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KAS Paper Systems Limited - Brewers Hill Road - Dunstable - Bedfordshire - LU6 1AD - UK

Tel: +44(0)1582 662211 Fax: +44(0)1582 664222 - email: mail@kaspapersystems.com

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What Our Clients Have To Say and Case Studies

Superior Creative improves productivity with KAS Mailwrap mid-range polywrapper

Superior Creative in Melksham, Wiltshire, has recently installed a Mailwrap polywraper from KAS Paper Systems. The company, which is a significant employer in the area with a workforce of 135 personnel, has over thirty years’ experience in below-the-line point of sale, brand management and retail products. It supplies major retail players in the food and drink industries with a complete design, litho and digital print, e-marketing and  fulfillment service.

Two years ago Superior added a direct mail service for its clients. A year ago they moved to nearby  premises on the same business park. “It has never been our intention to become a trade mailing house. This service is to meet existing customer requirements so that we can provide them with a total solution to direct mail their promotional material and magazines, which are printed on our Kodak NexPress and Heidelberg litho presses.” said Stewart Powell, Production Director. “The demand was for polywrapping because clients perceive that they can achieve a better response if the recipients can see what is in the envelope.”

Initially Superior acquired a second-hand SITMA polywrapper. “It soon became evident that we needed to improve our productivity and this was not possible with a machine that had make ready of one and a half to two hours. The difficulty was that we could not find a mid-range C4/C5 machine with a decent output and quick make ready as most of our runs range from 5000 to 50,000 envelopes. With our volumes it was not viable to invest in a very  high end industrial polywrapper,” Stewart explained.

“An article in a print magazine brought the  Mailwrap from KAS Paper Systems to our attention. With a make ready of only twenty minutes this mid-range polywrapper  was exactly what we wanted,” he pointed out. “Before we placed the order three of us, including the operator, had demonstrations at  KAS Paper Systems’ factory in Dunstable,” he continued.

“We saw a niche in the market for a mid-range polywrapping machine to complement our Mailmaster range of paper envelopers,” explained Stephen Hampstead, Managing Director, KAS Paper Systems. “We were being asked whether we could develop a full automated polywrapper that went beyond the semi-automatic models on the market in terms of durability and performance without the price tag of a the high volume, high speed machines. We focused on incorporating the attributes of flexibility, durability, performance and ease of set up found in our MailMaster enveloped inserters in the Mailwrap. It has been designed for companies who want to move on from hand-fed drop in baggers to a full automated system, providing greater throughput and efficiency but without much more time being spent on set-up. The speed with which jobs can be set up means that even short runs are viable.”

“One of our clients asked us whether we could polywrap 150,000 magazines with three  inserts  every four weeks. As we didn’t want to outsource the job, KAS Paper Systems  helpfully installed a temporary four feeder machine while they were building our model, which was delivered eight weeks later. To cover all client requirements now and in the future, we specified an eight station model,” Stewart pointed out.

Feeders can be set to automatically switch over to another one carrying the same document when it runs low. Standard feeders can feed thicknesses up to 7mm with one feeding up to 15mm. A shuttle feeder can also be added for even thicker items. The insert stations can handle a wide  variety of documentation, including single sheets, card, reply envelopes, pre-folded items, CDs and books. The feeders are top load for ease of filling without stopping the machine. it is possible to  pre select the number of items fed from each insert station on each cycle, which is useful if the pack includes a number of documents which are the same. It also has print registration when using printed film. 

The Mailwrap uses single-ply film from a toll. Typical thickness is 30 microns but it can handle some films down to a thinness of 16 microns. It can take film width up to 520mm and the rolls are loaded via a pull-out cassette system. The machine folds the film around the pack leaving an overlap in the middle where the two layers are fused together by a heated semicircular bar.. This bar rocks backwards and forwards to apply an even heat. The film runs over a plate at the point of seal to protect the contents from the heated bar as it comes into contact with the film. A second heated bar then cuts the film in between each bag and provides the end seal before the completed bags are collected on a conveyor stacker. The result is  a neat, close fitting wrap to a maximum packaging thickness of 22mm. 

“We have been very pleased with it.  As well as being very simple to operate it was in full production very quickly. We already have three people trained to operate it and we are training another so that we have full coverage during holidays and sickness,” Stewart commented.  “Operators have control over the settings through the machine’s pivoting touch screen, which enables station selection, speed and heat settings.  There is a settable counter and the screen displays the current speed, heat settings, feeders in operation and run summary. An error automatically stops the Mailwrap and its location is displayed on the control screen. Heat settings are pre set for a given throughput but can be adjusted to suit the thickness of film. Each insert station has a miss, double and jam detector and there are further sensors throughout to check the path of the document.”

 It’s handled everything Superior have put through it without any problem. “Although it can envelope 6000 packs an hour, we prefer to run it between 4500 and 5000 an hour depending upon the type of insert and materials used.,” Stewart added.

“I believe that KAS Paper Systems have capitalised on a gap in the mid market with a polywrapper that is affordable and simple to operate.  Its construction is heavy duty but relatively compact. The benefit of having a UK manufacturer is also a bonus. We get on well with their engineers and their support is good. To date the Mailwrap has proved excellent  value for our business where sometimes it is working 24/7 and other times is lying idle. We can now be more competitive by doing the work in-house and with the confidence that we have a reliable machine.”

 

Ciconi adds envelope personalisation

Ciconi Ltd, based in Warboys, Cambridgeshire, has increased its productivity and reduced costs by automating some of its manual inserting, matching and addressing processes with the installation of a KAS Mailmaster enveloper. The machine, which has online addressing and bar code matching capabilities, is the second Mailmaster that the company has purchased from KAS Paper Systems.

Ciconi began trading in 1989 as Stork Postal Services, offering delivery and fulfillment. Today it employs 22 staff and has a diverse portfolio and an established client base, primarily in business to business communications. The services include a full range of professional, marketing and mailing-related services covering mass and targeted personalised mail, design, digital print with two mono and two colour digital printers from Oce and Ricoh, consultancy surveys and more.

“We won a job that required us to print a bar code on a client survey, which matched a direct data name. This survey had to be inserted into an envelope with a personalised address label,” explained Rachel Cox, Financial Director. “Initially we started doing this job manually, visually matching the survey with the address label, which we stuck onto the envelope. We tended to do it in small batches to ensure quality control but it was a major task. From September to January, this project required us to print 200,000 surveys and insert them into envelopes, match and stick on a personalised address label ready for despatch. As well as being laborious, we were finding it difficult to keep up with our other work. It was also a logistical problem because the extra casual staff we needed to do the job took up space on the bench.”

This was the catalyst that led Ciconi to invest in a second Mailmaster, which could automate all these manual processes and give them the extra capacity of a second machine.

Before placing the order, they compared the Mailmaster solution with a competitive model. “KAS Paper Systems was the only company that could offer us bar code matching, online addressing and the flexibility of document insertion into either C4 or C5 envelopes,” Rachel pointed out. “The competitive machine could only insert into C5 format but we needed to be able to insert into both sizes of envelope. We also know KAS very well and can vouch for their service. The four station Mailmaster , which they suppliedover twelve years ago it is still going strong but does not have all the matching and addressing features of the new machine.”

To meet Ciconi’s requirements, KAS installed a Mailmaster 465HS with  a sheet feeder and accumulator with barcode reading, a folding module, four enclosure stations, error divert and in-line addressing. One of the enclosure stations also has a barcode reader installed to match documents fed from it with those fed from the primary sheet feeder.

“The new Mailmaster with all the bells and whistles is a dream machine although it’s taken a while to incorporate its sophisticated technical features into our workflow. KAS have been fantastically supportive throughout and made changes and upgrades where necessary.

We too have involved our paper supplier, changed our substrates and slowed down our ink jet printer to achieve the best quality,” Rachel pointed out. “When we specified the machine we concentrated on the features that were required for this major project. Once installed, we realised that we needed other features to broaden our flexibility to do other work, like the addition of KAS’s camera reading technology to replace the original barcode scanner, which would facilitate reading of 2D matrix and OMR as well as the ID bar codes.

It’s been something of a learning curve to meet our current and future requirements but KAS have been so helpful and hands on. Now that we are in production we are delighted with the number of customer enquiries for this type of work.”

A client asked us to look at the feasibility of taking on a printing and mailing job with a tight 24-hour schedule in terms of speed, security and cost effectiveness.

It comprised the enveloping of a policy document, which range from one page to 20 different pages and two publications, into either C5 or C4 envelopes. These publications also vary depending upon the policy documents. We had two bigger but older mailing and inserting machines, which were not suitable enough for the project so we invested in the KAS Mailmaster Compact. It's a well-built, mid-range machine. Its top speed is 5,000 envelopes an hour and we normally run at 4,000-5,000 an hour depending on the documents. The Optical Mark Reader (OMR) reader matches the documents and provides extra security when we are mailing personal and confidential documents.

Product of the Week: KAS MailWrap

Simon Creasey, PrintWeek, 21 January 2011

Aimed at the mid-range market, this revamped machine appears to tick all the right boxes, says Simon Creasey

Polywrapping isn’t the sexiest of subjects

But for mailing houses, and increasing numbers of printers, it’s a key tool. It’s also an area that in common with other print disciplines has, over the past few years, seen the introduction of a new breed of machines offering greater levels of automation.

As was the case with the revamped KAS MailWrap. Originally launched at Drupa 2008, the MailWrap underwent a significant upgrade, the outcome of which was unveiled at Ipex 2010. Developed by Dunstable-based KAS Paper Systems, which manufactures mailing machines, paper handling systems and print finishing kit, the updated MailWrap was launched with a very specific user in mind.

"We saw a niche in the market for a mid-range polywrapping machine to complement our Mailmaster range of paper envelopers," explains , of Stephen Hampstead, Managing Director, KAS Paper Systems. "We were the UK distributor for a lower-end polywrapper for which we eventually built integrated feeders, but unfortunately nothing new was being developed to meet the changing requirements of the market. We were being asked whether we could develop a fully automated polywrapper that went beyond the semi-automatic models on the market, in terms of durability and performance, without the price tag of the high-speed machines already around."

So the company set about developing a competitively priced, fully automated machine. The key to the success of the project would be to take the "flexibility, durability, performance and ease of set up" that were found in the company’s Mailmaster envelope inserters and transfer these attributes to the MailWrap, according to Hampstead.

Machine reborn
And with the latest incarnation it appears as if the company has managed to pull off this trick. The new MailWrap is similar to its predecessor in the sense that it offers simple set-up and changeover, but cycling speed has been bumped to 6,000 completed packs per hour – a 25% increase. Importantly, the machine also has a slightly smaller footprint as the length has been decreased. As a result it is "relatively compact in comparison with those from some other manufacturers and space is sometimes an issue," says Hampstead.

The MailWrap uses single-ply film from a roll. Typical thickness is 30 microns, but it can handle some films down to a thinness of 16 microns. The thinner the film the more bags can be produced from one roll, which typically weigh around 30kg for a width suitable for A4, or 30cm in diameter. The MailWrap can take a film width of up to 520mm and the rolls are loaded via a pull-out cassette-style system. The machine folds the film around the pack, leaving an overlap in the middle where the two layers are fused together by a heated semicircular bar. This bar rocks backwards and forwards to apply an even heat. The film runs over a plate at the point of seal to protect the contents from the heated bar as it comes into contact with the film. A second heated bar then cuts the film in between each bag and provides the end seal, before the completed bags are collected on a conveyor stacker. The result is a neat, close-fitting wrap. Maximum packing thickness is 22mm.

Software refinements on the MailWrap mean that operators have more control over settings through the machine’s pivoting touchscreen, which enables station selection, speed and heat settings.

"There is a re-settable counter, and the screen displays the current speed, heat settings, feeders in operation and run summary," explains Hampstead. "An error automatically stops the MailWrap and its location is displayed on the control screen. Heat settings are pre-set for a given throughput but can be adjusted to suit the thickness of film. There are also help pages on the screen to aid the operator."

Insert stations can handle a wide variety of documentation, including single sheets, card, reply envelopes, pre-folded items, CDs and books. "The feeders are top-load for ease of filling without stopping the machine," says Hampstead. "It’s possible to pre-select the number of items fed from each insert station on each cycle, which is useful if the pack includes a number of documents which are same."

Feeder switching
Hampstead points out that the feeders can also be set to automatically switch over to another one carrying the same document when it runs low. Standard feeders can feed thicknesses up to 7mm, with one feeding up to 15mm. A shuttle feeder can also be added for even thicker items.

"Each insert station has a miss, double and jam detector and there are further sensors throughout to check the path of the document through the system," explains Hampstead.

Different reading technology is available to enable the grouping of personalised documents from one feeder if the number of documents in each packs varies, or to match documents fed from multiple readers. The code could be a barcode, 2D matrix or alpha numeric. Other features include adjustable bag length, sequential start up and clear down, and print registration. There is also a hand-feed position to add further items.

One of the main advantages of the new machine is its ease of use. The speed with which jobs can be set-up means that even short runs can stack up commercially. It’s so easy to get to grips with the machine that Hampstead estimates installation and training will only take around two days.

"Our intention is to offer a machine for the medium-size user where businesses want to move on from hand-fed drop in baggers to a fully automated system providing greater throughput and efficiency but without much more time being spent on set-up," explains Hampstead.

"Of course, it may also be suited to those with high-speed systems who do not want to changeover their bigger systems for a smaller job."

So how will the machine fare in the current market? KAS is hopeful that it will sell well and with good reason. The company has already secured a number of installations in mailing houses and with printers, mainly for the polywrapping of magazines and journals. Some have gone to new customers and some to existing customers who were happy with the Mailmaster 465 but now have a requirement for a polywrapper, says Hampstead.

This is a niche market and there are few alternatives out there at that can match the MailWrap’s £49,000 price-point and also compete with its spec. So KAS is confident that it is in pole position to capitalise on the growing demand for this type of mid-range device. The new machine gives the company the "opportunity to offer its customers an effective polywrapping solution at a sensible investment," argues Hampstead. Only time will tell if they bite in sufficient numbers to make the gamble pay off.


SPECIFICATIONS
Top speed 6,000 packs per hour
Min pack thickness 200gsm
Max pack thickness 22mm
Min pack dimensions 210x148mm
Max pack dimensions 350x240mm
Price from £49,000
Contact
KAS Paper Systems
01582 662211
www.kaspapersystems.com

I swear by my KAS Mailmaster Compact

Printing World, 09 March 2009

A client asked us to look at the feasibility of taking on a printing and mailing job with a tight 24-hour schedule in terms of speed, security and cost effectiveness.

It comprised the enveloping of a policy document, which range from one page to 20 different pages and two publications, into either C5 or C4 envelopes. These publications also vary depending upon the policy documents. We had two bigger but older mailing and inserting machines, which were not suitable enough for the project so we invested in the KAS Mailmaster Compact. It's a well-built, mid-range machine. Its top speed is 5,000 envelopes an hour and we normally run at 4,000-5,000 an hour depending on the documents. The Optical Mark Reader (OMR) reader matches the documents and provides extra security when we are mailing personal and confidential documents.

Ed Clarke, production manager, FastAnt Marketing Materials Management

Insurance firm WPA looks to KAS to revamp its mailing operation

Adam Hooker, PrintWeek, 31 January 2008

Medical insurance company WPA has upgraded its mailing department with a new KAS Mailmaster 465HS.

The envelope inserter was brought on board following a review of the company’s in-house printing department.

It comes with four feeders, a barcode reader and double feed sensor.

According to Karen Jacobs, leader for the post and imaging team at WPA, the new machine has enabled the firm to cut out hand filling.
She said: “The new machine can pack into C5 and C4 envelopes – before we could only do C5. With the barcode reader and double feed sensor, we get added security.”

At its Taunton headquarters, WPA has six digital presses as well as its mailing department, which sends out statements and confidential information to customers.

WPA’s print arm employs 14 staff. In total, the company employs more than 150.

As well as bringing in the Mailmaster, the department underwent a complete redesign to make it more efficient, however, no other kit purchases were made.

Newham council brings finishing in-house

Staff, PrintWeek, 28 September 2006

The London Borough of Newham has brought all its mailing and fulfilment work in-house with the installation of a KAS Mailmaster 465HS enveloping machine.

The kit has been supplied with customised software and brings an end to the council outsourcing its inserting.

Previously, all work was outsourced except for the distribution of cheques, which were processed on a small desktop-mailing machine.

Paul Bull, contract and printing services manager, said: "We wanted to reduce the time it was taking to send out cheques, bills and other documentation.

"By setting up our own on-site mailing unit, we have significantly reduced the turnaround time. The KAS 456HS means we are now able to despatch work in two working days instead of anything between five to nine days."

OCS buys KAS Mailmaster for centralisation plan

Ben Bold, printweek.com, 19 March 2008

OCS Document Management has installed a KAS Mailmaster Compact C4 enveloper to consolidate its internal document processing at its Waltham Abbey site.

The firm, which specialises in document management and support, is currently implementing an SAP system across its entire business and realised that by centralising its document management function into one office, it would readily be able to access up-to-date information on its business performance.

One of the areas that required centralisation was the processing and distribution of invoices, statements, remittance advices and credit control letters. The company envelopes about 1.4m documents per year. These processes were previously managed at individual sites and in many cases involved staff manually folding documents and putting them in envelopes.

As well as using the machine to manage its own enveloping, OCS is offering the service to its customers. The company estimates that the machine, which cost in the region of £75,000, will pay for itself in about 18 months.

Graham Proudfoot, the OCS's managing director, explained that the KAS Mailmaster fulfilled the company's needs in terms of its capacity, versatility, durability and, for a large machine, small footprint.

The machine was supplied with a sheet feeder folder with OMR reading. Features allow quick changeover between jobs and include touch-screen control and feeders that can handle thicknesses ranging from single sheet to 7mm. It operates at a rate of up to 5,000 envelopes per hour and can insert up to 12mm into a C4-sized envelope.

OCS's first project is to centralise the distribution of payslips for its 40,000 employees.

BGL Group adds second KAS Mailmaster as volumes grow

Steven Kiernan, printweek.com, 13 July 2007

The BGL Group has taken delivery of a second KAS Mailmaster following the success of an installation earlier this year.

The three-station KAS Mailmaster 565HS will allow the document logistics arm to cope with large volumes of diverse mailings, both from BGP brands and for its partners.

Document Logistics senior manager Paul Thomas said: "In the last three years, our requirements have changed as we have taken on the printing and mailing of insurance documentation for a number of affinity partners.

"Previously, when we were only mailing our own brands, we had large volumes of homogenous work."

The Peterborough-based firm, which sends out in excess of 500,000 mailings per month, took on the initial six-station Mailmaster in February. The £76,000 system included a sheetfeeder and accumulator folder with barcode reader.

It has since ploughed £31,000 into this second, smaller-footprint Mailmaster to support its existing client base and in order to attract further customers.

Thomas added: "Since we installed the [first] machine, it is taking on more work than we initially envisaged. This is because of the print-on-demand work, which we receive throughout the day.

"We decided to go for the more robust KAS 565HS three-station machine, which can support the volume and type of work we are doing and will be doing more of in the future."