Pewaukee, WI - Quad/Graphics has unveiled arguably the world’s most sophisticated paperwrapper, heightening the printer’s appeal to direct-mail marketers. The paperwrapper, developed in-house at Quad/Graphics, distinguishes itself from other paperwrappers through its extensive versioning and single mailstream capabilities, as well as a unique pocket configuration.
The paperwrapper, which also can accommodate polywrap, is equipped with a Finishing Control System (FCS) manufactured by Quad/Graphics subsidiary Quad/Tech. The FCS enables the wrapper to selectively insert forms and deliver as many as 9,999 different versions of a mailpiece in a single mailstream. A single mailstream consolidates all common-destination mailpieces and allows Quad/Graphics to enter them into the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) system in presorted fashion, which saves processing time at post offices. In turn, the USPS rewards Quad/Graphics with significant postage discounts, which the company passes on to clients. A single mailstream also decreases the complexity of projects on the manufacturing end (e.g., only one makeready is necessary per job regardless of the number of versions).
The paperwrapper was a standard 14-pocket machine until a team of Quad/Graphics employees effectively more than doubled the wrapper’s productivity. The team added 10 pockets to the wrapper, then devised a way for each of the 24 pockets to deliver two different forms. Each pocket can deliver the two forms ¾ one right after the other in a split second ¾ onto the paperwrapper’s raceway, with the second form landing directly on top of the first. A patent is pending on the process.
Quad/Graphics debuted the paperwrapper for the company’s largest demographic project to date: the assembly of 6,000-plus different versions of a September mailing for Madison Direct Marketing. The mailing, which Madison Direct sent to millions of homes based on specific household demographics, comprises a total of 114 different inserts (forms). Each individual mailpiece contains between 20 and 28 inserts. Powered by the FCS, the wrapper’s ink-jet units printed each recipient’s mailing address and personal “lucky number” on the outside of the paperwrapped mailpiece.
“This project is probably the most complex and sophisticated direct-marketing program ever attempted,” said Steve DeBoth, manager of Quad/Graphics’ West Allis, Wis., plant. “This machine and its crew represent the latest and most productive manufacturing systems in the world.”
In Madison Direct’s estimation, Quad/Graphics is the only commercial vendor capable of producing so many versions and combining them into one mailstream. “The single mailstream is the key,” said Dom Rubino, Director of Mailing Services for Madison Direct. “Having 6,000 versions in one mailstream within a mailing can only be done on this type of equipment.”
A single mailstream and the resulting postage discounts saved Madison Direct in excess of $100,000 on this one project alone, Mr. Rubino said.
Pewaukee, Wis.-based Quad/Graphics (www.qg.com) serves publishers, catalogers, direct marketers and others. The company has a network of print-production facilities on three continents that provides integrated services ranging from front-end design and photography through digital imaging, printing, list management, finishing and dependable distribution. Constant, rapid growth over the past 30 years - mostly through internal expansion - has resulted in a company with the most modern plant, equipment and capabilities in the commercial printing industry. Quad/Graphics has 14,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of $2 billion.
Quad/Direct, the Quad/Graphics division that provides direct-marketing services, is comprised of a substantial number of paperwrappers, polywrappers, inserters and other custom equipment. Quad/Direct is seamlessly connected to Quad/Graphics’ integrated network of print-production equipment that includes prepress systems, presses, saddle stitchers, perfect binders and more.
Quad/Tech designs and manufactures a full line of auxiliary press controls and finishing equipment for the web offset printing industry. The 22-year-old, ISO 9001-registered subsidiary employs more than 600 people worldwide. It sells and services its products in more than 85 countries.
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