In the first article of our Finishing 4.0 series, I provided you with a basic overview of the Finishing 4.0 development strategy. Today, I would like to provide you with a more detailed look at the role played by automation and networking.
Finishing 4.0 refers to a number of intelligent solutions developed for finishing digitally or conventionally printed products. Similar to the concept behind Industry 4.0
,Finishing 4.0 involves the production of print products that are customized
– i.e. they contain personalized content – and variable
– i.e. they have different formats and thicknesses.
In extreme cases where each product looks different from the next one, the print finishing machines need to have the latest drive technology. This allows them to be adjusted individually for each end product. We still, of course, want to take advantage of the benefits of industrial production. This means as little manual work and as much automation as possible.
At the same time, the following points must be ensured:
Earn money even with short runs
- Despite the individual end products, the production process must be reliable.
- The machines must provide both high performance and quality.
- We need short changeover times for short and ultra-short runs.
- The operator needs to be supported by operating wizards integrated in the machine.
There are exciting new developments under way in all areas of print finishing. For example, for the production of softcover books, each of the Vareo
perfect binder’s three clamps has its own servo motor and operates individually. This means that every processing step can be adjusted individually in line with the product. And this is useful both for products that are printed using the offset process and those that are produced digitally.
If you produce hardcover books, the Diamant MC Digital
bookline can automatically change over segment by segment. The time needed for format changes for each product can also be kept as short as possible. Perfect for short-run productions and runs of one, which are often seen with the globally popular photo book format or on demand products – where the right book case has to be inserted automatically.
With the SigmaLine, we’ve gone one step further and made it possible – but not necessary – to integrate the digital printing press directly into the line. Both the printing press and the SigmaLine receive the orders to be produced via Connex LineControl Pro. As a result, there is a central control point for orders, printing and print finishing. Networking the systems is essential to ensure seamless operations. More information about how the SigmaLine
processes digitally printed paper into book blocks can be found here.
The workflow is as important as the machine itself
Automated systems are now state of the art at Muller Martini. But networking the individual, highly automated machines and all of the systems involved optimizes production and provides you with a decisive competitive advantage. In doing so, it is important to ensure a consistent focus on JDF/JMF, the CIP4
standard – from individual machine to the entire production line. This makes it possible to integrate all systems seamlessly via standard interfaces, for example, in your existing company networks.