Monday, August 15, 2011

Breaking News! How Servo Systems Streamline Newspaper Insert Processes

Ever read a promotional flyer or use a coupon that has been placed in between the pages of your local newspaper? Did you know that IIS technology might have been used to plant these inserts? Servo systems, such as the ones manufactured by our company, have long been controlling the mechanisms (including hoppers, stackers, feeders, and gatherers), which place such items into your morning paper— making this process faster, more flexible, and less prone to maintenance issues. In fact, companies such as Prim Hall Enterprises have been using IIS technology to design servo systems for several newspapers, including The Washington Post, which holds up to 400,000 inserts per week.

Previous mechanical inserting processes used a CAM driven sucker ball which pulled an insert corner down from the stack, permitting a separator disk to remove the insert from the pile and deliver it to one of four sets of grippers on a rotary drum. The drum would then rotate 180 degrees while the gripper released the insert onto a raceway, which would then transport the insert into a bundler. This bundler would combine the inserts with the newspaper. This mechanical inserting process did not allow for change in the sequence of inserts, nor would it permit additions or removal of inserts. Furthermore, due to the nature of these machines, the size of the insert was also severely restricted. 

David Hall of Prim Hall Enterprises, along with a team of engineers, designed a new insertion system using IIS servo technology. As David Hall describes, “When it comes to the inserting process, newspaper printing plants are like any other packaging plant.” With that in mind, Hall designed a new system using our servo technology that would increase the pace of the separator disk, boosting the speed of the entire process. 

This new system allows custom inserts to be placed into separate sections of the newspaper and permits the separator disk to rotate in reverse, allowing for multiple-fold inserts. In addition, on-the-fly adjustments of the hopper-separator disk-drum system can be performed when needed, which helps keep inserts at a safe distance from one another to avoid damaging adjacent material. Using ISS technology, David Hall was able to employ servo systems to help streamline the newspaper insert process.

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