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Fully-automated press delivery from Muller Martini

Press release from the issuing company

Hauppauge, New York – When it opens in May, 2007, the now-under-construction Valpak coupon manufacturing center in St. Petersburg, Florida will be the closest thing to a “lights out” print production operation to be found anywhere in the world. Combining the very latest automated prepress, printing, finishing and distribution technologies from leading suppliers throughout the marketplace, the $200-million plant will be state-of-the-art in every way imaginable...enabling Cox Target Media (producers of the familiar blue Valpak envelopes) to more than double production capacity and simultaneously cut cycle times in half while also lowering labor costs as much as 40%. Muller Martini, the industry leader in print finishing, is supplying press delivery equipment and digital workflow communications solutions for the project. “The new Valpak lean manufacturing facility is certain to set a new standard for high-tech efficiency and productivity,” said Werner Naegeli, President and CEO of Muller Martini Corp. “Muller Martini is proud and excited to be part of this groundbreaking project, playing a vital role in making the industry’s first fully-automated, JDF-compatible and JMF-enabled print production line a reality.” When operational, the new Valpak plant will be capable of producing approximately 54 billion coupons annually. On the plant floor will be two Goss Sunday 4000 web offset presses, each with automatic transfer function. Up to 12 different products will be coming into the Muller Martini press delivery system, each running in a defined system run length of about 10,000. Muller Martini’s Floorveyor conveying system with high-speed waste gates and diverting technology will be configured to both presses. Muller Topveyor overhead conveyors with pick-up and delivery stations will then speed product into Muller PrintRoll P-220 twin winding stations. The entire operation will be totally digital, integrated with fully automated storage and retrieval technology from Daifuku America Corp., creating a virtual buffer system. Controlling press delivery will be the proprietary Muller Martini MACOS JDF-compatible and JMF-enabled Master Control System in the CIP4 protocol. MACOS will provide centralized control and tracking of any and all of the 12 products being delivered – and for the first time in the industry will communicate via JMF back to the press that it’s time to initiate the auto transfer function to begin printing the next set of signatures. In addition, this unique system will also communicate back with Cox Target Media’s planning system at the plant, reporting such data as job status along with specifications that can be utilized in planning future jobs. As part of the new Valpak plant project, Muller Martini is also providing integrated inserting capabilities, working together with Böwe Bell + Howell Co. (BB+H). Thirty-six fully automatic twin PrintRoll unwinding stations will be spread over 9 inserting and enveloping lines supplied by BB+H. The bottom line for Cox Target Media will be rapid set-up and faster production throughput, particularly important benefits when you consider that the company produces many different Valpak coupon packets each in relatively small quantities. “Due to the short run lengths at Valpak, integrated communication and hand-offs between each piece of equipment on the entire plant floor will ensure the exact timing for changeovers in real time...avoiding the expensive task of stopping a machine to complete make-ready for the next run,” said Roger P. Bilodeau, Sr. V.P. Corporate Sales & Strategic Markets for Muller Martini.

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