When you pick up a print product, can you tell if it was produced using digital printing or conventional offset printing technology? In the book market, the proportion of digital production is not at all apparent to the end user, although it is very widespread in all sectors. Digital printing has long since ceased to be the domain of softcover and saddle-stitched products; the hardcover segment is also increasingly benefiting from the steadily growing digital market. Whether it's book-of-one or mid-sized runs with a break-even of 3,500 copies per job, hardcovers are just as popular for photo books by world travelers as they are for novels by self-publishers or fiction publishing titles.
The digital printing of sheets or rolls is one thing, but their efficient and thus economical further processing into fine books is another – especially for short runs. Which bookline a company needs depends on several factors. What does the equipment for your books look like? Do you produce hardcovers exclusively with square spines or also with round spines? Do your customers require the application of a headband?
Finding the best solution in a joint discussion
Muller Martini has the ideal machine with different features for every requirement. Although: the basic requirements for the machines are the same for everyone. A must-have is zero make-ready time, sequential changeover, on-the-fly job changeover, product personalization and accurate product tracking – in other words: every book can be tracked.
To find out which machine you need for your job structure, one of Muller Martini's great strengths comes into play: our consulting expertise. Because we see ourselves not just as a machine manufacturer, but as a solution partner. We discuss all the details of digital production with you, including possible workflow solutions – and then get down to the detail work.
It all depends on the right workflow
There is, of course, the option of integrating all the data that the machines need into a workflow barcode, which is applied to the book block. However, this is not possible for a bookline because of the amount of data required. Therefore, only the product-ID – if necessary in connection with a template-ID – serves as a reference to the required format data in a workflow barcode.
Keyword workflow: There are a wide variety of variants for this.
- Template: format data stored locally on the machine controller, originating from the customer, which can be barcode-activated or loaded manually at any time.
- Muller Martini's Connex workflow system: with a JDF workflow, the customer sends a JDF in XML format with all relevant information such as format data and machine parameters. With a JDF/JMF workflow (JDF = Job Messaging Format), there is detailed feedback via Connex.Info, product tracking, and information on all relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Grouping multiple jobs, VDP production (VDP is a variant of digital printing used primarily for direct marketing, in which texts or images are used as variable elements), cleaning up production sequences based on feedback from individual machines, a possible production preview, and just the detailed feedback on the jobs produced – all possible features like these offer you an intelligent workflow.
Muller Martini offers three booklines for the production of digitally printed hardcover books.
- The EMP 513 casing-in machine is the entry-level model for standard applications and photo book producers who want to switch from manual work to industrial production. Thanks to its compact design, the EMP 513 has the smallest footprint and features local templates and production analysis via the Connex Info Cloud. It is suitable for batch production with short, but also longer runs. Sequential changeovers are possible as well as 1:1 barcode matching (barcode on block and case are the same). The EMP 513 can be used exclusively to produce books with straight spines and without a headband.
- The Diamant MC Digital Photobook bookline can be fully integrated into the customer workflow thanks to the Connex workflow (in addition to template production). It enables sequential changeovers and batch production down to single books as well as 1:1 matching and matching via a reference list. The Diamant MC Digital Photobook has a variable-format single cover feeder as well as block and cover ejection. This allows you to feed different formats to the Diamant MC Digital Photobook without interruption in the automatically controlled production flow. Changeovers run sequentially and efficiently. Block and cover ejection enables book blocks and covers to be ejected fully automatically, if required – after comparing the incoming products with a reference list in the job ticket, provided by the Connex workflow system. This allows production to continue without interruption. The BLSD book stacker 650 in digital version is available as an option and ensures gentle stacking and buffering of the books with fully automatic adjustment. The Diamant MC Digital Photobook can only produce books with square spines and without headbands.
- The Diamant MC Digital Book of One has all the features of the Diamant MC Digital Photobook – plus two additional benefits: it can produce books with round and square spines, as well as apply headbands on a fully variable-format headband station – with a headband station that requires no manual intervention when changing format. This is unique in the market! It is therefore characterized by a high degree of variance and can produce publishing titles down to copy 1, but is also suitable – like the other booklines – for longer runs with the shortest make-ready times.
From template-based production to complete Connex workflow integration with JDF/JMF connection – Muller Martini has the ideal solution for finishing digitally printed hardcover books for every level of integration and for every customer requirement.
Product Manager Hardcover Systems Muller Martini