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Malayala Manorama signs deal with Muller Martini

21 May 2014

PrintWeek India visited two plants at Malayala Manorama, one of India’s leading newspaper publishers in Kerala. Three plants in the southern state are in the process of modernising and expanding its print capacity with new generation presses and mailrooms.

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It was in Kerala, this scribe was informed that Muller Martini has inked a deal for five identical direct printing lines. These will ramp its three plants in Kozhikode (Calicut), Kottayam and Kollam (Quilon).

The first line in Kozhikode is expected to be commissioned in December 2014; while the units in Kottayam and Kollam in 2015. The five lines, which will come on-stream between December 2014 and December 2015, will include two NewsStack compensating stackers, Solema belts, a Sitma bundle film wrapper with cross strapping, manual application of pre-printed top sheets and a control system for bundle production. This will help boost the daily circulation of 2.3 million copies of Malayala Manorama.

“Printed newspapers continue to be the main source of our company's revenue and that will remain the case for the foreseeable future,” said chief editor, Mammen Mathew.

Mathew added, "Malayala Manorama opted for the solution from Muller Martini, due to financial and technical reasons. He said, “We calculated the total cost of ownership of all the proposals we received and Muller Martini stood first. The maximum speed of 90,000 cycles per hour for the mailroom exceeds that of our new printing press by 15,000 copies. That means the mailroom systems are not producing at their limit, which lowers maintenance costs and increases their economic life-time.”

In addition to the good after-sales support by Muller Martini India, the feedback given by another Indian Muller Martini customer who gave a testimony for the new solution, Mathew said, “I enquired at The Hindu about their experiences with the Muller Martini systems there and heard only positive reviews from them.”

Malayala Manorama has opted for a total of five identical direct printing lines from Muller Martini for the three sites – two each at Kottayam and Kollam and one at Kozhikode According to a press release from Muller Martini, "The centerpieces of the mailroom systems are the latest generation NewsGrip conveyor chains, each with a receiving and delivery station. They not only have a new control system, but also feature new guide sections, are easier to maintain and have a longer economic life-time."

Malayala Manorama, which was established 126 years ago, is installing a five double-width Diamond Spirit SA newspaper rotary presses from Mitsubishi with a production speed of 75,000 copies per hour, and printing capacity of 40 broadsheet pages.

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