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Arbitron Improves Diary Processing Center

The new building, layout and equipment, all designed by Arbitron staff, will improve productivity.

Diary processing has never looked so good.

That’s according to Arbitron, which says its upgraded diary processing center combines several processes under one roof. The new building, layout and equipment, all designed by Arbitron staff, will improve productivity, efficiency and accuracy for diary processing, the company said.

Arbitron diary packages sent to the public can have 60 treatment configurations tailored to individual requirements. In 2007, the diary processing team assembled more than a million diary packages.

In 2000, Arbitron automated its diary process by creating “Lucy,” a machine designed to assemble diary boxes and package diaries intended for respondents in the boxes. Lucy is named for the episode of “I Love Lucy” when Lucy and Ethel worked on the assembly line in a chocolate factory.

Arbitron used to send out diaries in boxes and envelopes, and noticed more people returned the boxed diaries, hence the creation of “Lucy.”

In addition to improvements made to Lucy, the new facility includes a high-tech inserter machine that improves package assembly and efficiency and a new printer. Arbitron said the new machines will allow the diary processing team to adapt to new diary treatments more efficiently and allow them to send additional communications to respondents, bringing the printing and mailing entirely in-house.

The inserter has verification controls built-in for each production station to ensure accuracy for every piece of respondent material for either the diary packages or additional printed respondent communication, the company said.