The Presidents Letter
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
The Ventura MC “Tween” option offers book publishers and manufacturers unique opportunities
First-of-its-kind capability provides innovative, competitive edge for sewn book products
Muller Martini’s Ventura MC with state-of-the-art servo technology is the world’s first—and only—book sewing machine that can stitch products featuring differently sized signatures with accurate positions directly in the book block. This capability, known as the “Tween” (aka “in between”) option, makes it possible for book publishers and manufacturers to differentiate their products within an immensely competitive marketplace as signatures that differ in both length and width can be placed in different positions in the book block.
The Ventura MC is highly efficient as it can stitch without the need to blind stitch. The book blocks produced using this method have short thread ends which are especially beneficial for the finishing process in the softcover segment. The Ventura’s “Tween” option eliminates elaborate, time-consuming manual work, speeding the production process and enabling more attractive print products to be offered to end users at more competitive prices.
Currently, the Ventura MC is the only sewing machine on the market capable of featuring signatures that differ in length and width within one finished book. Newer models of the Ventura MC book sewing machine are already fitted with the “Tween” option, and it is easily retrofitted on some earlier models. Interest in the “Tween” capability is beginning to migrate to the United States after its continuing success in Europe, including:
Britain’s largest trade bookbinder who is using the capability in art books
A Swiss graphic arts company that specializes in high-quality catalogs and brochures that promote luxury goods
Other uses for the “Tween” function include within such uniquely sewn products as:
“Coffee table” books
Commercial applications (e.g., catalogs, high-end brochures)
Gatefolds and other specialty sections
Jim Kaeli, Muller Martini Business Development, Hardcover Systems, explained, “The possibilities are endless for optimum-quality sewn products to now include a unique, standout feature that can truly energize book, catalog, and brochure design and production and really revitalize the high-end appeal of sewn products. Publishers and book designers can engage readership in an exciting new format, while book manufacturers can provide new product options to their customers—while creating a strategic differentiator among their competitors.”
Muller Martini is digital ready. Are you?
More and more graphic arts businesses are using both offset and digital printing, which is why Muller Martini manufactures print finishing systems that are designed for both printing modes.
It’s clear that our customers are making increasing use of digital printing technology, and, in particular, a combination of offset and digital. And that is why, since drupa 2012, all newly developed Muller Martini machines are digital ready. In other words, all systems – saddle stitchers, perfect binders and hardcover systems alike – are prepared for retrofitting with components for the processing of digitally printed products. In each case, the whole line, from start to finish, is designed for the processing of customized products.
In addition to the increasing importance of digital printing, another important market trend can be observed: many graphic arts businesses have a higher number of jobs, but steadily declining runs. That is why maximum variability and flexibility are crucial for enhancing print finishing systems, with the focus being on quick changeovers from one job to the next. Electronic calculation tools and setup wizards should provide as much support to the operator as possible, making consistent use of the possibilities of a high degree of automation and intelligent control of aggregates. The large number of jobs and short runs mean that reduction in setup waste is especially important. The very first copy needs to be salable, especially when it comes to digital printing and customized production. Muller Martini’s enhancements focus on maximum reduction of production waste.
Great potential for shorter job changeover times lies in fully automated lines, that ideally are networked by means of a digital workflow. Three-knife trimmers often slow down the production processes in perfect binding, but the brand-new Granit from Muller Martini shows that does not have to be the case. This fully automated three-knife trimmer provides consistently outstanding trim quality thanks to its innovative SmartPress technology. Its good price-performance ratio also makes it the ideal investment for the Pantera, the Alegro 6, older Muller Martini models such as the Acoro and the Monostar, perfect binders from other manufacturers, or for bookbinders wanting to switch from a guillotine cutter to a three-knife trimmer.