Finishing 4.0 Also Applies to Conventional Production
The numerous advantages of Finishing 4.0 solutions are by no means limited to digital or hybrid systems. Fully automatic systems that reduce interventions by machine operators to an absolute minimum both during and between production runs are also called for in conventional print finishing, as Muller Martini is demonstrating at its drupa booth.
drupa 2016, like the previous drupa, will again focus on the diverse possibilities of digital printing. However, amid the excitement about customized and personalized (hybrid) print products in ultra-short runs, it is often forgotten that the offset segment still accounts for some 90 percent of the global printing volume. In fact, the exact same (touchless) workflow requirements apply to conventional printing and print finishing as in the digital segment: make-ready times should be short, production should not require manual intervention by the machine operator if possible, and transitions from one job to the next should be touchless. The Finishing 4.0 philosophy is not therefore limited to digital systems. Muller Martini is also presenting technological innovations and developments in conventional print finishing at its drupa booth.
The new Primera MC is an example of that. The high degree of automation of the 14,000-cycle saddle stitcher, which has been successfully positioned on the market for almost a decade, is further increased by innovative Motion Control Technology. The feeder and gathering chain are automatically synchronized, and servo drive technology for all stations (feeder, stitching machine, gathering chain, three-knife trimmer) reduces the setup times still further. The modular saddle stitcher, which can be easily converted to the Primera MC Digital for the efficient processing of digitally printed products, thereby ensuring high investment protection, is significantly more variable and flexible thanks to the new vertical pile feeder. No other saddle stitcher in this performance class has such a large feeder range (in addition to the vertical pile feeder, the feeder range includes flat pile feeders, folder feeders, and merchandise tippers), all of which are equipped with servo drives.
Another example is the Vareo, which represents a revolution in the perfect binding segment thanks to its fully automatic unit drive technology. In the performance range of up to 1,350 cycles per hour, it not only comes into its own in the digital segment, right down to runs of one copy, but, in combination with the Muller Martini Granit three-knife trimmer, also enables the flexible production of offset printed books in run lengths of 50 to 500 copies and provides a large size range and extremely short setup times. Its three clamps are each equipped with their own servo motor and are individually driven. In line with the "Finishing 4.0" slogan, all processing steps are individually adjusted to every single product without manual intervention by the operator. Integrated barcode recognition ensures that the content and cover match.
In thread sewing, the supreme discipline of hardcover production, books and brochures also need to be produced increasingly efficiently owing to falling run lengths. Thanks to its integrated servo concept, the Ventura MC 200, which is showcased at the Muller Martini booth, provides the highest degree of automation on the thread sewing market. With its modular design, smart automation and consistent use of Motion Control Technology, it not only provides high productivity for a diverse product range of short to long runs, but is also the most flexible thread sewing machine. With TWEEN for the automatic stitching of freely positioned small signatures into a book block too, it provides a unique option on the global market, allowing bookbinderies to stand out from the competition with attractive products.
The Diamant MC 35 Digital, which is likewise presented at drupa, can also be used for conventional production. Even the universal tools that are being used at the Muller Martini booth could be replaced by conventional tools. That allows customers to use the Diamant MC 35 Digital, which forms an ideal modular system with the conventional Diamant MC 35 and 60, for both digital and conventional production and to benefit from a higher degree of automation, such as that of the new, variable-size headbanding/lining station.
Inserts are among the few print products that have been experiencing a boom for years. However, falling profit margins and tightened minimum wage regulations in numerous industrial countries call for the highly automated inserting of pamphlets and flyers into newspapers and magazines. The flexible, modular design of the Muller Martini FlexLiner inserting system makes it ideally suited to a wide range of uses, with unique opportunities for printing plants to stand out from the competition and tap into new revenue sources. Thanks to the new sword opening developed by Muller Martini, inserts can now also be inserted in the center of tabloid and magazine products that do not have a low folio lap. The product thickness is set at the operating panel to ensure that the sword opens the product in the center. The changeover between the three different FlexLiner opening methods – low folio lap, sucker and sword – takes just a few minutes. Production control is fully automated thanks to the Connex.Mailroom control system, which ensures comprehensive monitoring and reporting, in addition to a smooth touchless workflow.