Last updateSun, 27 Nov 2022 2pm

Small-scale and reliable: creating supplement collections with EasySert and FlyStream

An increasing number of orders from the direct distribution sector has spurred Freiburger Druck GmbH & Co. KG on to make further investments in the mailroom. Swapping an MSD line for an EasySert with FlyStream collating line has enabled the Breisgau production facility to produce insert sets flexibly and reliably on two lines even in the smallest unit quantities.

Freiburger Druck GmbH & Co. KG, based in the border triangle with France and Switzerland, is a member of the BZ.medien GmbH & Co. KG association of companies. Its 225 or so employees place a high premium on more than just the quality of their printed products and services – they are also serious about protecting the environment.
Freiburger Druck has been producing in waterless offset printing since 2006. On business days, they may even work multiple shifts due to their many external contracts. The waterless process that revolutionized newspaper printing made its global debut in Freiburg, where it was used to print a daily newspaper. Since 2006, the print house has won the accolade of “Newspaper printer of the year” multiple times at the Druck&Medien Awards for its impressive print quality. The print house has been certified in accordance with DIN ISO 14001 and EMAS-validated since as far back as 2013. In 2015, its quality management system was certified in accordance with DIN ISO 9001. This was followed by the General Manager, Patrick Zürcher, signing the WIN Charta of Baden Württemberg in 2017. To build on its environmental credentials, the print house became FSC-certified in 2020, giving customers the option to label their printed products as such.
Adapting to changes in the market
In 2015, Freiburger Druck completely refitted its mailroom with new technology from Ferag. During this refurbishment, installations from 1999 were replaced with two lines, each with one MultiSert drum and one EasySert line, designed for printing daily and weekly newspapers, and replete with three InterPace units for feeding preprints and supplements from the disc.
At this time, demand for automated order picking for advertising supplement sets was increasing significantly, hand in hand with the introduction of the minimum wage in Germany, which was the reason for choosing the EasySert line. But Freiburger Druck has been acquiring more orders of this kind from the region in recent years, too – to the extent that, in spring 2021, deliberations were afoot as to whether to invest in a second EasySert line to replace one of the two MultiSertDrum lines that were already six years old, for space reasons if nothing else. The addition of a new customer, who wanted deliveries to commence from January 2022, finally paved the way for the investment which made sense for back-up reasons as well as for achieving the necessary expansion of capacity within the direct distribution sector. Both EasySert inserting lines at Freiburger Druck are now fitted with 19 hoppers while the remaining MSD line has three stack pacers and one RollStream with 12 JetFeeders.
Owing to time pressure, the project was started in parallel with the pre-Christmas business. The 2021 festive season was unlike other years, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but presented a challenge nonetheless. The MSD line was dismantled before the holidays and the EasySert with FlyStream was installed in early 2022. After a total of ten weeks – in other words, by early March 2022 – the line was operational. In the interest of sustainability, Freiburger Druck at Ferag Deutschland purchased used, but completely refurbished JetFeeders.
TapeFix and the smallest circulations
Like the existing EasySert insert line, the new line also features TapeFix for sealing supplement sets without carrier products. Freiburger Druck manufactures around 625,000 supplement collections of this kind each week, half of which are produced using TapeFix. Consolidating the Sunday newspaper printed in-house with direct distribution eliminates the need to collect the other half with TapeFix, instead using the newspaper as a carrier product (main jacket) for the supplements.
In particular, the combination of EasySert and FlyStream is a winner at Freiburger Druck. The FlyStream’s error and double-supplement checking and repair function enable it to manufacture supplement combinations with very small circulations very reliably, even in the range of fewer than 100 copies.
Conversely, Freiburger Druck also has very high throughput; a high-bay warehouse with bespoke supplement management software has been installed for incoming goods. The Freiburg mailroom processes five million supplements per week for direct distribution alone, with up to eight million passing through at peak times. Because these may involve up to 300 different types of supplements, there is a specialist team for checking and overseeing supplements and production data administration. The Ferag Optimizer and Ferag Navigator software solutions also play a central role.
Michael Wagner, operations manager at Freiburger Druck, explains: “We make extensive use of the Ferag Optimizer software at our company. The incoming supplements are not only checked and registered, but also weighed and measured. In certain cases, we specify some conditions for running certain supplements on a permanently defined JetFeeder. When this happens, Optimizer searches for the optimal combination of supplements so that we have as few modifications as possible while conserving as many resources as possible during production. With this many combinations of supplements, calculating this manually wouldn’t be feasible in the required time frames.”
After the first few months, the team at Freiburger Druck is very satisfied with the technology. Based on their experiences of their first ESR/FLS installation in 2015, the commissioning was quick and routine this time round. The in-house engineers worked confidently hand-in-hand with Ferag AG from Hinwil and Ferag Deutschland. “Yes, it all went swimmingly. A great and motivated team, coupled with Ferag’s characteristically excellent organization,” says Michael Wagner, reflecting on the project and signalling confidence in the future.



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