GMA Demos Autoloader, Inks Sales Large and Small

By: E&P Staff

At Nexpo’s largest booth last month, GMA operated two products that it will integrate with several machines it already offers. Combining and automating three functions, the new Autoloader log-building, retrieval and loading system is designed for labor savings while incorporating ergonomic and safety features into its design.

After inserts are compressed into logs and strapped, a vacuum-lift system assists in transferring each log to an enhanced stream feeder, which then processes inserts and loads them into the feeder for increased efficiency.

GMA cited the experience of a large Midwest commercial printer making logs of preprinted advertising only to break them down for shipment to a major metro daily. Both businesses wanted to preserve the logs to save on labor, according to GMA, which said a log stacker also is available that is capable of assembling logs as long as four feet.

GMA also ran its Print-on-Demand system, using Hewlett-Packard technology to print and insert single-sheet product at up to 25,000 copies per hour. Created to provide newspapers with more flexibility when meeting advertisers’ needs, Print-on-Demand can produce four-color single sheets and print customized segments on preprints for zoned distribution.

Promoted for its new revenue potential for newspapers, the system offers advertisers an option when running behind on unexpected ads or news, as well as practical opportunities for small merchants looking for localized coverage.

GMA also ran a Topveyor 365 overhead conveyor and a FlexiRoll double unwinding station, which dispensed product from two roll stands onto a belt stream. The Topveyor 365 picked up product and delivered it directly to an SLS3000 feeder. Primaily for use with FlexiRoll and now in several sites, the Topveyor 365 serves as a more economical alternative to Muller Martini’s Daverio conveyor, according to a GMA spokesperson.

Two major sales contracts were signed and a third announced at GMA’s booth, where it also sold its smallest inserter. Tribune Co.’s Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel bought two (28:2 and 20:2) SLS3000 inserters and WinLincs control-system software, NewsGrip ‘A’ conveyor lines, five CombiStack bundle-building machines, and 15 AF300 stream feeders. The paper also will implement GMA’s SAM Plans production-planning system.

Robert W. Eickhoff, Sentinel vice president and director of circulation and operations, said that as a result of McClier Corp.’s work in identifying market opportunities, Sentinel “launched a major strategic initiative” that called for the latest inserting equipment to increase its capacity and improve time to market. He called the upgrade and expansion decision a response to preprints’ “annual volume growth rates in the mid to high single digits.”

GMA’s other show signing was its agreement with Salt Lake City’s Newspaper Agency Corp. (NAC), controlled by MediaNews Group in a joint operating agreement between The Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News. NAC will add several new pieces of equipment to its GMA inserting operation. It plans to expand a 30:1 SLS3000 inserter to 42:2 dual delivery and an existing 4:1 SLS3000 to 16:2. A third new 42:2 SLS3000 dual-delivery inserter was purchased, as were three News-Grip ‘A’ conveyor lines from the press, three FlexiRoll buffer stations with 103 FlexiRoll stands, five 365 Topveyor conveyor lines and GMA’s SAM Plans production-planning software.

A visit to GMA’s exhibit also produced the sale of what the vendor’s representatives thought likely to be their company’s smallest inserter. Shortly after Nexpo, the Caribbean’s Barbados Advocate bought a 2-into-1 SLS-1000.

GMA also finalized a contract with Southwest Offset Printing Co. Inc. (SOP), Gardena, Calif., just outside Los Angeles. SOP purchased two (14:2 and 10:2) SLS3000 inserters with WinLincs control software and four AF300 hopper loaders. Founded in 1990, SOP’s seven press lines run such notable titles as the Financial Times, Daily Racing Form and Washington Post National Weekly.

Calling SOP “just one of several commercial firms looking to incorporate newspaper packaging equipment into their operation,” GMA President and CEO Randy Seidel said his firm’s design approach can accommodate commercial printers’ needs and incorporate some of their techniques in products for the newspapers, such as GMA’s new AutoLoader for FSI logs.

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