‘This is a full-on Müller Martini shop,’ notes Gary Terblanche, production manager, as he talks enthusiastically about the latest addition to this impressive line-up.
Uniprint’s web facility boasts both coldset and heatset printing technology, and – with major contracts for government work, large corporates, top agencies and publishers – specialises in books, booklets (A4 and A5), magazines, retail advertising catalogues, tabloids, broadsheets, brochures, newspaper inserts, leaflets, newspapers, knock-and-drop products, and directories.
‘It’s this enormously wide range of products that means frequent changeovers are required. We’re confident that the Primera’s high degree of automation is going to be very useful,’ Gary emphasises.
Although the plant operates three other Müller Martini lines, and general principles are pretty similar, the operators still needed training on the new machine with its advanced technology. This was carried out in-house during the installation process.
At the time of our visit, the new C130 had been in operation for barely two weeks, following a swift four-day commissioning, trialling and staff training exercise by Müller Martini technicians and the local Thunderbolt team. ‘It was a remarkably fast and painless installation, and I must compliment Thunderbolt,’ Gary adds with a happy smile.
Why choose Müller Martini?
So what were the deciding factors that led to this purchase? Gary cites three prime considerations that played a role in the choice of the Primera C130. ‘Firstly, we have always enjoyed excellent support and back-up from Müller Martini and Thunderbolt Solutions. That’s a key reason. Secondly, we needed fast changeover times; and, thirdly, a high degree of size flexibility.’
The Primera C130 meets these requirements thanks to its high level of automation, its six flat pile feeders, its cover feeder and compensating stacker. Gary is also delighted with its automatic signature system that eliminates any possibility of duplication on multiple-section jobs, plus its touchscreen set-up that allows for fast makeready with minimal waste.
‘Following commissioning, the new line went straight into a 24/7 scenario as we’re now rushing to reach volumes for the “silly season” – not only retail catalogues for the festive season but also educational books for the coming academic year. We really needed this extra capacity,’ Gary continues.
He’s pleased to confirm that within a couple of weeks of commissioning the new C130 is proving to be a robust work-horse for Uniprint’s 24/7 environment, operating at around 13 000 sheets/hour.
And a final point from MD Colin Baxter-Bruce: ‘With the growth we’re experiencing in the areas of catalogues and general commercial work, a third saddle stitcher was clearly required to handle the one-million-plus jobs and to give us the quick changeover times demanded by our shorter runs.’
Judging by the wide grins to be seen around the plant, both management and staff are more than happy with their new ‘toy’.