(24.11.2022 / sbr)

MailStreet automates sheetfed printing with Tecnau Cut & Stack

Doing a good job means going the extra mile every time. While many companies have gone through a difficult period during the pandemic, MailStreet print volumes continued to increase due to a heavy focus on e-commerce marketing and custom applications for their clients, such as personalized items like menus in meal boxes. The company motto is to make data personal by conveying custom messages to specific audiences and increasing the value of communication.

It is the strong belief of the Dutch printer that, even if digital communication is immediate and efficient, print has more impact on people because it provides a unique and distinctive experience for receivers. With this in mind, MailStreet is continuously pursuing advanced technologies to better serve their customers.

In 2015 the company went into inkjet for the first time. This made a real change in application possibilities and customization options and, from that moment on, the fleet of systems has kept increasing and now counts multiple sheet-fed and roll-fed solutions inside the Deventer factory in The Netherlands, where a Tecnau continuous feed Stack 2320 cut & stack solution had already been installed for digital print applications.

By the end of 2019, requests for high-quality and personalized print with short times-to-market had been increasing so much that MailStreet made the strategic decision to start optimizing their workflow to further improve productivity and effciency.

Automated Print and Finishing Production

“MailStreet was already a high-volume inkjet print service with major print possibilities to fullfill customer expectations. But it was essential to further develop just-in-time delivery to optimize the print and finishing process with solutions that improve workflow and reduce labor,” said Michel Carlier, Managing Director at Kentie-Rotaform, Tecnau sales and service partner in the Netherlands. “Instead of only increasing the amount of systems at the company’s disposal, the idea was to eliminate bottlenecks during production. The key word to make this possible was automation.”

In 2020, MailStreet installed their first Tecnau Stack 1010 sheet-fed cut & stack solution inline to a Canon varioPrint i-300 series press. This made a tremendous difference in delivery times and the company decided to purchased a second system soon after.

The Stack 1010 converts multi-up output sheets into smaller, stacked finished pages without offline guillotine cutters. The system accepts the full range of compatible sheet sizes from the Canon varioPrint iX- & i-series digital inkjet presses and it generates 1-up or 2-up offset stacks on an exit conveyor, ready to be dispatched without the need for any further processing.

Benefits of inline Cut-Sheet Finishing

Working with an inline cut-sheet solution offers numerous benefits that can make a huge difference in a printing environment. An inline automated process diminishes manual handling and consolidates labor-intensive finishing operations without the need for nearline guillotine cutters. The advantage is not only relevant in terms of time saved and reduced operator effort, but also helps maintain application integrity: considering that fewer production steps are required there is a lower chance of mistakes being made.

Lammert van Keulen, Managing Partner at MailStreet, commented: “After years of sheetfed printing & manual handling of printed jobs, we went for a Tecnau Stack 1010 sheet-fed cut & stack solution to automate the complete process inline to one of our Canon varioPrint i-series presses. By doing so, we reduced labor (considering that the unemployment rate in the Netherlands is very low and there is a scarcity of new workers, this is significant benefit), but even more interesting, we reduced the process lead time. Within 15 minutes after the start of a print job, our staff can start packing the printed materials to be shipped out. In the past, the prints had to go to the finishing department for off-line guillotine cutting, which was a time consuming and manual process with heavy lifting and the chance of creating job integrity errors.

“Even more important, we improved the ergonomics for our operators, who are happy to work with a better solution that also avoids errors during manual job handling and nearline finishing. In a time where it is hard to find new workers, it is even more important to keep your employees satisfied and motivated. The overall outcome was so positive that after a few months we decided it was time to add a second line just beside the first.”

Then he continued, “We were extremely surprised by the Stack 1010 ease of use and ability to change between applications, like for example A3 to A4 and vice versa. Up to the moment we switched to the Tecnau inline cut-sheet solution, it was not completely clear how much time the manual sorting of offline finished applications was taking us. It became immediately clear when the system went in production, after automatically cutting multi-up imposition jobs inline to one of our Canon varioPRINT i-series presses, where sheets were presented in neatly offset- separated stacks on an exit conveyor without any further delay. Also with the system, any possible mistake in manual sheet separation was completely avoided.”

Other Finishing Capabilities

MailStreet not only decided to pursue automated digital production with sheet-fed print and finishing solutions, but they also installed a Tecnau Stack 2320 cut and stack for full-bleed finished applications inline to a Canon ColorStream 6000 series. This automated roll-fed process with the same on-demand print layout concept provides short-run, down to single copy, printed jobs for inserting and other communication markets.

The inline Tecnau cut & stack solution was another transformative investment to expand application capabilities and efficiently streamline production while reducing waste and set up times significantly.

Final Considerations

“We always aim to provide customers with the most innovative solutions that can make a real difference in their print environment,” commented Harm Jan Hulleman, Sales Director EMEA at Tecnau. “Sheet-fed color inkjet printers now combine offset quality with extensive media flexibility, but to achieve even better results an extra step is necessary. Printers should go the extra mile and rely on smart automated finishing to really push production to the next level and improve business. Solutions like the Tecnau Stack 1010 can make a real difference in improving and streamlining production with substantial savings in terms of time and labor, but also they can expand application flexibility to its maximum potential. This really means making data personal to the final recipient.”

“With Tecnau Stack 1010, from 2019 we have produced millions of documents and we keep increasing our business. Over the years, we received great support from the Tecnau service team, even on Saturdays. However the moments when this was needed can be counted on one hand,” added Lammert van Keulen. “We are now looking to expand the Tecnau finishing solution with a perforating module to provide even more applications to our customers,” he concluded.