Cox Target Media’s New Valpak Plant to Feature Muller Martini Press Delivery Automation
HAUPPAUGE, NY—12/06/06—Construction is nearing completion one of the most advanced print/mail material processing facility the marketplace has ever seen. Approximately one year ago and following several years of planning, Cox Target Media, producers of the well-known blue Valpak direct marketing coupon envelopes, began building a new $200-million facility in St. Petersburg, FL. In May, 2007, the plant is scheduled to commence operations, representing a quantum leap for the industry in terms of automated production from prepress through finishing and distribution. Press delivery technology from Muller Martini will be a focal point of the new plant.
“The sheer level of automation and system integration throughout the new Valpak plant will be second to none anywhere in our industry,” said Roger P. Bilodeau, Sr. V.P. corporate sales & strategic markets for Muller Martini. “This is it, what our industry has talked about for years, now being brought to realization. . .the first of its kind fully-automated, JDF-compatible and JMF-enabled print manufacturing system.”
Cox Target Media currently prints, stores, inserts, distributes and tracks more than 500 million direct mail envelopes each year. Those envelopes contain approximately 20 billion coupon offers. Once the new 470,000 sq. ft. plant is up and running, Cox will be able to increase production capacity to about 54 billion coupons annually while reducing cycle times and labor costs dramatically. “Our current production process takes four days to create a customer’s product – start to finish. Our new manufacturing process will accomplish that in about four hours,” said Jim Sampey, executive vice president of operations for Cox Target Media. “In our new facility, from the time paper feeds into the printing press, until the postal carrier delivers the blue envelope to consumers, no human hand will touch a coupon.”
Helping to make such a high level of productivity achievable is the press delivery system and digital workflow communications solutions from Muller Martini. The new Valpak plant will employ two 8-unit Goss Sunday 4000 AT web offset presses with up to 12 different products coming into a fully-automated high-speed Muller Martini press delivery system consisting of a Floorveyor, in-line deserting units, Topveyor overhead conveyors, and 12 PrintRoll twin winding stations. The complete press delivery operation will be controlled by the proprietary Muller Martini MACOS (Master Control System). Utilizing JDF and JMF in the CIP4 protocol, the system will track all of the 12 products delivered for print finishing – and for the first time ever in the industry, this “smart” press delivery technology will communicate back to the press, in real time, JMF messaging, to commence auto transfer to begin printing the next set of 12 signatures.
“The process is truly revolutionary, and not only from a press delivery standpoint. The entire new Valpak Manufacturing Center is an innovative vision for the future, a model of end-to-end automated efficiency that the worldwide print industry should pay very close attention to,” continued Muller Martini’s Roger Bilodeau.
In addition to the unprecedented scope of automation that will be implemented, the opening of the new plant will embody a culmination of the most unique and broad-based vendor collaboration in the history of print production. Besides Muller Martini, many other industry pacesetters have been brought together for this project. Each of these world-class suppliers is integrating their expertise and their technologies so that all equipment and systems can interact seamlessly with one another and perform to their fullest capabilities and efficiencies.
“Because of the complexity of this project, we needed partners who could think outside the envelope and come up with solutions to support our ideas and needs,” said Jim Sampey of Cox Target Media. In speaking specifically of Muller Martini, Sampey said, “They are the only ones that could provide a comprehensive, end-to-end press delivery solution.” And he added, “Muller Martini is going above and beyond to ensure successful software and equipment integration.”
About Muller Martini
Muller Martini is the world’s largest producer of print finishing solutions for commercial printers, trade binderies and newspapers as well as short-run and digital book manufacturers. Muller Martini is also the world market-leading manufacturer of variable size web offset presses. The company is the foremost provider of innovative workflow solutions that can empower printers and binding specialists to enhance processing efficiencies, increase profitability and build new revenue streams. With U.S. headquarters in Hauppauge (Long Island), New York and nationwide sales and service support throughout the United States, Muller Martini Corp. serves as the country’s leading source for bindery and printing expertise, providing customer-specific training and responsive service to printers and binderies coast-to-coast.
About Cox Target Media and Valpak
Headquartered in Largo, Florida, Valpak® is owned and operated by Cox Target Media, one of the leading direct marketing companies in North America. The familiar blue Valpak® envelope delivers savings to some 45 million households throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Annually, Valpak® distributes approximately 20 billion offers inserted in more than 500 million envelopes. Cox Target Media is a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Newspapers, owned by Cox Enterprises, Inc., one of the largest media conglomerates in the United States.