Yesterday, today and tomorrow, Muller is the partner you count on.
Let me begin by wishing you a Happy New Year. In 2014, my goal is to send more frequent correspondence so that I can directly share my comments about what’s ahead for our industry and Muller Martini.
Why? Because of late, some gross misinformation is being circulated. I’ve heard through multiple sources that one of our competitors is suggesting that Muller is not committed to the perfect binding business.
Let me assure you that nothing is further from the truth.
It goes without saying that Muller Martini has been a bindery leader for decades. We manufacture the most advanced finishing equipment by continually re-inventing the technology, innovating bindery solutions that deliver more product and more productivity, all with the utmost in quality. And that has not—nor will not—change. (Why else would five of the six largest book printers in the world use Muller Martini lines?)
What certainly has changed is our industry. Where once traditional printing and binding methods were unchallenged and robust, the digital age has entered our playing field—and it is not leaving. Shorter runs and one-off production are becoming strategic differentiators for those seeking to satisfy growing demands for personalization and individuality, be it a book, a magazine, a newspaper insert or a direct mail solicitation.
And when paradigm shifts occur, the best organizations remain agile and flexible in order to continue to exceed their customers' expectations. Which is why Muller is evolving to welcome new opportunities for growth. We’re reorganizing our factories, retooling our staff, and re- engineering our technology so that we can continue to offer investment protection with the best machines and the best service. To underscore that commitment, shortly we’ll announce two significant developments:
Sigma binding technology will be manufactured in the United States. In order to respond better and faster to our customers’ increased demands for digital solutions, our Allentown facility will soon manufacture Sigma/Binder/Trimmer technology, in addition to our traditional bindery lines.
The nation’s largest automated parts distribution center. Unlike some competitors who utilize third party part distributors, Muller Martini remains the best, most reliable source for Muller parts. An all-new, state-of-the-art parts distribution center—conveniently located in Allentown as well—will open in March. This new distribution center will continue to provide exceptional after-purchase support—and will no doubt exceed our current 97.5% next day shipment guarantee.
In closing, whether your bindery needs are in the traditional, digital or hybrid space, you can continue to count on Muller machines, parts and service for many years to come.
My best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2014.
President and CEO
As we begin to emerge from what’s been a very long winter season, I wanted to take the opportunity to inform you of some invigorating developments taking place at our Allentown, Pennsylvania facility.
1. Muller’s Scalable SigmaLine technology will be manufactured in Allentown beginning in May. The reason for this is fairly straightforward: the huge increase in on-demand printing is being driven by major publishers and digital book manufacturers within the United States. Yes, Europe and South America are beginning to take notice, but for now the key market influencers are here at home. And bringing the manufacturing of this technology back to the States enables us to more proactively respond to the market’s needs.
Muller Martini has been a recognized leader in digital finishing and manufacturing solutions. Our original SigmaLine technology was developed more than 15 years ago, and was clearly ahead of the curve. But now the market is catching up to SigmaLine’s 1,000 books per hour capability, particularly with the entry of inkjet printers, higher speeds and wider webs. This is truly an exciting time to be in the digital space, and Muller Martini will continue to engineer digital manufacturing solutions to meet the aggressive demands of today’s market.
The Scalable SigmaLine components that will be built in Allentown are the SigmaBinder, the SigmaTower and the SigmaTrimmer. In addition, our standalone SigmaTrimming Center will be manufactured in this facility.
2. Allentown continues to manufacture some of the newspaper industry’s most valued technology and machinery, particularly Muller Martini inserters and mailroom equipment. For those who continue to think that newspapers are dead, I ask them to simply think again. Renowned investor Warren Buffet’s newspaper company recently purchased a number of papers. Reported in Pew Research Center’s The State of News Media 2013, “Buffet and other investors have decided that print editions have legs, particularly at small and mid-sized papers, and that the organizations can stay profitable.” Naturally, we believe that, as well, and it’s why newspapers continue to turn to Muller Martini technology in order to make their operations more efficient and more effective.
3. We concluded the move of our spare parts operation at the end of March from Long Island, NY to a new efficient spare parts center within the large Allentown facility. A more efficient storage and retrieval concept allows us to maintain the service our customers are used to and it also allows us to seamlessly handle the increased volume of parts.
Now, with the addition of Scalable Sigma manufacturing, our Allentown facility is busier than ever. And this development provides a welcomed message for the future of our industry, particularly within the United States. Whether your finishing challenges lie in the traditional, digital, or hybrid space, Muller has solutions that can not only help you remain competitive—but grow. If you have plans to be in Allentown, I urge you to visit the facility and experience these solutions up close.
President and CEO