Not only the NewsGrip F feeding, presented as a world premiere, was attracting a great deal of interest at the well-visited Muller Martini booth at the World Publishing Expo in Amsterdam. The retrofits for the mailroom presented within the framework of the MMServices program, the Connex.Mailroom data and process management system and the innovative business models shown on tablets were also proving to be key subjects in the many meetings between newspaper producers and machine manufacturers.
The fact that all places for in-depth meetings between representatives of the newspaper industry from around the world and mailroom experts of the Swiss machine manufacturer at the booth of Muller Martini were occupied during all three days shows the unchanged high significance of the annual World Publishing Expo. K. Balaji, Managing Director of Kasturi & Sons Ltd., Chennai, who publishes the Indian daily newspaper The Hindu, agreed. "I have been coming to this newspaper fair nearly every year since 1985, and since I have been on the board of WAN-Ifra, it has become even more significant for me personally. In particular in times when newspapers are under pressure, the World Publishing Expo gives publishing houses and producers new stimulus and ideas, from the pre-pressing to printing through to the mailroom." K. Balaji says that Muller Martini and The Hindu have been linked for more than one decade by "an excellent partnership, and we appreciate, in particular, the good service of Muller Martini India."
"A Close Partnership is Crucial"
Such close relationships between newspaper publishers and systems suppliers are important, according to Daniel Langenegger, so that newspapers can continue to exist in competition with the digital media. Although, as the Member of the Board of Directors of Muller Martini explained at the traditional event with dinner in Amsterdam, more than 500 million newspapers are printed daily around the world and are read by 2.5 billion people, while digital newspapers reach "only" 800 million readers. "Despite these impressive figures, newspapers are facing permanent challenges," says Daniel Langenegger. "To continue to be successful in the future, not only technical advances, such as our new NewsGrip F feeding as the backbone of the mailroom or the new double production mode of our ProLiner D inserting system, are important. Equally crucial is a close partnership with the producers and machine manufacturers."
Fynske Medier Shows How to do It
Fynske Medier, from Denmark's Odense, shows how to continue having success with daily newspapers despite the digital competition and thanks good partnership with the suppliers. The circulation figures for the two Fyens Stiftstidevde and Fyns Amtsavis titles have been increasing continuously for years, whereas newspaper circulation figures have been falling in Denmark in general. "On the one hand, this has to do with the fact that we opt consistently for regional subjects," explains Production Manager Jerk Hammelsvang. "On the other hand, we enhance our newspapers with special interest inserts, which we make on a NewsStitch and NewsTrim from Muller Martini. This ensures great success not only with our readers, but in particular also with our advertising customers." For Jerk Hammelsvang, the World Publishing Expo is a must every year, "because I meet the key suppliers of the graphic industry here and can take the time to discuss the latest solutions. This year, it was particularly important for us to attend the fair, because we have a larger print volume after a merger and therefore have ongoing investment projects."
Prime Print, a producer of several daily newspapers which is part of the Amedia Group and uses a ValueLiner from Muller Martini in addition to a ProLiner and FlexLiner at its mailroom in the Russian capital of Moscow, also plans to expand. "New developments are usually the focus for me at drupa," emphasizes Sergey Annekov, Deputy Managing Director and Production Head. "At the World Publishing Expo, however, I met the key suppliers across all production processes. This allows me to talk to many people about our projects in a short period of time."
"A Typical Relationships Fair"
Many specialist journalists, who get an overview of the global newspaper landscape at the fair, also appreciate the personal touch of the event. "The World Publishing Expo is a typical relationships fair, not an amusement park, but a bazaar where I consider the exchange of ideas more important than new technical developments," says Paul Fischer, Editor-in-Chief of Viscom, the leading graphic magazine in Switzerland, speaking for the industry. "For me, this is the most worthwhile fair after drupa, and it indicates clearly that newspapers are alive and well. Nowhere else is communication so frank. Being Swiss, another reason why it is particularly interesting for me is that numerous Swiss suppliers are involved in the newspaper market."
Major Interest in Life-Cycle Management Subjects
However, the World Publishing Expo not only attracted newspaper producers to Amsterdam, but also many other experts of the graphic industry. For instance, Senefelder Misset, which is based in Doetinchem, Netherlands, produces mainly magazines on three Muller Martini saddle stitchers. But the Head of Finishing, Herman Poesse, wanted to get up to date in other areas apart from finishing too, "in particular as some of the 600 titles produced by us are added to newspapers as inserts. What is more, the most varied pre-press systems were also presented at the World Publishing Expo. This means that I met numerous interesting people from suppliers across the entire production process at the fair – from pre-pressing to printing through to finishing.
In addition to the new NewsGrip F and ProLiner D developments as well as the Connex.Mailroom data and process management system as the production control center of the mailroom, life cycle management subjects and retrofit programs also attracted a great deal of interest at the Muller Martini booth. Numerous visitors eagerly followed the on-screen presentations the TABA I top sheet feeder and the new referencing function of the NewsGrip, which achieves efficiency gains and therefore shorter production times in the mailroom.