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Fox Print Direct serves clients with Bravo-T stitcher from Muller Martini

Press release from the issuing company

New Orleans, Louisiana — Fox Print Direct, a full-service commercial printer with both web and sheetfed capabilities, has installed a new Bravo-T saddle stitching system to better serve its newspaper and education clients. An eight-pocket model with an integrated cover folder/feeder, the new stitcher takes the place of two older machines — an eight-pocket and a four-pocket system — while actually increasing Fox’s stitching capacity. A top run rate of 11,000 cycles/hour is one reason for the efficiency gain. Another is Bravo-T’s automated assisted makereadies, an advantage well suited to Fox Print Direct’s agenda of short-to-medium run jobs. “We are in the business of producing inserts for newspapers large and small, all over the nation,” says Greg Fox Sr., owner and president of the company. “We print the products they cannot produce themselves, serving as trade printers for the newspaper industry. We also have a sister company that is an educational publisher for which we print guides and activity books.” The combination results in the need to produce a wide range of stitched products, from glossy real estate guides printed on enamel stock to inserts whose pages are tissue-paper flimsy. At the same time, volume rates can vary from a few thousand copies to 85,000 books per run. Fox says his new stitcher handled it all right from the start: “We installed this system in January and produced over 500,000 books on it the first month. That’s pretty good considering we were still getting familiarized with the Bravo-T. My bindery manager couldn’t believe it.” Particularly impressive was the system’s ability to take on the wide range of stock Fox Print Direct utilizes. “With the old stitchers, we'd have to fight and fight and fight, because you had to stand the signatures on end to load their pockets,” Fox recalls. “When you do that with lightweight stock, it flops and folds. Bravo-T pockets accepts the paper flat, so whether we're running good coated or 35 lb. high bright, this machine does it all.” Fox Print Direct’s short run requirements are also satisfied by the Bravo-T and its digitally driven operating system. “Our operators can retire their wrenches and their screwdrivers, because they don’t need them to set-up this machine,” Fox says. “Makeready is a lot easier and faster all around.” The printer runs its new stitcher close to its top speed limits with a two-man crew — one feeding pockets and the second catching. “We are definitely saving time and manning with the Bravo-T,” Fox declares. Durability is also on his list of likes: “Those Muller Martini guys build a strong piece of equipment. They know what heavy duty means. We’re already running our Bravo-T two shifts a day and we’re planning to go to three shifts shortly.” The new Bravo-T is downstream from a pressroom that includes three full web presses, a half web and a sheetfed press. The 40,000 sq ft facility is staffed by a team of 80. Fox Print Direct has over 500 active accounts located throughout the U.S. It connects with many of them through an innovative website — www.foxwebpress.com. The company’s home on the Internet is a sales generator as well. It offers a program called Profit Boosters for Newspapers, encouraging small to medium dallies and weeklies to increase their ad revenues through the innovative use of inserts. Fox plans on marketing the added value his new Bravo-T provides to his customers with a postcard campaign featuring Sumo wrestlers, and emphasizing the heavy-duty capabilities of the system. Quality control will be another selling point to customers new and old because Fox Print Direct has equipped its Bravo-T with Muller Martini’s Asir signature recognition system. “It looks at every book and if a signature is out of line it will reject it,” Fox says. “Otherwise you’d get a book that wasn’t perfect. Asir gives us the confidence of knowing that we’re not going to turn out something we have to explain later to the client.” A similar level of customer care was exhibited by Muller Martini, according to Fox. “The Muller Martini folks have been really, really helpful. The first technician devoted three weeks time putting it in. Then he stayed almost another whole week training an inexperienced operator. Next, they sent a second technician for three more days of follow-up to make sure everything was fine. Muller Martini has been very attentive to our needs.”