IFRA in Berlin – Muller Martini’s Finishing 4.0 Solutions Met with Great Interest


Muller Martini struck a chord with the newspaper industry with its “Finishing 4.0: Advanced Inserting, Zoning and Workflow Optimization” theme at the three-day IFRA World Publishing Expo & Digital Content Expo in Berlin. Newspaper publishing companies and producers all have the same aim: to produce more cost-effectively.

The importance of IFRA as the leading trade fair for the newspaper industry is underlined by the fact that so many company owners, CEOs, chief technical officers and technical directors visited the Muller Martini booth, says Volker Leonhardt, Head of Marketing and Sales at Muller Martini Print Finishing Systems AG. “Key questions, concerning not only the here and now but also the future, call for an executive presence, giving us the unique opportunity to talk to the right people.” Volker Leonhardt was particularly impressed by how many newspaper professionals from Asia had traveled to Berlin for the event. “That’s remarkable given that the three-day 2018 WAN-IFRA India Conference took place in the Indian city of Hyderabad just a fortnight ago.”

The topics of retrofitting and life cycle management featured strongly in the discussions at the Muller Martini booth.

M.V. Shreyams Kumor, owner of The Mathrubhumi Printing & Publishing Co. Ltd. in Kozhikode, and P.T. Bhasi, General Manager Production & Maintenance, had traveled to Berlin from India for the event. The media company – which also boasts TV and radio stations – prints numerous magazines in addition to a daily newspaper with a circulation of 1.5 million copies. In January, the Prima and a 1509 saddle stitcher that it currently has in operation will be joined by two new Muller Martini Primera MCs. “IFRA is an excellent opportunity for us to learn about the technical state of the art and to network with our partners,” noted the two executives.

Reyad M. Abu Daqar, Deputy CEO of British Industries Printing and Packaging Co. in Kuwait, had also made the long journey to the German capital. In addition to a mailroom with a ProLiner inserting system, the company also has a Muller Martini Diamant MC bookline, an Alegro perfect binder and a Presto saddle stitcher in operation. “IFRA is such a manageable size and doesn’t require walking for miles from one booth to the next and for me, it's an excellent opportunity to get a glimpse of the future of newspaper printing and to see what solutions are on offer,” said Reyad M. Abu Daqar. “I was particularly interested in what added value the system manufacturers are offering, because I’m convinced that higher-quality products – in terms of both paper and content – stand a better chance on the market.”

This year too, IFRA offered Kaj Vennerström, Production Manager at Jysk Fynske Media in the Danish city of Odense, the chance to meet with a range of experts in a compact space. “All the leading providers were here, and it was possible to talk with them in a relaxed environment about innovations and upcoming projects. Our almost 15-year-old mailroom, featuring a NewsLiner, three NewsStacks, a NewsStitch and a NewsTrim, needs updating slightly, so I was particularly interested to learn more at the Muller Martini booth about an inspection of our systems and possible upgrades with a view to a higher degree of automation.”

Anna Drougge, Strategic Procurement Manager at Bold Printing – which belongs to the Bonnier Group – had similar conversations with the experts at the Muller Martini booth. The printing plant in the Swedish capital of Stockholm produces between nine and eleven newspaper titles daily, with a total circulation of 300,000 to 400,000 copies, using a Muller Martini mailroom equipped with two NewsLiners, two NewsGrips, a FlexiRoll buffer, various stackers and a ramp system. “For me, IFRA again presented an ideal opportunity to meet with all our suppliers.” Unlike at a large trade fair like drupa, I could visit numerous booths within a short space of time and find out about what’s new on the market.”

Her Swedish compatriot Tony Laine, CEO at EKTAB in Eskilstuna, is also an avowed fan of the newspaper trade fair: “Having so many meetings in such a short time is only possible at IFRA.” He also chiefly spoke with the Muller Martini specialists about service, upgrade and life-cycle topics. “Our mailroom, with a NewsLiner featuring NewsStitch for the production of four daily newspapers with a total circulation of 55,000 copies and Sweden’s highest-circulation TV magazine, is aging a little.”

Retrofitting topics were also high on the agenda of Laurent Daudenthun, Technical Director at Sud-Ouest in the French city of Bordeaux, where some 250,000 copies are produced daily in 16 different editions. “Our mailroom consisting of three lines, each with a NewsGrip, FlexiRoll, CN 80 and TABA, is 18 years old, so it’s time to modernize it along with the printing presses. Our aim is to optimize production and make it more cost effective, as well as to enhance our quality. That’s why Muller Martini technicians will perform an extensive inspection and upgrades in the coming months.”
Volker Leonhardt was not surprised that retrofitting and life cycle management were such prominent topics of discussions at the Muller Martini booth: “Virtually every newspaper producer is addressing those key questions. Muller Martini has just the right answer in the form of its 
 MMServices program. We ensure the long-term cost-effectiveness of systems, optimize operating costs and extend the economic life-time of equipment by means of manageable investments.”

Please see here for a series of pictures from the Muller Martini booth at the IFRA World Publishing Expo & Digital Content Expo in Berlin.

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