In late 2011, West Ferry Printers of Luton to the north of London opened a new printing centre costing approximately GBP 65 million. The newspapers Daily Express, Daily Star
and Daily Sport
– some of the highest-circulation titles in the country – are printed at this facility. The total number of copies printed each week at Luton amounts to some 4.5 million.
In a second expansion phase in 2012, mailroom functionality in Luton was upgraded to include inserting. Technically, this has been achieved with an MSD-H inserting drum from Ferag, which is now used to insert the publishers’ own and also advertising supplements automatically. With this step, West Ferry Printers is pursuing its goal of increasing value creation and at the same time lowering distribution costs. What's more, the company wished to further consolidate its position in this hard-fought market and offer its clients new services.
In 2:1 mode, the MSD-H inserting drum can cope with high-volume print runs, even when the time frames are narrow, and insert up to a maximum of four supplements without incurring high, additional staffing costs. With their maximum performance of 90,000 copies, the double-width presses have set the bar correspondingly high. The management team at West Ferry Printers were won over by the MSD-H inserting drum with its net output of around 70,000 copies per hour. And it's been shown that the printing deadlines and tight production schedules for the different newspaper titles can be maintained, even with inserting. The company gives a positive rating to Ferag’s modular technology concept as well – if the volume of supplements should increase, the inserting drum can be equipped with more hoppers. And if the inserting drum pays for itself as expected, plans are already in place to install a second system in Luton.