As newspaper production went up in scale and speed (50,000 to 80,000 copies an hour), the number of pages and number of supplements increased. Soon, innovations with newspaper formats and covers took place, making it difficult to manually control the handling of newspaper production, especially in collecting printed copies, segregation of newspapers according to their geographies, bundling and wrapping them, and safe transportation.
Muller Martini, the manufacturer of post-press equipment for books and newspapers, offers its mailroom system to synchronise the entire operation.
The mailroom system is a combination of various mechanical systems. Each mailroom system has to be customised because each newspaper publication house has its own requirement.
“The system which we are talking about includes chain gripper carriers, stackers, packing lines and conveyors. Inserters, direct marketing, storing and bundle builders are still not popular in Indian market but those can be also added on customer’s demand/requirement,” said Gaurav Bandlish of Muller Martini.
Mailroom system picks up the printed product from the printing press conveyor, sorts good and bad copies, inspects the check copies for monitoring the print quality, delivers to the stacker, counts, bundles, wraps, straps and delivers packed bundles to the respective trucks.
The entire operation is a combination of multiple hardware and software components.
The grippers conveyors are used in the newspaper mailroom system to carry printed newspapers from the press. The conveyors are synchronised with the printing press irrespective of make, which is controlled and monitored by Muller Martini Connex software. The MM Connex links the conveyor line and downstream line with the custom mailroom. Further, this system ensures that the bundle counting are proper and delivered to the respective agency. “This Connex is a powerful tool and can be further extended,” Bandlish said.
The mailroom system consists gripper NewsGrip-F, conveyor system and stacker NewsStack. The NewsGrip-F was launched in 2013. The other previous models are serving the newspaper industry for more than 15 years.
The components of the mailroom system are gripper conveying system, stacker, stacker control system, belt or roller conveyors, top sheet application with dispatch instruction, bottom sheet application, film wrapping, cross strapping and delivery conveyors.
“Our mailroom systems drastically reduce the manual intervention to ensure a higher quality of the end product at the higher speeds and lowers or almost avoids any mistakes throughout the production,” Bandlish said.
Kasturi & Sons, Chennai publisher of The Hindu and other publications; The Malayala Manorama Company, Kottayam, publisher of the leading Malayalam language daily Malayala Manorama and HT Media, Mumbai, publisher of Hindustan Times and other titles, are the company’s key customers in India. Twenty Muller Martini lines are running successfully in India.
According to Bandlish, a customer who is looking for a mailroom system considers reliability, advanced technology, flexibility, customisation, company’s presence in direct sales support and after-sales services. “The newspapers market in India is transforming and in future newspapers will show innovations along with printing,” he added.
Unique Selling Points
The Muller Martini mailroom system comes with modular system construction, where coordinated individual components allow custom-made transport solutions. It has stable chain glass fibre reinforced plastic, which is extremely sturdy compared with traditional steel chains. This glass fibre reinforced plastic has cushioning characteristics for smoother operation with the lesser weight which takes lesser power which is an indirect saving to the customer.
All aluminium profiles in the NewsGrip-F are hard anodised and thus harder than steel. The same profile can be used for forward and return travel. This lowers installation costs and increases the control over the workflow in the mailroom. At the same time, because of the generous distance between the holding points, products are grasped fully and held securely, without any risk of slipping. The products are transported extremely carefully, which means reduced marking of newly printed newspapers. The grippers have an extremely long service life because which has lesser or almost any parts wear out.
The clearly arranged controls monitor the synchronisation of the conveyor on the shingle stream of the printing press, the drive and all pick-up operations. It has interfaces to the waste removal system, the fire protection devices and the higher level control system.
For maximum operation reliability, chain links and rollers are rollers are continuously monitored by a state-of-the-art diagnostic system which can be connected online to the company’s engineers in case of any maintenance. Thus, any irregularity can be promptly recognised and repaired. The chains and profiles are designed in such a way that to avoid preventive change of the whole chain which greatly saves the operational cost of the customers.
With NewsGrip-F, the shingle stream must neither be aligned nor pressed. Thus, the still damp printing-ink cannot smear. A laser detector recognises the fold position and synchronises the NewsGrip F system automatically with the shingle stream of the printing press.
In 2:1 mode, the NewsGrip-F transports two products per gripper. It can thus achieve a higher transport throughput at a lower chain speed. The 2:1 mode is suitable for thin pre-printed products as well as which are printed and cut inline. Depending on the production mode, one or two control copies can be withdrawn at the pickup station or at the control console. Exactly one to 99 sample copies can be specified to be extracted.
The speed of the mailroom system depends on the modes. In 1:1 mode, the maximum speed is 90,000 copies per hour and in 2:1 mode the maximum speed will be 80,000 copies per hour. “Our mailroom system is faster than most of the newspaper printing presses,” Bandlish said.
The company provides onsite / offsite training for operators by professionals followed by periodical refreshment training. For newspaper industry, the service is crucial due to the time-bound nature of the end product – newspaper. The newspaper has to be produced and delivered within three to four hours every day between midnight to early morning. “For handling these kinds of services, we have a special team to support our mail room customers 24/7,” he added.
In 1:1 mode maximum speed: 90,000 copies/hr, In 2:1 mode maximum speed: 80,000 copies/hr
The mailroom system can handle minimum size of 270x195mm (105/8x711/16-inches) and maximum 450x320 mm (1711/16x125/8-inches)
Broadsheet: 4–80 pages: 100mm (37/8-inches), 84–160 pages: 100mm (37/8-inches)
Tabloid: 8–128 pages: 100mm (37/8-inches), 132–192 pages: 200 mm (77/8-inches)
Number of pages
In 1:1 mode Broadsheet: 4–160 pages, Tabloid: 8–192 pages
In 2:1 mode Broadsheet: 6–50 pages, Tabloid: 12–70 pages
The Alternatives: Mailroom System from Ferag
Specifications for Ferag mailroom, consisting of UTR gripper, conveyor with MTS Stacker
1:1 mode maximum 90,000 copies/hr 2:1 mode maximum 100,000 copies/hr 3:1 mode maximum 150,000 copies/hr
Broadsheet: 4–96 pages: 80 mm +/- 20%, 96–164 pages: 120 mm +/- 15% Tabloid: 8–128 pages: 80 mm +/- 20%, 132–192 pages: 120 mm +/- 15%
Number of pages
Broadsheet: 4–164 pages, Tabloid: 8–240 pages
Broadsheet: 4-144 pages Tabloid: 8-240 pages
Kawal Arora, managing director
Wrh Global, India
Components of Muller Martini Mailroom System
The universal NewsGrip-F gripper conveyor, the backbone of the mailroom, impresses with its speed, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Thanks to wide clamp grips, it guarantees careful and reliable transport of newspapers and semi-commercials right from the printing press at a top speed of up to 100,000 cycles per hour. The advantages are high conveying performance of up to 100,000 cycles per hour with quiet operation thanks to small chain pitch; slim and flexible construction principle of profile and chain; gentle transfer to the pick-up station; sturdy, wide clamp for steady and reliable further transportation and optimal distribution of force with radial and linear drives.