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16.02.2021 / Ronald Reddmann

Vareo PRO Perfect Binder: The All-Rounder Gets Even More Ingenious

Are you in offset or digital printing and looking for the ideal finishing solution for your softcover products? Then the newly developed Vareo PRO  from Muller Martini is the perfect perfect perfect binder for you as a compact all-rounder.
"An ingenious machine" – "The optimal à la carte solution" – "The perfect perfect perfect binder for digital printing": visitors to the Muller Martini stand at the Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015 in Lucerne were full of praise for the Vareo, which was presented as a world premiere. This confirmed that we had really struck a chord with our customers with this perfect binder, which is predestined for digital and offset printing and has a capacity of 1350 cycles per hour. This was because it offered a technological revolution.
For the first time, each of the three grippers on a perfect binder was equipped with its own servo motor and driven individually, allowing each processing step to be individually adapted to the product. Previously, only two drive philosophies had been known for perfect binders, both based on a number of clamps on a chain being driven by a motor – the continuous drive (where the motor is always running and all clamps are in motion) and the discontinuous drive (with so-called run and stop times, i.e., the clamps do not run permanently).
Unique operating concept
Four years later, Muller Martini has now brought the Vareo up to date with numerous new features that optimize production. Among other things, the newly developed Vareo PRO has a unique operating concept developed according to the latest ergonomic principles with a new graphic user interface for perfect interaction between man and machine.
On the 18½-inch touchscreen with clearly structured menu navigation including animation of corrections, your operators can see all important production parameters at a glance and thus have quick access to all stations. The intuitive user interface allows extremely short changeover and production times. In addition, the latest control technology from B&R ensures high performance and availability of all electrical components.
Fully automatic edge banding
Compared to the previous Vareo model, we have also revised the hotmelt spine gluing unit in the Vareo PRO. Like the PUR spine gluing unit, the hotmelt system is optionally available with a trolley, which allows you to exchange the two systems easily, safely and without losing time thanks to the separately available preheating cable. We have completely redesigned the hot melt spine gluing system, which is based on Muller Martini's Alegro 7000-cycle perfect binder, for ideal glue flow and temperature control. It is equipped with two applicator rollers and a separately heated counter-rotating spinner roller. The two roller systems can now be adjusted in height independently of each other.
Edge gluing is now fully automatic as standard. This means that all your settings are reproducible. With a volume of 5 or 18 liters, you can separately add the optimum Robatech premelter for the respective application. The design updates again significantly improve processing in the book-of-one production area in particular.

New PUR nozzle system and new adhesive application control system
Those of you who produce a lot of small jobs will certainly agree with me: the production of very short runs down to Book 1 with constantly changing block thicknesses, even with higher-quality adhesives such as PUR, is becoming increasingly important. This is also accompanied by the demand for more efficient use of PUR adhesives. In order to ensure adhesive loss-free glue application with monitoring for top quality, particularly in the ultra-short-run and book-of-one areas, Muller Martini developed a completely new PUR nozzle system for the Vareo PRO – details of which can be found in my blog  from September 1, 2020 – and a new adhesive application control system.
The PUR nozzle system with volumetric circulation system, which is available as an option, guarantees you – regardless of pressure, temperature and viscosity – perfect glue application and reliable binding with a wide variety of materials. A fully variable nozzle head ensures perfect and loss-free spine glue application from book to book. You can clean and maintain the PUR nozzle system extremely quickly and easily. This means you can increase your productivity by up to 20 percent. In addition, you have lower costs because you need less adhesive when using the PUR nozzle efficiently.
Together with the PUR nozzle, you also get an optional optical adhesive application control. The completely newly developed, laser/camera-supported monitoring system, which is equipped with new algorithms for even more precise detection of a defect pattern, ensures greater reliability in glue application. Both quantitative (glue present or not) and qualitative monitoring (glue layer thickness, edge gluing) are carried out in 2D and 3D display on the touchscreen.
Connection to Connex LineControl
In addition to Connex.Info, the monitoring and reporting tool of the Connex workflow system, you can also connect the Vareo PRO to Connex LineControl  in the future if required. This enables you to integrate the perfect binder into a higher-level planning system (MIS/MES) by means of a digital job folder (JDF). All relevant production control data is taken from the JDF file, prepared for the connected production line and then transferred to the production line.
This enormously reduces the organizational effort that your operator has to make in his daily work. Job data such as run length, job name or format are available directly at the machine without manual input by the operator. This also ensures data quality throughout the entire production process. In addition, Connex LineControl offers you options for integrating barcode scanners for job activation and error detection.
All-rounder for offset and digital printing
The all-rounder Vareo PRO with its excellent price/performance ratio shows its strength not only in digital printing with very short runs down to 1 copy per job, but also in medium runs – regardless of whether you produce brochures in offset or digital printing. This makes the Vareo PRO the ideal perfect binder for bookbinders and printers who work with conventional printing processes and are planning to move into digital printing or are already active in digital printing.
The flexible features of the Vareo PRO enable you to use it for a wide range of applications. You can produce photo books, personalized catalogs, or high-quality brochures economically thanks to the short makeready times (from A4 to A5, for example, in less than a minute) that are essential for single and very short runs. This means you can produce high-quality books in the shortest possible time and sell the very first copy.
Modularity for high investment protection
The Vareo PRO has a modular design so that you can easily expand the machine, adapt it to future production requirements in the interests of high investment protection, and expand it into a complete perfect binding line – for example, with a customer-specific cooling section, a three-knife trimmer, or an automatic book block feeder. This enables the Vareo PRO to be connected to digital presses. The finished signature or loose-leaf piles are then transferred directly to the perfect binder's gripper.
A particular advantage of the Vareo PRO is its optional book thickness measuring device. It allows efficient single-book production – without any waste. For even shorter makeready times and to avoid operator errors, a format measuring station is optionally available. This can be used to measure book block formats, cover formats and creasing positions, and the entries are automatically transferred to the control system.
Effective spine processing
The powerful milling tool combines dust milling, roughening, notching and brushing and can process book thicknesses of up to 60 millimeters. The milling depth is entered automatically on the touchscreen. Even digitally printed loose-leaf piles are reliably and stably guided. For thread-sewn or thread-sealed products, you can lower the milling station as standard. Specially for digital print shops, an encapsulated milling dust extraction system is also available, which is adapted to the room air requirements of digital printing presses.
Barcode recognition avoids waste
To ensure that contents and envelope match correctly, you can equip the Vareo PRO with integrated barcode recognition. The envelope barcode is measured before creasing. This means that an incorrectly inserted cover does not result in waste but can be reused. Especially for hardcover finishing, an integrated inkjet printer can apply an additional barcode to the bound book block, which can be compared with the book cover during subsequent insertion.
Duo with InfiniTrim, trio with VBA/InfiniTrim
The Vareo PRO in – in line with Muller Martini's Finishing 4.0 philosophy and especially for very short runs – is at its best when used as a duo with the InfiniTrim three-knife trimmer . With its unique trimming concept, this trims short and very short runs down to run 1 with all book formats and thicknesses fully automatically – both in manually loaded solo operation and in inline mode. For medium runs, a combination with the Granit three-knife trimmer is also suitable, whose innovative SmartPress technology enables highly cost-effective production in a variety of applications.
The duo can even become a trio: Together with the Vareo PRO and the InfiniTrim, the end sheet feeder provides a dream team for industrial inline or nearline production of hardcover books in edition 1. Please read my blog from February 26, 2019.
In addition, each Vareo PRO line can be expanded into a cell. For example, Muller Martini successfully installed extensions with up to four Vareo PRO into one InfiniTrim. Extensions in the direction of hardcover book block production are also possible without any problems. If later expansion requirements are known, this can already be taken into account during the layout creation in the first phase.
PS: Read more about the new adhesive application control system here in a week!

See the Vareo perfect binder and InfiniTrim three-knife trimmer live in action at Printondemand in England:

Ronald Reddmann
Product Manager Perfect Binding Systems Muller Martini

16.02.2021 Ronald Reddmann Product Manager, Perfect Binding Systems