which is highly demanding concerning the liability of the whole technology. From the beginning, Merten Maschinenbau/IN-LOG made a positive impression and was able to start the plant with a three-shift operation already in the first week. By the fourth week, normal operation – four-shift operation – was started. The short initial phase was supported by simple operability of the postpress plant and intensive training and mentoring by Merten Maschinenbau/IN-LOG.
Pre-set goals achieved
Roland Witte finally emphasizes, that Merten Maschinenbau/IN-LOG was able to convince during bidding phase with the best price-performance ratio. In this connection, not only investment costs, but also running costs were taken into consideration. During implementation it has been shown that the company has realized the project in an absolutely professional way. As a result, all pre-set goals were achieved completely.