The Hindu to Expand Operations

Just 15 months after it was opened, The Hindu in the South Indian seaport Chennai is expanding its operations including its Muller Martini mail room system. To the existing NewsGrip A newspaper conveyors with four NewsStack stackers, another NewsGrip A line with two NewsStack stackers are to be added for the new press to be installed in summer of 2008.

It is slightly more than a year since The Hindu moved newspaper production from the city center to the industrial site outside Chennai (formerly Madras). In the new production location, which was erected on a green field site, the newspaper manufacturers put four NewsGrip A newspaper conveyors and four NewsStack stackers into operation alongside two Mitsubishi printing presses each producing 80,000 copies per hour. They are controlled by the flexible Muller Martini MPC Mailroom Production Control system.

This was new territory in Chennai for The Hindu. In the old production facility, the company used a mail room system from another manufacturer. However, at the plant in Hyderabad, The Hindu has been using the latest technology from Muller Martini for its production since March 2005.

The positive experience gained in Hyderabad was, according to the Deputy General Manager, V. Harikrishnan, key in the decision to invest in a Muller Martini solution in Chennai too. “The NewsGrip A pick up stations and the conveyors are running perfectly, hardly ever dropping a copy. The NewsStacks are not only remarkable for their high level of flexibility, but they are also very fast and produce excellent quality bundles. We have also had only good experiences with the service provided by Muller Martini India.”

Because the inserts have increased by 30 percent since the new production facility was put into operation over a year ago, and newspaper circulations are steadily rising, The Hindu is upgrading its production facilities at Chennai with a third Mitsubishi press and two more NewsGrip A and NewsStack lines.

Both the newspapers and the inserts are sent in bundles to several distribution centers where the newspaper hawkers integrate the inserts manually. “India is still a direct printing country,” says V. Harihareswaran.

So that the thousands of bundles arrive at the right destination at the correct time every day, they are addressed with TABA top sheet application (in some cases in barcode form). This is one of the key value-added benefits of the new mailroom. According to V. Harihareswaran, the second is the MPC Mailroom Production Control system from Muller Martini. “It renders a valuable service, allocating the right number of products to each bundle and delivering them to the right place at the right time.”

The mailroom solution in Chennai has another distinguishing feature: The Hindu has installed the new labeling system from Muller Martini. This can stick labels in a wide range of sizes on newspapers with minimum effort, simply and reliably. The labeling system can be connected to any newspaper conveyor in the mailroom, is quickly ready for operation and reliably dispenses up to 90,000 labels per hour from a carrier belt onto main or pre-printed sections. “We don’t use this system all that often as yet,” says M. Radhakrishnan. “We regard it primarily as an investment in the future.”

Whilst the two newspapers “The Hindu” and “Business Line” and the supplements are fed directly from the press to the NewsStack stacking systems, the weekly “Sportstar” is trimmed inline like other (semi-commercial) products. For this purpose, Muller Martini provided two special constructions in the newspaper conveyor system in the mailroom in Chennai.

First of all, the NewsGrip A has a chain/chain transfer This “gate” can conduct the product towards either the stacker or the trimmer.Secondly, the NewsGrip A can transport two newspapers in one clamp in order to compensate for the speed of the press being twice that of the trimmer. Both copies are then trimmed and delivered to the NewsStack.

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