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Ferag AG

Postfach 331, 8340 Hinwil/Zürich
Zürichstr. 74, 8340 Hinwil/Zürich
Switzerland
Telephone +41 44 9386000
Fax +41 44 9386060
info@ferag.com

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Media files

Innovation and reliability for more than 60 yearsManufacture of conveying and processing systems in the graphic arts industry and direct mailing

Contact

Eric Audemars

Sales Manager (BEL,CAN,FR,NL)

Phone
+41 44 938 60 00

Email
Eric.Audemars@ferag.com

Markus Artho

Sales Manager (AU,NZ)

Phone
+41 44 938 60 00

Email
Markus.Artho@ferag.com

Peter Bernhardsgrütter

Sales Manager (DE,AT,CH,MOES,AFR)

Phone
+41 44 938 60 00

Email
Peter.Bernhardsgruetter@ferag.com

Rainer Kerssens

Sales Manager (DE,AT,AS)

Phone
+41 44 938 60 00

Email
Rainer.Kerssens@ferag.com

Daniel Sidler

Vice President Sales (UK,Nordische Länder,US)

Phone
+41 44 938 60 00

Email
Daniel.Sidler@ferag.com

Jan Beek

Head of Aftersales

Phone
+41 44 938 60 00

Email
Jan.Beek@ferag.com

Michael Büchel

Aftersales Director

Phone
+41 44 938 60 00

Email
Michael.Buechel@ferag.com

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Online events

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21
Apr
17:20 ‐ 17:50
Video conference

GraphicScout 24 - The Marketplace for Graphic industry machinery

Go to the online event
GraphicScout24 is the B2B marketplace dedicated to its customers and partners for graphic industry machinery. It is a used equipment marketplace to serve as a common market for pre-owned machinery from any manufacturer of equipment used in the graphic industries. This platform is besides support in buying and selling by using its worldwide network giving added value for additional service to support the buying and selling of all types of machinery, systems, and services in the graphic industry.
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17:20 ‐ 17:50
Websession

GraphicScout 24 - The Marketplace for Graphic industry machinery

Go to the online event

GraphicScout24 is the B2B marketplace dedicated to its customers and partners for graphic industry machinery. It is a used equipment marketplace to serve as a common market for pre-owned machinery from any manufacturer of equipment used in the graphic industries. This platform is besides support in buying and selling by using its worldwide network giving added value for additional service to support the buying and selling of all types of machinery, systems, and services in the graphic industry.

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20
Apr
16:40 ‐ 17:10
Websession

Ferag Life cycle service.

Go to the online event

Graphic industry is a very mature industry. This requires also a mature life cycle approach of installed base. Ferag will show how to approach and execute this is meeting customer expectations on his future business.

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16:40 ‐ 17:10
Video conference

Ferag Life cycle service. Value added Service competence closer to the customer

Go to the online event
Graphic industry is a very mature industry. This requires also a mature life cycle approach of installed base. Ferag will show how to approach and execute this is meeting customer expectations on his future business.
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Visit us

20 Apr 2021

Topic

16:40 - 17:10

ValuePlus - Ferag life cycle service

Graphic industry is a very mature industry. This requires also a mature life cycle approach of installed base. Ferag will show how to approach and execute this is meeting customer expectations on his future business.

Simply register for free and take part in our web sessions:
https://events.drupa.de/en/event/ferag-life-cycle-service

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21 Apr 2021

Topic

17:20 - 17:50

GraphicScout 24 - The Marketplace for Graphic industry machinery.

GraphicScout24 is the B2B marketplace dedicated to its customers and partners for graphic industry machinery. It is a used equipment marketplace to serve as a common market for pre-owned machinery from any manufacturer of equipment used in the graphic industries. This platform is besides support in buying and selling by using its worldwide network giving added value for additional service to support the buying and selling of all types of machinery, systems, and services in the graphic industry.

Simply register for free and take part in our web sessions:
https://events.drupa.de/en/event/graphicscout-24-the-marketplace-for-graphic-industry-machinery

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Our range of products

Product categories

  • 06  equipment / services / infrastructure
  • 06.12  Used machinery dealers

Our products

Product category: Mailroom equipment

High-speed transport of newspaper products

The UTR Universal Conveyor is the robust backbone of postpress processing. The high-quality, single-copy gripping systems are the most widely sold in the world and guarantee the dependable transfer of print products from the press and from postpress processing in the mailroom at up to 100,000 copies an hour.

Conveying system for postpress processing:
  • Universal Conveyor UTR

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Product category: Mailroom equipment

Powerful compensating stackers for all bundling requirements

With the MultiStack and PostStack compensating stackers, Ferag covers bundling requirements in all performance brackets. Both models are distinguished by their robust construction, their functional and compact design, and their high-efficiency servo drive technology without pneumatics. As an option, the compensating stackers can be equipped with an inline topsheet printing and the automatic format adjustment system.

Compensating stackers for postpress processing:
  • MultiStack MTS
  • PostStack PSK

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Product category: Mailroom equipment

Space-saving and product-gentle storage system for postpress processing

MultiDisc is a high-performance, space-saving storage system for newspaper and magazine processing that is gentle on products. The system is format-independent, and all adjustments to changing product lengths are rendered unnecessary. In addition to intralogistic applications, the mobile disc carrier is also suitable for interconnection with external users.

Storage system for postpress processing:
  • MultiDisc

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Product category: Mailroom equipment

Generate added value with Ferag systems

When it comes to the efficiency of a modern mailroom, added value like stitching, trimming, folding, gluing, foil wrapping and addressing are now factors that spell success. They offer both publisher and advertiser new ways to promote the publisher's own products and produce them in a magazine-like quality. Innovative special advertising formats also generate interactivity between the reader and advertiser and turn the newspaper into an attractive advertising platform. The return on Investment of a mailroom thus becomes equally attractive. All components in the area of added value can also be integrated into an installation as a modular retrofit.

Added Value for postpress processing:
  • Stitching
  • Trimming
  • Foil wrapping
  • Folding
  • Addressing 
  • Gluing
  • Infix
  • Tapefix
  • MemoStick

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Product category: Inserting machines

Reliable inserting for every speed

Only the rotary inserting concept from Ferag is able to dependably meet today's demands for performance, stability and inserting volume without compromise. Next to the compact EasySert and Rollsert models for the lower and middle circulation ranges, several versions of the MultiSertDrum inserting drum cover the whole spectrum of modern newspaper production, up to the very top. The two RollStream and Flystream precollecting systems enable a phased upgrade to a maximum of 40 hopper stations for commercial brochures and magazines.

Inserting systems for postpress processing:
  • EasySert ESR
  • RollSertDrum RSD
  • MultiSertDrum MSD

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Product category: Inserting machines

High performance in gathering/stitching for postpress processing

For the industrial postpress processing of magazines and periodicals in the high-speed sector, the UniDrum system is unsurpassed in terms of speed and flexibility. With production speeds of up to 40,000 copies an hour for A4 products and 32,000 for A3 products, the UniDrum achieves maximum efficiency while lowering costs per copy to a minimum. What's more, PreTronics for fully automatic format presetting makes for extremely short set-up times, while QualityEye detects skewed copies or incomplete sections, which in turn ensures very low levels of waste. In combination with the high performance SNT-50 trimming drum and the tried-and-tested inserting drum, trimming and inserting can be accomplished without a loss of performance. So net output comes very close to gross output. Single-copy addressing and foil-wrapping of products can also be integrated as and when required.

Gathering / Stitching for postpress processing:
  • UniDrum UDR
  • TriServer TSR

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Product category: Inserting machines

New standards for the processing of advertising inserts

When processing advertising inserts for freesheets and weekly newspapers, in terms of efficiency Ferag is setting new standards. Whether it's with a cover, TapeFix, foil or folded insert – EasySert, RollSert in combination with FlyStream and one2out are the perfect solutions. The feeder processes all kinds of advertising brochures and magazines ergonomically and with high precision. And the repair system is a huge advantage. It returns incomplete collections to the loop and thus guarantees 100% quality. In addition, gap-free zoned production increases efficiency and boosts net output by a multiple factor. Time and money can also be saved at the planning stage thanks to the Optimizer, a Navigator control application. At the press of a button, numerous algorithms run in the background to calculate the perfect production strategy in a matter of seconds.

Systems for processing advertising inserts:
  • EasySert ESR
  • RollSert RSD
  • One2out

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Product category: Inserting machines

Ferag Tapefix: an economically and environmentally sound alternative to foil wrapping

Foil is increasingly attracting criticism in public debate. With a further development of its Tapefix technology, Ferag AG now wants to offer an environmentally friendly alternative for sealing print products.

Climate neutrality and the conservation of fossil resources are increasingly taking centre stage in political debate and the resulting legal requirements. With this in mind, major companies in the branch – such as postal companies, magazine publishers and distributors of direct advertising – are on the lookout for suitable alternatives.

Over the past few months, Ferag AG – a provider of innovative finishing technology for high-circulation print production – has been casting a critical eye on foil wrapping, which has been used for packaging print products for decades. This has led to a further development of Ferag’s Tapefix technology, which offers a reliable alternative to the foil wrapping of newspapers, magazines and booklets.

Foil wrapping is not only used for freesheets and newspapers, but also for packaging individual, high-quality periodicals. Additionally, preferred periodicals are wrapped in foil both at home and abroad, and bundled advertising supplements delivered to customers directly in plastic bags. In Germany, one of the most well-known examples of this is the “Einkauf aktuell” periodical delivered by Deutsche Post.

The approximate cost of the foil used is around €6.50 per 1000 copies, depending on the amount of advertising material to be wrapped.

Detachable adhesive strips

Tapefix from Ferag has proven a popular solution for several years now. Every week, millions of advertising supplements that have been collected via machine are then fastened and bundled with detachable adhesive strips using this technology.

Tapefix is currently undergoing further development at Ferag, with the goal of also offering the possibility of sealing on the open side – the cut-edge. This step is then made online at production speeds of up to 30,000 copies per hour. In the process, two custom-fit adhesive strips are fed in via a mobile device. The positioning of the strips can be adjusted according to the product. The product, which is suspended in the Ferag universal conveyor, is then sealed on the open side. Additional operating personnel are not necessary for the gluing module.

The product size can vary between 420 x 300 cm (approx. DIN A3) and 210 x 148 cm (DIN A5). Collections with a thickness of between 2 mm and 12 mm can be processed. The 19-mm-wide Tapefix adhesive tape is wound on reels measuring 8000 metres in length. A pallet with 48 reels (minimum quantity) is priced at €14,160. Assuming a tape length per copy of 2 x 40 mm, this results in material costs of €2.95 per 1000 copies – less than half the costs seen when using foil.

Smaller environmental footprint

The added value in economical terms not only comes from cutting material costs in half, but also in the need for fewer personnel during production and the significant increase in production speed. This is in addition to the smaller environmental footprint.

Tapefix technology uses a specially developed material made of natural fibre that can be removed without leaving residues. It is thus fully recyclable and can be composted or disposed of as waste paper. Ferag is also pushing for “Cradle to Cradle” certification for the Tapefix material.

On a socio-political level, foil wrapping is clearly not seen as an acceptable solution in many countries. As a result, the reputation of the packaging company suffers. The new technology not only avoids this, but also achieves a significant increase in quality.

Ferag is currently in discussions with numerous postal service providers, with their requirements all included in the development process. The start of the concept phase is planned for the second quarter of 2021 and Ferag is eagerly awaiting the feedback from potential users. The product should then be ready for the market at the end of 2021.

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Product category: Spare parts, wearing parts and lubricants

Bring your system up to date and extend the life-time of your system.

With a retrofit package, you can modernize your system quickly and efficiently so that it can cope with its demanding tasks over the next few years. Our retrofit services can be applied to individual machines as well as to an entire production system. You benefit from the latest developments in mechanics, electronics and software. Retrofitting prove to be worthwhile investments in the future. At the same time, they extend the service life of your system.

Your profit:
  • Modernisation of your system with the latest technology
  • Increased production reliability
  • Increased machine availability
  • Extension of the service life of the system
  • Investments can be planned and budgeted

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Product category: Spare parts, wearing parts and lubricants

We analyse and check your system in every detail. We identify possibilities to increase performance.

Production stoppages cost a lot of money. Our qualified service technicians can counteract this in a targeted manner. With the help of condition analyses, we determine the actual condition of your system and point out where possibilities exist for increasing performance. At the same time, by replacing obsolete components, we bring existing systems back up to date.

An integral part of the analysis is a report in which we work with you to define short-, medium- and long-term measures. Adequate maintenance will provide you with additional operational reliability so that you can continue to produce at a high performance level in the future. At the same time, you preserve your investment.

Your profit:
  • Optimization of machine utilization, reduction of unplanned downtime
  • Improving quality and productivity
  • Proactive detection of productivity problems
  • Identification of obsolete components and recommendation of replacement components
  • Development of long-term strategies to maintain the investment

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Product category: Spare parts, wearing parts and lubricants

Gain more safety with regular maintenance. We ensure high productivity and a long service life for your system.

Systematic maintenance detects weak points at an early stage and thus helps to avoid operational bottlenecks. We tailor our maintenance contracts to your individual needs and cover all necessary services. While our service technicians maintain your system, they also share their know-how with you so that you can make optimum use of your system. All maintenance costs are transparent and plannable during the term of the contract. Thanks to preventive maintenance, you minimize the risk of system downtimes.

Your profit:
  • Early detection of vulnerabilities
  • Increased production reliability
  • Prevention of failures
  • Customer-specific maintenance contracts
  • Transparent and predictable service costs

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Product category: Spare parts, wearing parts and lubricants

We guarantee our customers the supply of high-quality and reliable original parts.

Your production system is based on proven Swiss mechanical engineering quality. All parts are optimally matched to the machines and systems. We therefore exclusively recommend the use of original parts in order to guarantee the high demands on reliability and value retention. In return, you will always benefit from the latest development status of our original parts. Their precise manufacture ensures high machine availability and reduces downtimes. Our specialists will support you in identifying suitable parts and assist you in efficient order processing.

Your profit:
  • Highest safety and quality due to original parts
  • Spare and wear parts optimized for your machine
  • Tested and precision-manufactured parts
  • Long service life of the parts
  • Twelve months warranty for each spare part

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Product category: Spare parts, wearing parts and lubricants

Our knowledge - your profit. Together, we will exploit the full potential of your system.

In order to operate a system efficiently, to avoid downtimes and to adapt faster to new challenges, qualified and trained operating personnel is indispensable. When commissioning a new installation, we train your employees on the new technology. We attach great importance to the fact that your personnel learn in theory and practice and are prepared for all possible scenarios. We will work out our training offers and refreshing courses together with you so that the know-how in your company is not only retained but also systematically expanded.

We are happy to support you with individually tailored services so that you can concentrate on your core competence and your customers. Our specialists analyse your production requirements and select the optimum solution for you from an economic and technical point of view.

Your profit:
  • Thorough training
  • Increased personnel safety
  • Improved response time of your operators
  • Refresher courses
  • Training according to your wishes
  • Consulting in all technical and economic questions
  • Optimization of your production process

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Product category: Spare parts, wearing parts and lubricants

We are at your side for advice and action whenever and wherever you need us.

Market access through trusting relationships is the foundation of our long-term orientation. With our sales and service organizations, we have a global presence and support you in your own language. Whenever you need technical support, our service technicians are on hand to solve problems in the shortest possible time. In addition, we support you with our 24/7 hotline around the clock via telephone and remote support. We can check the condition of the system and eliminate malfunctions as quickly as possible.

Your profit:
  • Available at any time, 24/7 hotline
  • We speak your language
  • Local services worldwide
  • Competent contact persons on site
  • Large network

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Product category: Used machinery dealers

Graphicscout24 the number one marketplace when it comes to used machines in the graphics industry!

E-marketplace for used machines in the graphic arts industry

Everything from a single source:

  • This means not only buying or selling, but also the associated services.
Benefit from:
  • Condition assessment, professional relocation, commissioning, maintenance, upgrades & retrofits, process optimisation and training & consulting, according to your needs!
Request a brochure:
  • You can conveniently order the individual brochures or the entire service catalogue free of charge via our contact form.
Spare parts and components:
  • Market for spare parts and individual components of machines (“clickandbuy”)
  • With clickandbuy, spare parts can be purchased immediately.
  • The seller sends his offer to GraphicScout24 in accordance with point 6. GTC. Spare parts from damaged, defective or excessively used machine systems cannot in principle be offered for sale.
  • The seller is liable for the proper functioning and good condition of the spare part, and for delivery within 5 working days.
  • The buyer selects a spare part using clickandbuy and immediately pays the price to GraphicScout24 including delivery in advance. GraphicScout24 confirms receipt of payment to the seller, thereby triggering delivery to the seller.
  • The buyer immediately notifies GraphicScout24 of the receipt of the spare parts delivery. GraphicScout24, after confirming receipt and after expiry of the buyer’s cancellation period, forwards the purchase price payment, less the commission, to the seller.
  • GraphicScout24’s commission amounts to 9% of the purchase price, in any case for a spare part purchase at least CHF / USD 150.
  • The buyer will raise any complaints with GraphicScout24 immediately.
  • The buyer has a free right of withdrawal within 5 working days of receipt of the delivery. If he exercises his right of withdrawal, he must notify GraphicScout24 and the seller in due time and hand over the returned goods within the withdrawal period to the public postal service or to a licensed postal service for return to the seller. The buyer will bear the cost of the return delivery and half of GraphicScout24’s commission. GraphicScout24 will return the payment to the buyer when receipt of the return delivery has been reported or when the buyer provides proof of the return delivery by means of proof of posting.
  • GraphicScout24 is entitled to temporarily or permanently exclude sellers and buyers who have outstanding debts from a clickandbuy transaction from the e-marketplace.

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Company news

Date

Topic

22 Mar 2021

More capacity for additional printing jobs

The printing plant at the Grafschafter Nachrichten in Nordhorn is benefiting from the consolidation of newspaper printing operations in north-west Germany. Additional production orders require more capacity – especially when it comes to processing inserts in the mailroom. Thanks to the expansion of the Ferag technology with additional hoppers on the precollecting line and improvements in loading newspaper bundles, GN is able to cope with its new tasks with ease.

The Grafschafter Nachrichten (GN) are the local daily newspapers for the County of Bentheim district in north-west Germany, which is situated directly on the Dutch border. The independent, family-run publishing house is based in the district town of Nordhorn. The publishing house runs its own printing plant here, with around 45 employees (full-time equivalents), a 32-page printing press and a mailroom equipped with Ferag technology dating back to 2013. A dynamic DiscPool buffer system and RollSertDrum inserting drum with connected FlyStream precollecting line allow for optimized offline production in postpress processing according to capacities.

Jobs from ZGO now printed in Nordhorn

The printing plant experienced a significant increase in workload at the start of the year. Since 1 January 2021, Zeitungsgruppe Ostfriesland (ZGO) has had all of its daily newspapers and freesheets printed here. This new printing job includes the Ostfriesen-Zeitung with a daily circulation of 31,000 copies and the General-Anzeiger for the southern part of East Frisia, which has a circulation of 9000 copies. This is in addition to a smaller printing job for the Borkumer Zeitung, with 1000 copies printed here on the press four times a week.

Prior to this, a total of around 30,000 copies of the Grafschafter Nachrichten and Ostfriesische Nachrichten (also a ZGO publication) were printed each night. “This means we have more than doubled our daily printing capacity,” explains operations manager Maik Hofsink. The 85,000 copies of the East Frisian freesheet Sonntags-Report have already been printed here since the end of March. In future, this means that virtually all of East Frisia will be supplied with daily newspapers and freesheets printed in Nordhorn. “This reaches as far as Wilhelmshaven, which is 200 kilometres away,” says Maik Hofsink, emphasizing the scope and challenges from a logistics perspective. In order to now be able to print five daily newspapers overnight, investments were already made in platemaking and print technology in 2020.

Challenging inserts

A major challenge lies in the processing of the advertising supplements inserted in the freesheets. Depending on the distribution area, up to 18 supplements are inserted in the local Sonntagszeitung. The Sonntags-Report can even contain as many as 20 inserts at the same time, with 1.2 million inserts processed in each production phase. With this in mind, GN added further hoppers to the Ferag technology in its mailroom. The mailroom installation is now equipped with 19 of these hoppers, six more than before. Main products and preprints can be fed via the DiscPool or MultiDisc unwinder.

Among the new hopper modules is the specialized SingleSheetFeeder from the Ferag portfolio, which requires very little manpower thanks to its large-capacitymagazine with a filling height of 980 mm. Sheet grammages ranging from 35 to 240 g/m2 can be processed. The SingleSheetFeeder is mobile and can be deployed at any desired position of a FlyStream.

 “Compared to 2019, we have more than doubled the number of processed inserts,” reports Maik Hofsink. A high-bay warehouse has been set up in order to store the additional inserts, with the addition of an external warehouse for Euro pallets and other material during the year. Due to the extensive insert bundles in the individual copies, bundles of twelve and even ten are constantly processed in the GN mailroom. “As a result, investments have been made in a third Ferag MultiStack compensating stacker with packaging line, with further significant modernizations made in dispatching the finished newspaper bundles using a PKT plate chain from Ferag,” comments Maik Hofsink.

“Uncomplicated adjustments to the project plan”

The carriers and their drivers also benefit here. The conveyor belts now extend up to four metres into the vehicles, meaning stacking by hand has been significantly reduced.  The drivers now decide how the bundles are stacked in their vehicles and at what height. As a result, the loading speed during shipment has been increased by one-third.

In the opinion of Maik Hofsink, the cooperation with Ferag is “very good”, with outstanding performance from both the team on site and the project manager. Any necessary adjustments to the project plan were made with a minimum of fuss and in the best interests of the customer. Hofsink: “When converting the bundle dispatch, Ferag offered us a very good solution so that we were able to continue production with fewer restrictions than planned. This was a great project, and the performance of the system has been improved significantly.”

There were also some major changes in terms of personnel, with 15 new staff employed solely for dealing with the additional inserts. 

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23 Feb 2021

EasySert – an efficient addition to existing Ferag technology

Thanks to a new EasySert inserting line, the increasing insert volumes seen at the newspaper printing plant at Medienhaus Aachen can now be processed much more efficiently. Compared to the previously used system from another provider, advertising freesheets or preprints can now be filled twice as quickly with up to 24 inserts and processed ready for delivery.

Euregio Druck GmbH, which is managed as a profit centre, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aachener Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (AVG) and the operator of the newspaper printing plant. Since the company was founded in summer 2011, a KBA Commander CT printing press has been in operation here, together with two Ferag mailroom lines with MSD inserting drums in the adjacent mailroom (Aachener Presse-Versand GmbH). According to operations manager Andree Trautmann and the some 60 full-time staff and many other employees working at Euregio Druck and Aachener Presse-Versand, creating a high-quality product is their daily objective.

The focus here is on newspapers and similar products, which are printed seven days a week. Around 90,000 copies of the daily newspapers Aachener Zeitung and Aachener Nachrichten are produced six days a week in 17 different local editions. The many local editions of the advertising freesheet Zeitung am Sonntag are also printed here, with a weekly circulation of around 330,000 copies. This is in addition to printing jobs from other newspaper companies and a series of official journals for the region – in Rhenish (350 x 510 mm) or tabloid (255 x 350 mm) format.

Various insert carriers possible

In 2012, the two Ferag lines at the mailroom in Aachen were each equipped with ten JetFeeders for adding inserts. This has proven insufficient in many cases in recent years, meaning an additional precollecting option was created. Due to the quantities involved and the available time window, this option was replaced by a highly specialized system from Ferag last year.

Consisting of an EasySert inserting drum, a FlyStream precollecting line and 24 JetFeeder hoppers, this third finishing line is the perfect addition to the existing Ferag mailroom technology. Around 80 percent of the available capacity is taken up by insertion in preprints, with advertising freesheets handled on the EasySert one day a week.

Operations manager Andree Trautmann: “The inserts are inserted either in a specially produced main jacket made of 120-g paper, in another insert or in a newspaper preprint.” Preprints like these in which insertion is made can be fed automatically from reels. Main jackets, carrier inserts or preprints are opened via the overlap or with suction heads. The finished collections are then bundled on three MultiStack compensating stackers – which were purchased together with the EasySert line – before being laminated and cross-strapped. In this way, they can be supplied separately and inserted with a minimum of fuss during delivery by the respective delivery person.

“Very well organized”

The conversion work in the finishing hall was started by Ferag in May 2020, with commissioning beginning in August. The space on offer proved a challenge here. However, Ferag not only offered a suggestion for the layout of the new line within the space available, but also for how the step-by-step commissioning process should proceed. Andree Trautmann: “The existing system was around ten metres away. This meant the FlyStream precollecting line was first put into operation on one side – with twelve JetFeeders on just one side of the line – before the other side followed one week later. Naturally, space was then at a premium for a few days. After we saw how well production was running on the new line two weeks later, the old system was then dismantled.”

As the operations manager at Euregio Druck confirms, the system was quickly running at full production. He is also full of praise for the project management by Ferag: “Everything was very well organized.”

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20 Jan 2021

Tapping into new markets for newspaper printing with Ferag stitching and trimming drums

The printing plant at Somedia Partner AG in Haag in eastern Switzerland is targeting new markets with state-of-the-art printing and finishing technology. Thanks to a StreamStitch stitching system and an SNT-50 trimming drum from Ferag, the plant is now also able to manufacture newspaper-like products that go beyond classic daily and weekly newspapers.

In Haag – located in the Rheintal south of Lake Constance in the canton of St. Gallen – Somedia Partner AG produces several daily and weekly regional newspapers at its printing plant, which was built in 2003. 51 million newspaper copies are printed here each year for readers across eastern and south-eastern Switzerland, plus the neighbouring Principality of Liechtenstein. Around 40 employees work here seven days a week, with double shifts from Monday to Friday.

Somedia Partner AG has three independent publishers as shareholders – Somedia Press AG from Chur (Switzerland), Sarganserländer Druck AG from Mels (Switzerland) and Vaduzer Medienhaus AG (Vaduz/Principality of Liechtenstein) – with each of the three partners holding one-third of the share capital.

Somedia Partner AG has ordered a new Commander CL newspaper press from Koenig & Bauer, which is planned to start operation at the printing plant in the summer or autumn of 2021. With its three rubber/rubber four-high towers and three reel stands, the machine is able to print up to 50,000 copies per hour. The high level of automation will then allow for print runs that are double the current volume.

Step-by-step modernization and expansion of the mailroom

In 2009 and 2013, Somedia Partner AG used Ferag technology in two product phases when establishing one of the most modern finishing and mailroom systems in the region. Two finishing lines, each equipped with one RollSertDrum insertion system, produce newspapers with advertising supplements inserted that differ by region. Both Ferag production lines are equipped with inkjet technology for individual addressing of the newspaper copies.

The eight regional newspapers printed each day have a circulation of 120,000 copies and individual print runs of between 3500 and 35,000 copies. This results in over 1000 plate changes in each overnight production. The 48,000 copies of the Liechtensteiner Woche are printed from Saturday night to Sunday morning. This is in addition to 20 weekly regional titles with print runs of between 1500 and 72,000 copies.

Increase in capacity utilization

With an upgrade to the printing machinery planned for 2021, Somedia Partner used the summer of 2020 to further expand its Ferag technology in the mailroom – despite the coronavirus pandemic. The StreamStitch stitching drum and SNT trimming drum now also allow coldset products to be manufactured with a separate main jacket or in different substrates at the full speed of 36,000 cycles per hour.

As the StreamStitch and SNT were already taken into account when planning the mailroom layout during the project in 2013, the installation and integration of the additional Ferag machinery went off without a hitch. As a result, only the routing of the UTR conveyor chain had to be adjusted.

Somedia Partner AG already produces newspaper inserts for its three publishing partners, plus commercial printing products for external customers. However, Urs Zieri (CEO at Somedia Partner AG) is convinced that there is an attractive market for high-quality and – thanks to coldset printing – cost-effective print products in Switzerland and neighbouring countries. With the new technology and flexible team in Haag, Zieri wants to increasingly focus on these markets in future and increase the existing capacity utilization at the printing plant. The acquisition of several new customers and regular orders seen in recent weeks has made the company optimistic that the concept can be a success.

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15 Dec 2020

Fast EasySert system allows for efficient insert-in-insert processing

Baumann Druck – the web offset printing plant for job printing at mgo Mediengruppe Oberfranken in Kulmbach – is a successful producer of printed commercial advertising. In order to ensure the requirements of “insert-in-insert” processing are met efficiently, Baumann has now invested in an EasySert system from Ferag. The positive experiences of working with the Swiss manufacturer made the decision to invest an easy one.

In November 2019, mgo Mediengruppe Oberfranken pooled together six companies under the mgo360 name, offering holistic agency and marketing services under a single roof. Baumann Druck is one of these six companies, in addition to digital agency Edelweiss72, advertising agency Hochvier, creo Druck & Medienservice, Druckzentrum Oberfranken and advertising producer P&H.

“The number of marketing and communication channels has increased constantly in recent years. On one hand, we want to offer clarity to customers in this increasingly complex marketing landscape, while also simplifying handling and interaction between these channels on the other,” explains Jörg Schild-Müller, CEO of mgo360.

At the Kulmbach plant, Baumann Druck focuses primarily on printed commercial advertising. Around 150 employees working in order management, prepress, printing, finishing, in-house transportation and the service workshop ensure smooth production on four heatset printing presses. The main production units are three Manroland Lithoman presses for formats of up to 80 pages, and one Manroland Octoman for eight pages. The majority of the products leave the printing presses as finished products. A smaller portion is sent to cutting machines, folding machines and gatherer-stitchers for finishing into the final product.

A new addition to the finishing portfolio

The impetus for the latest investment made in finishing came from “insert-in-insert” processing as required by the customer. In order to insert larger volumes within a short space of time, Baumann Druck ordered a complete Ferag system consisting of an EasySert inserting drum, a FlyStream precollecting line and two JetFeeder insert feeders.

mgo Mediengruppe Oberfranken already had very positive experiences of working with Ferag in the past. Jörg Schild-Müller: “Five years ago, Ferag played a big part in the success of an investment project at our newspaper printing plant at Druckzentrum Oberfranken by reliably keeping to the agreed budgets, schedule and operational performance requirements. This laid the groundwork for successful cooperation with Baumann Druck.”

The contract for the EasySert line was signed in mid-March, with the start of production planned for mid-July 2020. The potential operational performance of various insertion options was analyzed by Ferag prior to conclusion of the contract and included in the agreement as performance guarantees.

Insert-in-insert processing is nothing new for the Kulmbach-based company. However, prior to the commissioning of the EasySert line, this insertion was either bought in from third parties or carried out in-house using another, more technically complex process.

An evaluation of economic feasibility carried out in 2019 clearly favoured a fast, highly specialized insertion system such as the combination of EasySert and FlyStream, which is designed for 30,000 cycles per hour. The system is manually loaded in Kulmbach and the bundles are also removed and stacked by hand. Thanks to the two JetFeeders and the main product hopper on the inserting drum, two different inserts can now be inserted into another “carrier” insert.

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30 Oct 2020

Whether thick insert bundles or regionalized daily newspapers, the flexible EasySert solution meets all requirements

The spectacular printing centre at Verlagsgruppe Rhein-Main in Rüsselsheim was put into operation exactly a decade ago. VRM Druck is now switching over to high-performance Ferag technology in the mailroom. Although print runs for daily newspapers have dropped by one-third since 2010, the volume of inserts has increased significantly during this time. With the Ferag EasySert inserting drums, VRM Druck believes it now has the best possible technology at its disposal for meeting this challenge.

The printing centre in Rüsselsheim has operated under the VRM Druck name since September 2017 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of VRM. The centre was established as a joint venture between the former Verlagsgruppe Rhein-Main (now VRM) and the former Medienhaus Südhessen, now Echo Medien and a subsidiary of VRM. Since 2010, the majority of the daily newspapers in the VRM portfolio, including the Allgemeine Zeitung (Mainz), the Wiesbadener Kurier and the Darmstädter Echo, have been produced at VRM Druck. On a total of four production lines, up to 180,000 newspaper copies of 48 pages can be produced per hour. The production technology at the printing plant in Rüsselsheim is also used by external customers for their printed products.

Up to 24 inserts in a single pass

VRM Druck made the decision to invest in a replacement of the mailroom technology installed back in 2010 as it has become “increasingly in need of repair” and is also only able to insert a maximum of 14 inserts in a single pass, which is often no longer sufficient.

Over the course of the coming one and a half years, the existing five inserting and bundling lines from a competitor will be replaced by three Ferag lines featuring hoppers for 14, 20 and 24 inserts. In future, this means the shortest line will be as long as the longest one currently in operation. As Martin Kümmerling, spokesman for the management at VPM Druck, reports, there is a clear “trend towards more inserts that we have to meet”. The Ferag lines are also designed and positioned in such a way that all three can still be expanded.

Martin Kümmerling: “We process a lot more inserts today compared to ten years ago. The technology thus has to be able to insert weights of 800 to 1000 grams and transport the inserts safely to the first strapping point without the bundle falling apart.” This is no problem for the Ferag systems.

The fact that just three Ferag lines will replace the five existing inserting lines (of which four were always in operation) is down on one hand to the decline in print runs for daily newspapers – around 210,000 copies are printed on weekdays in Rüsselsheim and around 230,000 copies from Friday night to Saturday morning. On the other hand, it is also assumed that the Ferag technology will lead to faster processing.

Nonetheless, the management at VRM Druck ultimately decided on EasySert inserting drums in combination with FlyStream precollecting lines. The EasySert is designed for 30,000 collections per hour, which is less than that offered by the RSD and MSD drums (36,000 and 45,000 collections per hour, respectively). However, at VRM Druck these drums are suitable for both overnight production of daily newspapers and day shifts, where advertising freesheets are primarily printed.

EasySert is the perfect fit

Martin Kümmerling: “In any case, EasySert/FlyStream has a purely offline configuration. As our overnight print run is divided up into 17 local editions, we have fairly short printing slots between which we have to swap the plates and change the volumes. Our printing presses in production are faster than the mailroom. However, as all simulations have demonstrated, we can change over the versions faster in the mailroom and thus catch up with the printing press. This means that the slowest Ferag drum is sufficient for our needs, not to mention cheaper.”

However, according to Martin Kümmerling the EasySert is designed first and foremost to also cope with extensive insert bundles. “The maximum speed is critical when printing daily newspapers,” comments the VRM Druck manager. “However, these usually have no more than four inserts, which doesn’t slow down the system.” During the day, however, VRM Druck has to be able to insert up to 24 inserts in the weekly newspapers – in small batches down to 3000 copies. According to Kümmerling, this is where EasySert comes into its own. His company then chose this system as “the largest generated value can thus be achieved using EasySert in the mailroom, meaning it is superior to the other drums from our point of view”.

Over a million copies of such weekly newspapers – with correspondingly high insert volumes – are currently processed in the VRM printing centre. The more inserts added in a single pass, the greater the chance that a difficult-to-process insert will slow down the complete procedure. As a result, an inserting drum with a higher possible speed would not be of any use.

On its four printing press segments, VRM Druck has five folders with one used as back-up. However, the remaining ones are either linked to the three planned Ferag mailroom lines or lead to a winding station for the intermediate storage of preprints, for example. In any case, VRM Druck only uses three printing presses in overnight production.

Long commissioning phases planned

The switchover to Ferag at VRM Druck is planned to last one and a half years. Delivery of the first parts by the Swiss manufacturer will commence in November 2020, with the project planned for completion in the first quarter of 2022. One of the five lines in Rüsselsheim has already been dismantled, with four hoppers removed from the fourth line to create sufficient space for the first Ferag line, which will initially be installed in slightly shortened form. Following this, the remaining lines will be replaced at intervals of around four months.

“Our goal is to always keep four lines ready for production. This means we work in stages and leads to a protracted project,” explains Martin Kümmerling. However, past experiences were also considered when drawing up the commissioning schedule. A lot of extra time has been planned for each line for training on operation and maintenance, with a comprehensive training package ordered. VRM Druck wants to start on the first Ferag line with fixed teams, meaning the entire mailroom staff will not be retrained on the Ferag system immediately. The following lines will also be operated by fixed teams with the corresponding training, leading to mixed production involving both systems that will last over a year.

Printing plant manager Kümmerling sees only one problem: the discs on the existing system cannot be unwound on the Ferag systems, nor the other way round. “If we want to be able to insert using both technologies, then we have to insert the main products on the compensating stacker on pallets and by hand. Only then is it possible to juggle around with the volumes involved. To be on the safe side, this is what we will do at the beginning.”

Additional compensating stacker

The new Ferag technology in Rüsselsheim is equipped with inline inkjet printing directly in the chain and will be used each night for around 3000 copies. Two of the new Ferag lines feed three compensating stackers each, the longest line is equipped with four Ferag MultiStack units as a bundle is created every two seconds when handling 24 inserts: “If there is a fault on the compensating stacker or the bundling downstream, this would result in an overrun.” However, the overall configuration is designed so that this fourth compensating stacker can also be supplied directly on the chain from the folders in order to set down preprints on pallets, for example.

The final step of the project will see the commissioning of two layer palletizers from Segbert, which will be positioned at the end of the two longest mailroom lines and create complete, fully wrapped and thus stable pallets. This is because a fairly significant part of the VRM portfolio is transported by large trucks and thus requires corresponding securing of the cargo, which is currently still being made via semi-manual wrapping.

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About us

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Ferag AG, with its headquarters at Hinwil in Switzerland, has for over 60 years been known and respected in the printing industry for high quality, absolute dependability and perfect customer support. The traditional, family-owned company is seen as the undisputed market and technological leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of postpress processing and direct mailing systems. Ferag is also a specialist in innovative conveyor and processing technology for the most varied industrial applications and goods distribution systems. Through its worldwide sales organization, the company is active in more than 20 countries with its own sales and service companies or representatives.

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Foundation 1957

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