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SKN Druck u. Verlag GmbH & Co. KG in Emden: When the FlexLiner's State-Of-The-Art Technology Meets with Premium Products

All new saddle stitchers (the Presto II Digital is pictured), perfect binders and booklines from Muller Martini are digital ready, i.e. designed for both printing modes. When it commissioned the world's first FlexLiner from Muller Martini with a production speed of 30,000 copies per hour to replace two older inserting systems, SKN Druck u. Verlag GmbH & Co. KG in Emden (East Frisia/Germany), which specializes in inserting inserts in inserts, increased its net production by a whopping 79 percent – with one machine less. "At least 50 percent is due to our new inserting system," says Christian Basse, publisher and sole shareholder of SKN.

Basse lays out the weekly production logs from 2012 and 2013, activates the calculator on his iPhone and tells politely, but firmly to take note.

"In calendar week 07/12 we produced 6,019 copies per machine hour – including changeover and repair time in continuous operation using five inserting systems. In calendar weeks 16/12 and 17/12 the figures were 6,137 and 4,930 respectively. That results in an average of 5,695 copies per machine hour for those three weeks in 2012. And now, pay close attention: now using just four inserting systems, we produced 11,532 copies per machine hour in calendar week 25/13, 10,523 in calendar week 27/13 and 8,561 in calendar week 30/13. That results in an average of 10,205 copies per machine hour for those three weeks in 2013 – 79 percent more than in the previous year. That's what I call a significant increase!" That rise is also reflected in the number of machine minutes needed per 1,000 copies. While SKN required 17 minutes for 1,000 products in calendar week 07/12, it needed just 12½ minutes in calendar week 25/13.

96 Hours Non-Stop

The marked rise in productivity was enabled by modernizing SKN's machinery. Previously, SKN used five Biliners from Muller Martini at its plant in Emden. Basse explains that "we only took into account four and a half of those in the statistics, because one was in need of repair". Today, the family business, which was founded in 1861 and is run by Basse in the fifth generation, uses three Biliners and the FlexLiner, which was first unveiled by Muller Martini at drupa 2012. The FlexLiner has two insert feeders with stream feeders, which ensure high productivity, and is used around the clock on the four most production-intensive days from Monday to Thursday. It is typically operated at full production speed of 30,000 copies per hour – including with suction opening! The products travel from the FlexLiner, which according to Basse's calculation accounts for at least 50 percent of the marked production increase, via a conveyor to the high-performance Robusto compensating stacker and are then strapped.

"The Ideal Machine"

Basse searched for three years for the optimal solution for inserting inserts into inserts. Since he knew ahead of the last drupa that Muller Martini had an inserting machine in the pipeline corresponding exactly to his requirements, he was keen to visit the Muller Martini stand in Düsseldorf. He was so impressed by the demos that he decided there and then to invest in the new system. "The FlexLiner is the ideal machine for inserts in inserts," says Basse. "I need technology that enables products without a low folio lap to be opened using suction technology."

Inserts in inserts are SKN's specialty. Inserts in inserts have been on the market for a good ten years. They are considered premium products on the advertising market and account for 5 to 10 percent of the insert volume in Germany, according to Basse's estimates. Since two signatures of different sizes are typically combined, insert-in-inserts advertising is proven to be more eye-catching to consumers. It is often used by large department store chains that combine advertising content for various products, for example food and non-food products, household and electronic appliances, consumer and investment goods, and products for men and women.

www.mullermartini.com

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