Variable Products Call for Highly Variable and Modular Print Finishing Systems


Variable Data Printing (VDP) today goes well beyond simply printing the name of the customer on the product or switching blocks of text. Businesses that have precise knowledge of their customers and their requirements can produce customized print products that are more closely targeted. With Finishing 4.0, Muller Martini will demonstrate the efficient finishing of variable print products live at drupa 2016.

The “PDF in, book out” slogan now also applies to variable data at Muller Martini, which is leading the way in technology for automated production workflows. The SigmaLine, the world’s only complete digital book production solution for industrial use, also enables VDP production thanks to three new modules of the Connex data and process management system (VariableProduction, VariableImposition, and VariableBundle). Nowadays, variable printing is no longer limited to customized flyers, personally addressed direct marketing, personalized annual reports and sensitive transaction printing, where individual text blocks or visual elements are switched. Instead, books and examination papers can be tailored to the individual student at universities, and travel agencies can have customized brochures featuring the preferred destinations of their customers printed and finished in runs of one copy.

The printing of customized mass products is only half the challenge. The other half consists of the correct compilation of all signatures together with the relevant cover and print finishing using a hardcover bookline, perfect binder or saddle stitcher. All modern Muller Martini print finishing systems are digital ready to ensure the flexible adaptation of books and magazines (right down to a lot size of one) under the conditions of highly automated lot production in line with Industry 4.0. As a result, all new booklines, perfect binders and saddle stitchers have functions enabling print products with widely ranging content, thicknesses and sizes to be produced highly efficiently, with minimal interventions by the machine operators.

The various Connex modules of the SigmaLine enable the seamless production of book blocks with different sizes and folding schemes. The correct cover is then identified accurately at the downstream print finishing machine using a barcode matching system. VDP is also possible at the Presto II Digital saddle stitcher, which enables combined stitching of digital and offset printed signatures on the basis of pure barcode control. Faulty products are automatically ejected to guarantee with 100% accuracy that all magazines conveyed to the three-knife trimmer are complete and have the right sequence of signatures.

The Presto II Digital, incidentally, is a prime example of how variability is not limited to the printing process, since print finishing systems are also designed with variability in mind. The saddle stitcher, which will be presented at the Muller Martini booth at drupa 2016, comes with innovative new features that significantly increase the variability of the Presto II Digital by means of automatic adjustments from product to product. The same is true of the new three-knife trimmer solution that will be premiered by Muller Martini at drupa.

“Customized and personalized products are gaining ground in the field of brochures and magazines too,” says Volker Leonhardt, Director of Sales and Marketing at Muller Martini Print Finishing Systems. “That’s why, with Finishing 4.0, we’ll give impressive live demonstrations at drupa of the high variability and modularity of our innovative systems for saddle stitching, hardcover and softcover production.”

With Finishing 4.0, Muller Martini will demonstrate the efficient finishing of variable print products live at Booth A49 in Hall 2 at drupa 2016.