Bell & Bain, which runs production in two shifts, has to change over its perfect binder roughly 20 times a day. The print runs for the numerous medical books and journals vary anywhere between 400 and 22,000 copies. The Alegro’s high level of automation, which significantly reduces set-up times, was therefore the factor that tipped the balance for Bell & Bain in favor of a new perfect binder from Muller Martini as a replacement for its Acoro A5 that had been installed 10 years earlier.
From left: Karen Baillie (Operations Manager at Bell & Bain), Ian Walker (Managing Director at Bell & Bain), Stephen Docherty (Director at Bell & Bain), David McGinlay (Sales Manager at Muller Martini England) and Michael Thüler (member of Muller Martini’s corporate management) in front of the new Alegro perfect binder at Muller Martini’s booth at the drupa in Düsseldorf.
According to Managing Director Ian Walker, the Alegro provides two additional advantages: “First, compared to the Acoro we now have an increased production rate of 2,000 cycles per hour, which we hope will enable us to avoid our usual overtime shifts in the future. Second, we are also able to use the Alegro for digitally printed products.”
Binding Digital Products In the Future
When the new perfect binder with the gathering machine 3694 (18 stations), a Solit three-knife trimmer, a Universo stacker delivery and a CB 12 book stacker is put into operation at the end of the year, it will initially be used exclusively to bind offset products. “However, we are planning to use the machine for binding digitally printed products at a later date,” says Walker. As the second company in the world to do so, Bell & Bain has had in operation a SigmaLine digital book production system from Muller Martini since 2005 and in the future will be able to transport products offline into the Alegro as well as inline into the SigmaBinder machine.
An additional advantage of the new Alegro is the fact that it is remote-compatible, which enables Muller Martini to connect to the machine at the customers’ site online from the factory at any time and quickly resolve faults through the MMRemote service module. “We also shopped around the competition during our evaluation period,” says Director Stephen Docherty, “and found that the Alegro is light years ahead.”