UK first

PM Solutions upgrades insertion with W+D install

PM Solutions' new inserter was installed in mid-June
PM Solutions' new inserter was installed in mid-June

Edinburgh mailing firm PM Solutions has renewed a 20-plus year relationship with German manufacturer Winkler + Dünnebier (W+D), installing a brand-new BB820+ intelligent inserter for direct mail.

The first to arrive in the UK, the new machine was installed in mid-June. Built up in a day, and with operators trained the following day, the machine was swiftly up and running.

“It’s operator-friendly, easy to use and understand. They get jobs out, and get them out on time: the reliability is there,” Ron Davidson, founding managing director of PM Solutions, told Printweek.

The new 820+ has replaced in turn a W+D BB700; for PM, this means a substantial boost to the firm’s insertion potential. 

While the machine’s maximum speed is around 20,000 units per hour, PM will run it at a comfortable 16-17,000 per hour, compared to the BB700’s normal running speed of around 10-11,000 per hour.

“We had a job that was for 4,000 insertions – it took [our operators] 15 minutes,” added Davidson.

The inserter has joined PM’s host of W+D machinery.

“The way we have the business set up here,” he explained, “all the machines are the same brand: training is much easier, and it means we can be more flexible with staff”.

PM’s relationship with W+D – previously under its pre-acquisition name of Buhrs – has now lasted more than 20 years.

Stephen Ferri, the company’s general manager, said: “[W+D’s] reliability is second-to-none. When we look at the downtime we have, it’s insignificant – even the older machines run into the tens of millions of insertions, if not more, in their lifetime.”

Vouching for the machines’ sturdiness, Davidson – who himself has an engineering background – added: “The last machine that we sold must have been 16 years old, and it was used every day. It has now gone to a new home, and the company that bought it is delighted with it. It’s going to run for years.

“It’s like everything else: if you look after them, they’ll look after you.”

PM prints and inserts itself, and following the installation of a W+D i-Jet inkjet printer several years ago, now prints its envelope exteriors in full colour at up to 30,000 per hour.

“It’s been a machine absolutely worth its weight in gold,” Davidson said.

Inserted material is printed on a pair of Xerox Rialto 900 reel-to-sheet printers, with a Versant toner press as backup; the Rialtos will be replaced around 2025-26, with PM looking at a number of manufacturers.

The company’s ambitions to bring processes in-house do not stop there, however, with Davidson and Ferri in consultation with W+D about bringing in an envelope-making machine.

“That would take us even further back down the supply chain – we would simply need paper,” Ferri said.

“It’s all about simplicity, and minimising our reliance on suppliers.”

Davidson added: “I’m 77 this year, and still going strong: we’re always looking to invest more money into new kit. You’ve got to try and be self-sufficient.”