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"Walliser Bote”: Leading the way with FoldLine

Friday, February 13, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

Digital finishing for Mengis Druck AG in Switzerland “Who invented it?” – a well-known slogan and a question the Swiss like to ask. At this world premiere in newspaper production, the answer is: the Swiss and manroland web systems. Mengis Druck AG in Visp, Switzerland, is the first newspaper publisher to rely on fully digital production of its daily. 

The “Walliser Bote” is certainly in a rush: a new printing platform with inkjet technology is set to begin producing the daily in July 2015. An “HP T400” color inkjet webfed press will do the printing, manroland web systems will supply its variable format and cut-off folding system “FoldLine”, as well as the software for finishing and overall workflow integration, and Müller Martini will provide the mailroom technology. The contracts were signed in January 2015.

Improved efficiency, more fun for readers
The “Walliser Bote” serves the Upper Valais region of Switzerland, world-renowned for Zermatt and the Matterhorn. The traditional newspaper is published Monday to Saturday, with a current daily print run of over 22,000 copies. In service for 32 years, the previous newspaper press is now outdated. Other reasons for the change in production technology include decreasing print runs and requests for increased regionalization. The economic aspect is just as important – varied printed products are expected to utilize the new production line to capacity. As examples, Martin Seematter, Managing Director of Mengis Druck AG, names the production of book blocks, mailings, signatures, or print products for personalized advertising. Seematter holds a high opinion of the folding technology, “that opens up never before imagined possibilities. The entire press system strengthens our position on the market and secures jobs at the Visp site.” Even in Switzerland, prestigious newspaper printshops have recently closed but Mengis has managed to counteract this at its primary location. 

A “beacon project”
Mengis and suppliers are proud of their, to-date unparalleled, “beacon project”. The newspaper printing workflow is made possible thanks to the FoldLine with a web width of 1,060 mm. Frank Kreisel, Regional Sales Director Switzerland, explains the advantages of the folding system: “The FoldLine convinces with its unique format and cut-off variability, which allows customers flexible production in newspaper and commercial printing. This makes it ideal for finishing ultra-low volume print work and highly customized printed products. Even batch sizes of 1 pose no problem. Mengis can use this finishing technology to realize attractive business models for readers and prospective customers.” In addition to the quality of its hardware, manroland web systems also has comprehensive system and software expertise: MasterQ sorts the job data for job processing and WorkflowBridge functions as an intelligent finishing controller. 

The new software era
manroland web systems’ MasterQ software provides Mengis’ own MIS system with data for newspaper production to ensure intelligent job sorting. As a result, the features of the digital printing and finishing line can be optimally utilized for ultra-efficient production. Customer-specific algorithms and priorities ensure perfect job sorting and prioritization. And in addition to finishing, the digital printing system and other components involved in production are also incorporated into job management. WorkflowBridge from manroland web systems monitors finishing and is provided with current job data from MasterQ, as is the printer. Highly integrated, the WorkflowBridge sets the finishing configuration fully automatically. Digital printing of the “Walliser Bote” is expected to begin as early as the summer of 2015. An exciting, promising project is in the pipeline for Alwin Stadler, Vice President Digital Printing at manroland web systems: “With our experise in system integration and with networked thinking, we are driving the development of digital newspaper printing presses forward: this is what we want to show. Our systems offer open interfaces and we have already proven that we can achieve fully automated, high-performance workflows with all digital printing press manufacturers. This also applies to hybrid production, for that matter. We are already able to plan and monitor offset and digital productions from a central workstation.” 


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