The September issue of "direkt", Bayer's employee magazine, contained post seed®, a "tasty" supplement for readers. Each copy of the magazine included such a card filled with arugula seeds.
"[This is] an invitation to engage in farming - not just theoretically but also practically" wrote Dr. Dieter Hilla, Head of Internal Communication for Germany at Bayer AG, in the editorial of the employee magazine. His intention was to encourage his colleagues to become [...] "small-scale gardeners" by using the attached "seed booklet". Based on the post seed® concept, the "seed booklet" has been developed by the seed-processing expert Suet together with the printing specialist Faubel.
Thanks to this unique concept, it is possible to insert high-quality seeds into cards, tags, sleeves or labels, whereby a seed tape is placed between two printable paper webs. This three-layered pack is glued to the edges and subsequently perforated. The seed tape can later be torn off along the perforation line to be planted.
Arugula seeds from HILD Samen GmbH, a Bayer subsidiary, were especially used for the post seed® cards contained in the Bayer magazine. The seed tape made by Suet was placed between two printed paper webs by Faubel. After being perforated, the 73,000 finished cards were packaged for subsequent processing.
Suitability for mechanical insertion is another advantage of post seed®. Insertion was carried out by the Rheinisch-Bergische Druckerei GmbH, the printing plant that also takes care of the employee magazine. When doing so, it was critical not to disrupt the fully automated process of Rheinisch-Bergische Druckerei.
This could be achieved by using the existing equipment: A production worker placed piles of post seed® cards on a spreading machine. The cards were then placed individually on a conveyor belt so as to overlap each other before being directed to a blower drum. In this drum, the magazines are blown open using compressed air in order for post seed® cards to be inserted in any position. Finally, a conveyor belt equipped with clamps conveyed the magazines with their supplements to the shipping area.
"Integrating post seed® into the conventional production process was no problem at all. The seeds remained intact. We were extremely satisfied with the results and hope that Bayer employees will enjoy growing their own arugula salad" said Frank Jäger, Faubel's Managing Director.