The figures are mind-blowing: P.V.S. processed over a billion pamphlets with a total weight of 33,356 tons in Sopron last year. That corresponds to almost four million copies or almost 130 tons per day! Those staggering quantities are the result, 21 years on, of a simple business idea that Erich Romano and his business partner Johann Ungerböck came up with in 1991. To enable advertisers to save on delivery costs, Romano and Ungerbück bundled pamphlets for their clients. They sorted and ordered them and delivered them, affixed to a cover, to households. Two decades later, the business model has been refined, but the basic principle remains the same.
P.V.S. Managing Director Erich Romano (left): “The new Integro 300 gives us much higher production reliability.” Center: Horge Ciprian (Production Director P.V.S.). Right: Gerhard Urban (Production Manager Muller Martini Austria).
Pamphlets with Inserts
P.V.S., run by Erich Romano and presently headquartered in Müllendorf, Austria, today produces advertising pamphlets with inserts at its plant in Sopron (seven kilometers from the Austrian border), which opened in 2007. Numerous prominent retail chains such as XXXLutz, Kika and Leiner have advertising pamphlets produced at P.V.S in print runs of between 100,000 and 10 million copies for households in Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Croatia. In Germany and Austria, the products are almost always inserted in newspapers.
Up to eight inserts and inserted cards draw attention to special offers, enhancing the attractiveness of the advertising pamphlets. The number and type of the inserts, which occasionally are even larger than the main jacket, vary depending on regional sales offers and geo data, which likewise have a great influence on the up to 125 different zones. The main jacket varies in form from a thin folded A4 sheet to up to 96 pages.
“Many printing houses don’t have the machine line-up to insert such large quantities,” says Romano, explaining his company’s success. “What’s more, we’re able to produce those large quantities extremely quickly,” says the innovative businessman. To ensure the pamphlets are up to date (because of price wars between chains of stores), our customers need them to be delivered increasingly quickly or for larger print runs to be delivered in the same timeframe.”
The first main post office of Österreichische POST AG (the Austrian postal service) outside Austria has been located at P.V.S. in Sopron since 2008, ensuring that both the inserting process and delivery are faultless. “It’s a win-win situation for the postal service and for us,” says Romano.
In order to be able to process the constantly increasing quantities (Romano explains that “advertising brochures are undiminished in popularity”), P.V.S, which employs 55 people in Sopron from Monday to Friday in three shifts, has relied on inserting systems from Muller Martini for many years. At the end of last year, six Biliners and two AlphaLiners were joined by a brand-new Integro 300 with two twin feeders and three single feeders, loaded using stream feeders, and a Robusto compensating stacker. It is the first inserting machine of this type worldwide.
“Since we have been very impressed by Muller Martini over the years, naturally the Integro was at an advantage when it came to evaluating which new machine to buy,” says Romano. However, in addition to the automatic signature infeed (“which makes life easier and less stressful for operators”), it was above all two technical innovations of the size variable inserting system that made up Romano’s mind. “First, the special construction with two openings enables two-up production, which means we can produce much faster. Second, the system uses the channel principle, instead of the pockets as in the past. It really comes into its own with thin paper in particular.”
The channel principle of the Integro 300 really comes into its own with thin paper in particular.
Higher Level of Production Reliability
When Romano technically inspected and approved the two-up Integro 300 in fall 2011 at the Muller Martini plant in Zofingen, he set out an ambitious goal: “We want to achieve net production of 50,000 copies per hour, which, as far as I’m aware, would be a record on the market using suction opening technology.” P.V.S. has not quite achieved that target in the first months of operation, but Romano is very satisfied with the introductory phase.
“Earlier we occasionally had to turn down jobs, because we had no more free capacity. Thanks to the new Integro 300 we not only have greater capacity, but also much higher production reliability. That has been particularly evident in months with a large flow of jobs. I certainly have far fewer headaches and can sleep much easier now.”
Thanks to numerous quality checks (double and misfeed control, Casac signature thickness measurement) inserting quality is “sensational”, as is stack formation with a Robusto compensating stacker and a cross strapping solution from Scheider & Ozga, Romano says. “It’s important that the stacks are formed quickly and cleanly, otherwise even the quickest inserting machine is of no benefit,” says Romano.
The ability to store jobs on the new Integro 300, which was not possible with older inserting models, also contributes greatly to high productivity. For P.V.S. that is a great advantage given its numerous repeat jobs. Romano is thrilled with the menu navigation of the Integro 300: “Once it is set, it runs extremely reliably, and fine-adjustments are barely necessary throughout the shifts.”