The FlexLiner offers numerous advantages to the well-established company Fr. Ant. Niedermayr. The Muller Martini inserting solution, which is also used for inserts in inserts, completes its production line, provides flexibility, and cuts costs.
Fr. Ant. Niedermayr is a German high-volume printing plant for direct advertising. Niedermayr produces up to three million inserts and some 16 million flyers each week for a Germany-wide discount retailer. These products either go to the stores or are delivered to the mailboxes of end customers. Since the advertising of the discount retailer is heavily zoned, a customized insert (with two or more pages) is inserted into an insert with, for instance, 40 pages.
That inserting was previously outsourced and performed manually. Now, thanks to the FlexLiner, it is performed automatically in-house. The Muller Martini FlexLiner completes the production line and fits seamlessly into the existing machine line-up, whose highlights include four web printing presses (two 96-page presses, one 80-page press, and one 16 page-press) and a sheet-fed offset printing press (for sizes of up to 715 x 1020 mm).
The marketing strategy of its key customer requires Niedermayr to operate around the clock with high flexibility and at great speed. There are only a few hours between when the last adjustments are made to the pamphlet and going to print. Fortunately, Niedermayr is not just a printing plant but an agency that employs some 70 people for photography, copywriting and pre-press services. In addition to inserts, Niedermayr produces a wide range of industrial catalogs in large run sizes. Demand for advertising inserts has kept on rising over the years, resulting in continuous growth of the printing plant, which was founded back in 1801.
Standing in the hall with the Muller Martini equipment – which the Niedermayr staff refer to as the “Blue Salon” – Michael Kretschmann speaks highly enthusiastically about Muller Martini solutions. “We’ve used Muller Martini systems for saddle stitching and compensating stacking for years,” he explains. As Print Finishing Manager, he is particularly delighted that the Primera 160 (commissioned in 2014) has been followed by investment in the FlexLiner inserting system. “The machines do exactly what the manufacturer promises. That’s why we keep on investing in Muller Martini solutions and our partnership has grown over many years.”
Niedermayr uses the FlexLiner to produce products with 8 to 112 pages, and typically operates the machine at the maximum speed of 30,000 cycles per hour. “Sometimes even the Muller Martini engineers are a little amazed by the volumes we handle at the FlexLiner,” says Michael Kretschmann with a grin.
The inserting machine – which boasts sophisticated mechanics and the Connex data and process management system – has customized features, such as the extended grippers of the conveyor. “Fifteen years ago, we needed a tool box to perform changeovers and got our hands and arms greasy,” says Michael Kretschmann. “Today, changeovers can be performed conveniently and easily via a touchscreen thanks to Connex. We can make adjustments on the fly, without needing a wrench. Connex and the servo motors make the FlexLiner the perfect solution for us.”