Polar AirGo Jog installed at photo service provider CEWE

Four years of cooperation

The AirGo Jog is an innovation for postpress finishing from Polar Mohr.

The AirGo Jog – an  innovation for postpress finishing from Polar Mohr, a Hofheim (Germany)-based machine building and technology company — was first presented at the end of 2020 as a ‘milestone for autonomous processing’. The development was carried out in cooperation with online photo service provider CEWE. After a successful field test, two examples of the jogger are now in use.

The search for a new ventilation system brought CEWE and Polar together four years ago. The goal was to find a solution for B2 formats that would allow the sheets to be removed and processed in layers without having to change the sequence of the sheets. The place of operation: CEWE’s production facility in Germering, which specializes in medium format. All orders are processed there in intermittent three-shift operation.

Polar, with CEWE as field test customer, developed a fully autonomous system: The AirGo Jog fully automates the loading and jogging process. First, a Transomat loader takes entire layers from a pallet and transports them to an automatic jogger. There, the usual jogging process first begins — with the crucial component: an aeration system. While the material is jogged, air is blown into the cutting layer. This enables a first-class, edge-precise jogging result. The jogged cutting layer can then be cut in one.

The name of the AirGo Jog is derived from the system’s essential elements: air and jogging, as Indian Printer and Publisher had earlier reported when the device was first announced and premiered at the HD Innovation Week in October 2020. 

Successful project even in times of crisis

“We are delighted that the AirGo Jog has finally arrived on the market. The close cooperation with CEWE was a great help in overcoming last difficulties — the successful field tests now confirm the success,” says Sales manager Markus Judel. The project period since 2020 was a particular challenge. “The past two to three years were conceivably complicated, there was the pandemic and later major supply chain problems,” recalls Frank Schulz, technical manager of CEWE’s Germering site, who steered the project. “The fact that it was still successfully implemented was only possible because of the great flexibility on both sides.”

In the meantime, the jogger in Germering is no longer just running in test mode, but in regular operation: around the clock, with a cycle time of 60 to 90 seconds, it is a real efficiency miracle. CEWE retrofitted a second model at the end of 2022. “Almost all of our projects are processed with the AirGo Jogs,” says Frank Schulz.

The program includes grammages from 150 to 250 grams; in tests, even papers with only 80 grams could be jogged successfully. The Polar system is convincing all around, he says. “We were able to greatly reduce the number of FTEs, the system runs more reliably and the ventilation result is optimized,” Schulz says. “In addition, the AirGo Jog is very compact in its design and does not require much space.” Polar systems are popular at CEWE. Several cutting units, two of which are currently equipped with an AirGo Jog, are located in Germering.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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