New format, new hall, new press, new mailroom – the “Journal & Courier”, which belongs to America’s largest newspaper publisher, the Gannett Company, Inc., has been shining in sparkling-new glamour since the middle of last year. With the commissioning of its new production facilities outside of Lafayette, the company provided for a double premiere. As the first American daily newspaper to do so, the “Journal & Courier” has appeared in the smaller Berliner format since July 31, 2006, creating about 15 percent lower paper costs. And the paper – the second-oldest in Indiana, founded in 1829 – uses the first PowerWrap system in the world, from Muller Martini, in order to film-wrap its extensive weekend edition.
Operations Director Travis Komidar and Gretchen Walters, from Muller Martini Mailroom Systems, in front of the first PowerWrap film-wrapping system in the world, installed at "Journal & Courier" in Lafayette.
Up to 40 Inserts
“Happily, our insert business has developed positively in recent years,” says Operations Director Travis Komidar. “We had regular growth of seven to ten percent per year. This growth has since flattened.”
The “Journal & Courier” contains between two and twelve inserts from Monday to Saturday - supplied commercials, as well as additional in-house pre-printed editorial contributions and advertisements (the circulation on the six weekdays runs between 38,000 and 40,000 copies). For the Sunday edition, which is printed in a run of between 45,000 and 48,000 copies, the number of the up to 96-pages thick inserts can quickly grow to between 24 and 40, in the widest variety of formats.
Inserts Often Larger Than Main Paper
“Many inserts are larger than the main paper,” says Travis Komidar. “We had several goals in mind for the film wrapping project. The first was to protect the integrity of advertising inserts both from, internal handling damage and from damage after leaving the building. Secondary goals were to continue to create a product that we could get out the door in one piece and address the look of the product – we were going to go to all the trouble to be first with the Berliner and were concerned about the look of the package. This was a particular concern with single copy and most particularly with papers going to outlets.”
Moreover, the numerous coupons for shopping discounts are often coveted items. That is why they decided to provide the Sunday edition with a protective sleeve with the commissioning of the new mailroom. This guarantees the advertising customers that the readers are receiving their papers in full.
Before the “Journal & Courier” decided on the PowerWrap, the new film-wrapping system was put through a rigorous test at Muller Martini's Allentown facility - with several scenarios and the widest variety of inserts. “These tests,” says Travis Komidar, “were very convincing.” The PowerWrap has proved it’s ability to run higher production speeds with small packages, but is still being developed into a machine that can run the largest Sunday packages at acceptable speeds.
SLS3000 for Inserting
The numerous supplements are inserted with a SLS3000, also from Muller Martini. From the new Geoman press, which can print 48 pages in full color, the products reach the 18-station inserting system via a NewsGrip-A conveyors. The finished products are stacked and strapped by two CombiStack bundle forming systems.
Two CombiStack machines stack and strap the film-wrapped newspapers into finished bundles.
“We wanted to have a complete, one-stop mailroom,” Travis Komidar says to explain the “Journal & Courier’s” first-time decision in favor of a total solution from Muller Martini. The publisher’s own “Journal & Courier” is still printed and finished solely in the new production facilities. “It is our declared goal, however,” says Travis Komidar, “to intensify our collaboration with other newspaper publishers and to acquire printing jobs.”
Film-Wrapping Gaining Importance
In addition to stitching and trimming, film-wrapping is also becoming increasingly important in the mailroom. The new PowerWrap film-wrapping unit from Muller Martini, which is integrated in the mailroom system, packages newspapers with inserts into manageable, individual packets.
The newspapers, protected from dirt and water, reach readers intact and the inserted and applied supplements are not lost. Product samples can also easily be applied to the newspaper and subsequently packaged. In this way, all of the information reaches the reader with great reliability.
PowerWrap places inserts and product samples not only on but also under the main section. Its hot glue binding requires fewer adjustments in comparison with sealing, causes fewer odors and provides for a stronger connection. For personalized bundles, PowerWrap can be equipped with an optional inkjet addressing device.