Upgrades including additional mailroom capacity have accompanied Zeitungsgruppe Ostfriesland's centralisation of print production at Nordhorn in north-west Germany.
The Grafschafter Nachrichten plant has been printing all ZGO's daily newspapers and freesheets since the beginning of January. This includes 31,000-circulation daily Ostfriesen-Zeitung and 9000-circulation General-Anzeiger, plus the smaller Borkumer Zeitung four times a week.
The extra work brings new demands for inserting capacity, for which existing Ferag equipment has been expanded with additional hoppers on the precollecting line and improvements in loading newspaper bundles.
Family-run Grafschafter Nachrichten has 45 employees (FTE), a 32-page printing press and the Ferag-equipped mailroom with technology dating to 2013 including a dynamic buffer system and inserting drum with connected precollecting line. Investments in platemaking and print technology had been made in 2020.
Until this year, the plant had solely produced about 30,000 GN copies plus ZGO's Ostfriesische Nachrichten. "This means we have more than doubled our daily printing capacity," operations manager Maik Hofsink says. The 85,000 run of East Frisian freesheet Sonntags-Report was added at the end of March, bringing virtually all of East Frisia's newspapers to Nordhorn.
Depending on the distribution area, up to 18 supplements are inserted in the local Sonntagszeitung. The Sonntags-Report can even contain as many as 20 inserts at the same time, with 1.2 million inserts processed in each production phase. Six further hoppers were added included a single sheet feeder.
Having more than doubled the number of processed inserts since 2019, a high-bay warehouse has been set up to store the additional inserts, with an external warehouse for Euro pallets and other material being added, along with a third Ferag compensating stacker with packaging line.
Modernisation in the dispatch area including a PKT plate chain with conveyor belts now extending up to four metres into the vehicles, means drivers can now decide how bundles are stacked in their vehicles and at what height, and loading speed has increased by a third.
The company recruited 15 new staff solely to deal with the additional inserts, investing a total of about 1.7 million Euros in its production technology.