World Premiere: Muller Martini and Hunkeler Showcase an Integrated Finishing 4.0 Workflow


At Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne from 20 to 23 February, the two global market leaders Muller Martini and Hunkeler will present a world premiere that epitomizes Finishing 4.0. In addition to Muller Martini's Vareo perfect binding line, Hunkeler’s roll-to-stack line will be shown connected for the first time to Muller Martini’s Connex data and process management system as part of a combined production line for softcover books.

As a quantum leap in the graphic arts industry, Muller Martini is enabling its data and process management system to be integrated with a third-party supplier for the first time in the print finishing segment. Until now only digital printing presses of third-party suppliers have been integrated with Connex. The two global market leaders Muller Martini and Hunkeler, which both offer a wide range of digital book block solutions, are now offering their customers a Connex-based, integrated, seamless workflow, from a compact single-sheet solution through to an extensive folding solution. Together with Muller Martini’s digital print finishing systems, that enables end-to-end solutions, right through to the finished bound book.

At Hunkeler Innovationdays, Muller Martini will perform live demos in runs of one copy of several perfect-bound and saddle-stitched products that epitomize Finishing 4.0.

Connex, which integrates the solutions of the two Swiss manufacturers, who complement each other perfectly, allows customers to leave all their options open for the future. Customers who are looking to enter digital production by investing in a compact solution can choose from the extensive range of Muller Martini and Hunkeler solutions, which will provide them with optimal investment protection in the face of changing market requirements. Any subsequent investments in book production systems of the two suppliers can also be connected with Connex.

That means familiar Muller Martini SigmaLine functions, such as automatic digital page assembly, the JDF interface, job management, control of the printing press, and production tracking via JMF will also be available for combined Hunkeler/Muller Martini solutions in the future – a major advantage for customers producing softcover books in runs right down to one copy, since the “PDF in – book out” principle now applies here too.

The Vareo Perfect Binder with the InfiniTrim Three-Knife Trimmer

At their neighboring booths at Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne, Hunkeler and Muller Martini will show how that works in practice with daily live production runs of personalized softcover school textbooks. Connex imposes the PDF data for the Hunkeler roll-to-stack line and transfers them to the respective printing systems. Rolls that have been pre-printed at an HP T480 HD are unwound using the Hunkeler components. The paper web is then split and merged along the paper grain direction to result in a double-layer paper web. Dynamic Hunkeler cross cutting on the fly (“Dyna Cut”) enables variable trim lengths. The paper is then stacked by Hunkeler into single-sheet book blocks, with variable page counts, variable preprocessed formats (spine lengths), fully variable end formats and variable content (VDP).

Hunkeler’s newly developed automated transfer station transfers the book blocks to the Vareo. The three-clamp perfect binder will feature an innovation at Hunkeler Innovationdays – Muller Martini will demonstrate the automatic feeding of book blocks with variable spine lengths for the first time. Finally, the school textbooks are transferred from the Vareo to the fully variable-size InfiniTrim three-knife trimmer, whose innovative trim concept wowed visitors at drupa 2016. All the components are controlled and monitored via Connex.

Saddle Stitching Using the Presto II Digital

Muller Martini will produce  roll-fed products (printed using a Canon Océ ColorStream 6000 Chroma) live at Hunkeler Innovationdays in the saddle stitching segment too – personalized children’s coloring books and two different adult coloring books with variable section length and variable folding, variable page counts, barcode-based cover matching, and variable-thickness stitching and trimming of each product. Two other saddle stitching production runs will be performed live using products from digital web printing presses and sheet-fed presses.