01.03.2019 / Adrian Mayr

"Exactly What We Need"

At the Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne, Muller Martini had two reasons to celebrate. On the one hand, we registered a big crowd of visitors at our stand over all four days. On the other hand, some customers decided to purchase our solutions for finishing digitally printed products presented at the trade fair.

100 percent digital printing, 100 percent products ordered online and on demand, 75 percent in runs of 1 – if you take a look at the order books of Schätzl Druck & Medien GmbH & Co. KG, from Donauwörth, Germany, you will quickly see that highly automated production processes are required in order to be successful in the book-of-one-market. This is exactly the kind of graphics company that Muller Martini's developers had in mind when they expanded the "unbeatable duo" of perfect binder Vareo and three-knife trimmer InfiniTrim by adding an endsheet feeder to create an "indomitable trio" for the industrial processing of hardcover book blocks in runs of one and of the highest quality.

From Finishing 4.0 to Schätzl 4.0
Currently, Schätzl Druck & Medien GmbH uses several, less automated systems for the processing of ultra-short runs. "However, because our main focus is on full automation and we need scalable and automatable capacities due to the seasonal fluctuations in our operations – think Christmas business – we looked for a new solution," says Ulrich Schätzl. According to the Managing Director, the endsheet feeder/Vareo/InfiniTrim solution, which proved to be a crowd-puller at the Muller Martini stand at the Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne, is "exactly what we need. It’s a hybrid system for softcover and hardcover, ensures automatic signature infeed, provides high size variability, and reduces manual interventions – just as described by Muller Martini in its Finishing 4.0 strategy."

After the pilot customers, Schätzl GmbH is therefore the first printing house worldwide to invest in our new hardcover book block solution. The system will be supplemented by a Diamant MC Digital bookline from Muller Martini and a DA 270 casemaker from Kolbus. The plant, which will come onstream in summer, will be controlled by our workflow system Connex. "For me, Connex is even more important than the individual machines," says Ulrich Schätzl, "because it forms the basis for our indispensable, networked production. Connex provides excellent support for our Schätzl 4.0 strategy." The fact that the purchase agreement between Schätzl Druck & Medien GmbH and Muller Martini was signed at our stand during the Hunkeler Innovationdays was a special highlight for me."

Bonacia: "This is how we want to produce in the future"
With Bonacia in Woodston/Peterborough, England, another digital printer is optimizing its softcover and hardcover production processes by investing in the inline Vareo perfect binder/three-knife trimmer InfiniTrim duo – and this cooperation was also entered into at the Lucerne trade fair. At Bonacia, too, most orders are (ultra) short runs of as few as one copy per title. For this reason, a lean and continuous production process, from the printing press to distribution, that is as highly automated as possible is essential. "We have four long-term goals," says Production Director Carl Whitelock: "reduction of overtime, reduction of changeover times, reduction of manual interventions and reduction of unit costs."

Vareo and InfiniTrim will make a significant contribution to achieving these four goals in just a few weeks. Bonacia opted for the inline duo not least thanks to the impressive tour of the Muller Martini world at the Print Finishing Center and the Bookbinding Academy in Switzerland. "The demonstrations were world class," gushes Carl Whitelock. He was not least impressed by the presentation of the Connex workflow system: "This is exactly how we want to produce in the future."

Exactly – that also means much more efficiently and therefore more cost-effectively than with the current solution. Bonacia’s financial experts calculated the return on investment precisely. They had received a much cheaper offer for machines produced by their previous supplier. However, the calculations showed that the Muller Martini equipment would pay for itself much quicker. Bonacia still has no concrete plans for the integration of the endsheet feeder. But Carl Whitelock will take a serious look at this option for the future.

Clays: “We need more flexible and more highly automated machines, such as the Vareo and the InfiniTrim” 
In order to produce (ultra) short runs in the softcover area more efficiently, with Clays a second English Muller Martini customer will install the Vareo/InfiniTrim dream team this spring. “As our print on-demand volumes and thus the number of orders with small quantities are growing, we need highly automated and sophisticated machine solutions that enable us to produce efficiently,” says Operations Director Ian Smith. “Thanks to the barcode workflow we can produce even book-of-one productions with the Vareo and InfiniTrim without any manual intervention.”

According to Ian Smith, the inline duo is the ultimate solution for producing small jobs, including runs of as little as one copy, without losing make-ready time. “Although our current binding equipment changes over relatively quickly, it still absorbs a lot of production time in doing so. The Vareo and the InfiniTrim will allow us to produce a wider variety of products more efficiently.” 

See you at drupa 2020!

The large number of visitors at our stand at the Hunkeler Innovationdays showed that Muller Martini's solutions for the finishing of digitally printed products hit the nerve of the graphic arts industry. We would like to thank everyone who visited us in Lucerne and look forward to seeing you again at the next major trade fair – drupa 2020 in Düsseldorf.

Please click here for further photos of Muller Martini’s stand at Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne

Adrian Mayr
Head of Product Management