Fully-automated Press Delivery from Muller Martini Bringing Optimal Efficiency to the new Valpak Plant
HAUPPAUGE, NY—11/03/06—When it opens in May, 2007, the now-under-construction Valpak® coupon manufacturing center in St. Petersburg, Florida will be the closest thing to a “lights out” print production operation to be found anywhere in the world. Combining the very latest automated prepress, printing, finishing and distribution technologies from leading suppliers throughout the marketplace, the $200-million plant will be state-of-the-art in every way imaginable...enabling Cox Target Media (producers of the familiar blue Valpak envelopes) to more than double production capacity and simultaneously cut cycle times in half while also lowering labor costs as much as 40%.
Muller Martini, the industry leader in print finishing, is supplying press delivery equipment and digital workflow communications solutions for the project. “The new Valpak lean manufacturing facility is certain to set a new standard for high-tech efficiency and productivity,” said Werner Naegeli, President and CEO of Muller Martini Corp. “Muller Martini is proud and excited to be part of this groundbreaking project, playing a vital role in making the industry’s first fully-automated, JDF-compatible and JMF-enabled print production line a reality.”
When operational, the new Valpak plant will be capable of producing approximately 54 billion coupons annually. On the plant floor will be two Goss Sunday 4000 web offset presses, each with automatic transfer function. Up to 12 different products will be coming into the Muller Martini press delivery system, each running in a defined system run length of about 10,000. Muller Martini’s Floorveyor conveying system with high-speed waste gates and diverting technology will be configured to both presses. Muller Topveyor overhead conveyors with pick-up and delivery stations will then speed product into Muller PrintRoll P-220 twin winding stations. The entire operation will be totally digital, integrated with fully automated storage and retrieval technology from Daifuku America Corp., creating a virtual buffer system.
Controlling press delivery will be the proprietary Muller Martini MACOS JDF-compatible and JMF-enabled Master Control System in the CIP4 protocol. MACOS will provide centralized control and tracking of any and all of the 12 products being delivered – and for the first time in the industry will communicate via JMF back to the press that it’s time to initiate the auto transfer function to begin printing the next set of signatures. In addition, this unique system will also communicate back with Cox Target Media’s planning system at the plant, reporting such data as job status along with specifications that can be utilized in planning future jobs.
As part of the new Valpak plant project, Muller Martini is also providing integrated inserting capabilities, working together with Böwe Bell + Howell Co. (BB+H). Thirty-six fully automatic twin PrintRoll unwinding stations will be spread over 9 inserting and enveloping lines supplied by BB+H.
The bottom line for Cox Target Media will be rapid set-up and faster production throughput, particularly important benefits when you consider that the company produces many different Valpak coupon packets each in relatively small quantities. “Due to the short run lengths at Valpak, integrated communication and hand-offs between each piece of equipment on the entire plant floor will ensure the exact timing for changeovers in real time...avoiding the expensive task of stopping a machine to complete make-ready for the next run,” said Roger P. Bilodeau, Sr. V.P. Corporate Sales & Strategic Markets for Muller Martini.
Muller Martini press delivery technologies are increasingly being installed and utilized at a growing number of print production operations throughout the United States, processing printed products between press and finishing in the most reliable and gentlest way possible to assure the utmost in efficiency and quality.
Muller Martini offers an entire range of automated press delivery machines, each designed to match press speed:
• Floor and overhead conveyors can be custom-created depending on the layout of each customer’s facility, moving printed products quickly and safely from press to post-press.
• Automatic log bundlers maintain superior log quality by tightly controlling the continuous conditioning of signatures.
• Rotary trimmers make precision cuts at full press speed.
• Stackers provide excellent stack quality and accurate count while handling an extensive range of product sizes.
• Automatic palletizers quickly and efficiently process loose or packaged stacks of stitched and adhesive-bound products, shortening production times using less manpower.
• Automated PrintRoll machines enhance the overall speed of a press delivery operation, integrating with all kinds of finishing equipment including saddle stitchers, perfect binders, rotary trimmers, inserting machines, folding units and addressing equipment.
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.