Star product: Kern Ai-33Direct
By Melanie Defries Friday, 15 June 2012
A high-speed mail inserter that can adapt itself to maximise efficiency.
What is it and when was it launched?
The Kern Ai-33Direct is a high-speed mail inserting machine. The inserter, which was unveiled at Drupa 2012, runs at 33,000 mail pieces per hour.
"The Ai-33 represents the next stage in the quest for speed and productivity to drive cost-effectiveness in the inserting market," said Kern senior vice-president of strategy Dave Squires at the machine’s launch in May.
What does it do?
The Ai-33Direct is modular in design, like all Kern products, so a customer can choose the exact configuration needed and add modules according to any changing requirements.
It can be installed with up to 20 divert bins on the same system, although the average customer will use around six, according to the company.
A range of cutters can also be connected to the Ai-33, including the K999 high-speed cutter.
The single-sided-access machine, which tracks documents at every stage of the process, can be operated by just one person, giving a low cost per unit of mail.
How does it work?
The Ai-33Direct was developed by Kern’s US business and incorporates more than 100 sensors to ensure mailing integrity across the whole line.
The sensors enable the machine to adapt its behaviour to the process and product to maximise efficiency, while identifying errors and automatically taking faulty products out of the production line.
"With this highly intelligent system, we can guarantee high integrity and accurate mail packages that can be relied upon," says Squires.
To handle the high speed of the Ai-33, an output conveyor of 15 feet (4.6m) is added at the end of the machine.
Other features of the machine include a centralised communication system for controlling safety information and functions, flexible speed options and a touchscreen operating panel.
It can be fitted with up to 16 high-speed friction feeders. The feeders also feature programmable misfeed and double-feed protection, helping to ensure document integrity.
The inserter head is designed to process a wide range of envelopes, including side-seam, executive, top-flat, bottom-flat, diamond-cut, straight-flap, rounded-flap and bevelled-flap designs.
Who is it aimed at?
The machine is aimed at customers inserting more than 50m packages a year, but Kern says a typical customer would be producing well over 100m a year.
What is its USP?
Kern claims that the Ai-33Direct inserter is the fastest in the world and that it provides the lowest overall cost per piece in the industry.
It maximises output via the use of sensors that identify areas where efficiencies can be made. Automatic adjustments in timing can be made to maximise throughput and reduce system inefficiencies.
Kern UK general manager Peter Jolly says: "The output the Ai-33 can achieve means that there is less of a requirement for additional inserter lines, which reduces floor space and the use of other resources."
How much does it cost?
Price is dependent on configuration and is available on application. There are no current users of the machine, due to its very recent launch.
Is it easy to use and is training provided?
Kern claims that the machine is very user friendly. Training is provided by the manufacturer.
Speed 33,000 mailpieces per hour
Min envelope size 215x89mm
Max envelope size 280x162mm
Max envelope thickness 8mm
Insert capacity 990mm high insert hopper
Price On application
Pitney Bowes MPS26
Pitney Bowes’ Mailstream Productivity Series is a range of three high-speed mail inserters. The MPS26 is optimised for multiple, low-page-count applications. The machine is equipped with DC Verify software which Pitney Bowes says ensures the high integrity of its inserters.
Speed 26,000 pieces per hour
Price On application
Contact 0844 4 992 992 www.pitneybowes.co.uk
The CMC 9000 envelope-inserting machine is aimed at producing DL, C5 high-volume transactional jobs. Its input channels have been optimised for low-to-medium page counts. The machine features an optional automatic reprint capability enabling any rework to be done while the job is being completed.
Speed Up to 32,000 envelopes/hour
Maximum thickness 8mm
Price On application
Contact UK sales manager Steve Garbett 07768 192241 www.cmcmachinery.com
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