Quad/Graphics — Finishing First
Speaking for Ferag Americas, Vice President of Technology Roger Honneger says, "This design required a completely different approach than the standard American approach to bindery equipment. We at Ferag are grateful that Quad understood the uniqueness and stuck with us now into a third complete system."
Paschall feels it is difficult to compare the unit with like systems on the market, mainly because the similar competing systems utilize "stop and go" technology. In effect, he feels the Ferag offering is one of a kind.
"When you speak in terms of total throughput, this system is completely unique to the industry," he remarks. "The Swiss designed it about six years ago and developed the drum design from existing insert technology. This is not a 'stop and go' technology like the conventional saddle-stitcher designs, but a system geared for 35,000 to 40,000 copies per hour.
"Our system is not for everybody," Paschall adds. "Machines from Heidelberg and Muller Martini have the standard stop and go mentality, but it's a linear system—you stand in front of it and feed it. Our system is a different type because of the drum and it doesn't utilize the same feeding mechanisms they use, so it's not a good comparison. You wouldn't put the Ferag system into a medium-sized, $10 million printer with busy bindery work. The other technology would be more cost-effective and flexible for that type of operation."
Not Just Gravure
Paschall feels there is a popular myth about the Ferag being geared only toward gravure runs. "That's just not true," he says. "It changes formats and sizes fast, and it's flexible for versions in web offset. People with many version changes can use it. When Quad was investigating the Ferag, they went for the speed on long-run gravure products, but after a while they realized they can run some web offset on it, and it doesn't have to be for long runs in the millions. They're doing shorter runs, in the 75,000 range and up."