Bot­nia Prin­til­lä leik­kaa entis­tä parem­min! Case Ferag — Smart solu­tions for ext­ra flexi­bi­li­ty and capacity

Ten years after star­ting ope­ra­tions, semi-com­mercial busi­ness is a growing fac­tor for Bot­nia Print in cent­ral Fin­land. So to keep pace with chan­ging requi­re­ments, this joint ven­tu­re between two regio­nal publis­hing houses has inves­ted in a second Ferag SNT-50 trim­ming drum and a con­ver­sion of its bund­ling line.

The Bot­nia Print plant in Kok­ko­la (Swe­dish: Kar­le­by) was foun­ded as recent­ly as 2010 by two media com­pa­nies: Kes­ki-Poh­jan­maan Kir­ja­pai­no Oyj with a 65 percent equi­ty sta­ke, and HSS Media Ab. Both have cont­ri­bu­ted their own tit­les – HSS Media with its Vasabla­detÖster­bot­tens Tid­ning and Südös­ter­bot­ten news­pa­per brands, KPK with its regio­nal news­pa­per Kes­ki­poh­jan­maa and seve­ral local tit­les. Bot­nia Print now pro­duces a total of around 100,000 dai­ly news­pa­per copies eve­ry night.

Alt­hough the joint ven­tu­re part­ners’ own publis­hing houses are still the ones lar­ge­ly res­pon­sible for kee­ping the prin­ting plant busy, busi­ness with out­si­de cus­to­mers has grown stea­di­ly and now fills bit more then one third of Bot­nia Print’s capaci­ty. Tho­se cus­to­mers come from Fin­land as well as neigh­bou­ring Swe­den across the Bal­tic Sea – the region south of the Kok­ko­la prin­ting site is tra­di­tio­nal­ly bilingual.

That the company’s pro­ducts inclu­de not only news­pa­pers but also local magazi­nes, cus­to­mer magazi­nes and com­mercial print pro­ducts is due pri­ma­ri­ly to the Koe­nig & Bau­er Cor­ti­na water­less news­pa­per press: it faci­li­ta­tes qua­li­ty supe­rior to stan­dard cold­set prin­ting and indeed is the only one in Fin­land. Bot­nia Print cur­rent­ly emplo­ys around 35 people and gene­ra­tes sales of around 10 mil­lion euros.

Ver­sa­ti­le tech­nical capabilities

At the time the prin­ting plant went up on a green­field site, it was equip­ped with two Ferag lines each con­sis­ting of a Roll­SertDrum inser­ting drum, a Roll­Stream precol­lec­ting line with four Jet­Fee­der hop­pers, Mul­ti­Disc buf­fe­ring solu­tions and two Mul­tiS­tack com­pen­sa­ting stac­kers. Joi­ning tho­se is a wide ran­ge of proces­sing capa­bi­li­ties: a Ferag SNT-50 was purc­ha­sed for three-sided trim­ming, a StreamS­titch stitc­hing unit allows stitc­hed pro­ducts as well, and a Stream­Fold line brings capa­bi­li­ty for pro­ducing a third fold.

Howe­ver, ongoing chan­ge in the pro­duct port­fo­lio began tur­ning the sole trim­ming drum into a bott­le­neck fac­tor. It was a simi­lar sto­ry with the PKT bund­le dis­patch solu­tion down­stream of the four com­pen­sa­ting stac­kers: with bund­les beco­ming smal­ler yet more nume­rous, exis­ting mail­room capaci­ty was inc­rea­singly over­strai­ned. In result, finis­hing through­put slowed to the point whe­re it could no lon­ger keep pace with prin­ting capacity.

Space-saving solu­tions

Deli­ve­ring a second SNT-50 was of cour­se no problem for Ferag. But first, space would have to be crea­ted in the mail­room, which over the years had been equip­ped with ever more mac­hi­ne­ry. Ferag did final­ly find a spot whe­re the addi­tio­nal trim­ming drum could be lin­ked in with the UTR paced con­vey­or. But to accomplish this, the exis­ting layer pal­le­tizer would first have to be repo­si­tio­ned and converted.

Ferag engi­neers also deve­lo­ped a simple and hence cost-effec­ti­ve bund­le dis­patch solu­tion: whe­reas bund­les from all four Mul­tiS­tack com­pen­sa­ting stac­kers were pre­vious­ly stee­red onto a clas­sic ellip­tical PKT capable of con­veying around 75 bund­les per minu­te, Ferag has now con­ver­ted this to a figu­re-of-eight, mea­ning the pla­te chain con­vey­or is alrea­dy par­tial­ly emp­tied when it pas­ses com­pen­sa­ting stac­kers 3 and 4. That made it pos­sible to inc­rea­se bund­le for­ma­tion capaci­ty by 40 percent – simply with this rela­ti­ve­ly inex­pen­si­ve con­ver­sion affec­ting only the chan­nel and chain.

As Han­nu Sal­mi, mana­ging direc­tor of Bot­nia Print Oy Ab, and plant mana­ger Toni Kle­mo­la both con­firm, the con­ver­sion pro­ject itself went wit­hout a single hitch. Alt­hough Bot­nia Print ope­ra­tes two shifts eve­ry day from Mon­day to Fri­day, the­re is only one shift at wee­kends. The Ferag tech­nicians thus made use of three wee­kends for the con­ver­sion, wit­hout affec­ting pro­duc­tion. The second trim­ming drum has done more than inc­rea­se flexi­bi­li­ty, pro­duc­tion relia­bi­li­ty and mail­room through­put: accor­ding to Han­nu Sal­mi the par­tial rear­ran­ge­ment of mac­hi­ne­ry even lea­ves the impres­sion of more avai­lable space than befo­re, des­pi­te pre­sence of an addi­tio­nal module.

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