NP Druck in St. Pölten, Lower Austria, has equipped a 16 page web press in a way that enables it to produce print products that were previously reserved for sheet fed offset printing. The company thereby combines creativity and diversity with the efficiency of rotary printing. They established a postpress center by IN-LOG Merten Maschinenbau, Vienna, for being able to also optimize the logistics chain. Due to the high degree of automation in print processing, a consistent process chain was created, which is completely dedicated to efficient production.
Mag. Peter Jordan, Sales and Marketing Director, sums up last months´ experiences, “In the field of inline folding, perforation and punching, different possibilities are preferably used for the production of magazines and prospectuses. The customers realize that thereby they stand out from the crowd and at the same time are able to improve their image, products or services.” Meanwhile, the machine is under control, which enables an economic production of circulations from 5,000 copies on. However, this is only possible, if everything goes on clockwork between all departments.
Back-up, inherent in the system
The clockwork at NP Druck, in a figurative sense, are conveyor belts that carry print products of three out of the four web presses – one 48 page and two 16 page web presses – to the new postpress center. Since the printing machines are distributed throughout the premises, this was the first challenge IN-LOG Merten Maschinenbau had to master in the course of this project. Although NP Druck has been cooperating with the manufacturer for years, the cards were reshuffled for this investment decision. In total, three manufacturers were involved in the selection process, whereby IN-LOG Merten Maschinenbau was able to convince with its technical concept, which also involves the flexibility to integrate different log stackers, its high level of technical availability and its well-known service quality.
Optimum material flow
The postpress center on the one hand offers the possibility to make all three types of web presses either produce logs or stacks and on the other hand established a back-up of the system, since in this configuration there is always one production possibility available. “Today, we are able to offer our customers production security, which makes us absolutely reliable as a partner”, ensures Adrian Fehringer, Head of Engineering and Production. At the same time, the whole material flow has been improved and saddle stitchers as well as adhesive binders have been rearranged to carry all 35,000 tons of paper per year ideally through the plant. The different speeds of rotations from 45,000 to 70,000 cylinder revolutions are easy to handle for the postpress center. The IN-LOG technology has proven in practice that it can even cope with a web press speed of 90,000 without any problems. At the beginning, it was a challenge especially for the employees to enable processing this variety of products relentlessly and at the same time without bringing about unacceptable speed reductions at the postpress center. “In the meantime, everything is working well”, ensures Adrian Fehringer.
Web press and postpress center match
For being able to economically produce circulations from 5,000 copies on, NP Druck´s highest priority was to reduce set-up times and waste rate. “The 16 page web press can be changed-over within five minutes today and the waste rate only includes 500 copies. Of course, the postpress center will have to keep up with that”, stresses Mag. Peter Jordan. Therefore, the company brought automation at its height also in the field of print processing. All servo motors of the IN-LOG plant are controlled electronically, so that any aggregates may be installed at the press of a button. At each of the two 16 page web presses changeover takes place every 45 minutes. The postpress center is able to equip parallel, so it seems clear that this is crucial for getting the maximum out of the plants. Another essential requirement to be met by the manufacturers was that the waste rate covers everything from printing to the postpress center as well as the saddle stitcher or the adhesive binder.
According to Adrian Fehringer, NP Druck is able to reach a degree of automation of about 90 percent with the IN-LOG technology. Of course, some parts have to be readjusted, because paper is an influencing factor that should not be underestimated. Since the final fine-tuning can be saved, you do not have to readjust anything in case of recurring contracts. “By now, we produce 300 periodicals, so this makes it a lot easier for us”, appreciates Mag. Peter Jordan.
Log stacker provides performance increase
Two web presses can produce either logs or stacks, whereby one robot cell takes over the deposition on the pallet. “Especially when it comes to subsequent work processes, the log stacker may help increasing the performance and reducing the error rate”, explains Adrian Fehringer. How far automation may reach today becomes clear when we have a look at the last installed saddle stitchers. In this process, only one person per saddle stitcher supplies the logs semi-automatically and a robot piles the finished stacks (in A5 to A3 format) without manual interventions.
In case of production on stacks, the final format of the print products can be set up before. For this purpose, the IN-LOG trimming unit RT/1140S was installed at the plant. It is equipped with a new trimming technology, which enables trimming without marks, even at high speeds and an extensive line of products. “IN-LOG Merten Maschinenbau has taken a major step forward here, so that we are able to achieve better quality despite today´s predominant coated paper”, sums up the Head of Engineering and Production the experiences and mentions longer services lives as another advantage. On this basis, the company set up another trimmer with this innovative trimming technology.
|Professional project management
The implementation of the whole project took about 1.5 years and was completed in March 2016. Before acceptance of the postpress center, availability was tested for three months. During this period, no technical disruptions occurred. IN-LOG Merten Maschinenbau´s project management was evaluated as very good by Mag. Peter Jordan. In case there were questions arising, solutions were found and implemented quickly and unbureaucratically.
The goals related to the investment have been fully achieved. The extensive centralization of postpress activities in a special center has lead to an enormous increase of efficiency and quality. Due to the log stacker , an increase of efficiency can also be seen in downstream processes. All this helps the company to comply with the increasingly limited time schedule given by the market.