drupa Serves as the Perfect Platform for Muller Martini’s End-to-End Innovations

Muller’s versatile press and bindery solutions were demonstrated live at the world’s largest trade exhibition.

drupa 2012, held May 3-16th in Dusseldorf, attracted 314,500 experts from more than 130 countries, making it the industry’s largest B2B tradeshow. And, this year in particular, visitors came with specific investment objectives: nearly 50% placed orders, many directly on the show floor.

drupa attendees were enthusiastically optimistic regarding investing in the near future in adding or replacing saddle stitching machines. The trend was both encouraging and noteworthy, as drupa officials stated that although drupa 2012 attracted less attendance, those who came were more top managers who view drupa as clearly the decision-makers’ trade fair. As a matter of fact, the proportion of top managers amongst visitors has grown significantly since 2008 (50.8% compared with 44.4% in 2008). Decision-makers to Muller’s booth were there to discuss configurations that fit their particular business needs.

Muller Martini prominently displayed and demonstrated its latest technological innovations, workflow and machinery solutions, solutions that answer both the traditional and digital manufacturing needs of customers throughout all facets of the printing process, including:

Traditional Perfect Binding and Hardcover Solutions

Muller Martini debuted several new innovations for mid-range perfect binding as well as for hardcover production at drupa. The booth featured live demonstrations of the latest addition to our family of perfect binders, the Alegro, which offers faster setup, shorter production times, and higher product quality. The Alegro utilizes the proven design concept of Motion Control (MC) which replaced mechanical drive systems with servo drives, for fast, repeatable, accurate setup and operation. Visitors saw books ranging in size from 4″ x 4″ to A5, with a very short changeover in between.

The binder was complemented by our newest three knife trimmer, the Solit. Based on the proven success of the Orbit trimmer, this mid-range trimmer utilizes many of the same design elements, including our patented SmartPress adaptive pressing system, tool-less changeover in less than three minutes, and separate servo drives for all major areas including the infeed, knife trimming action, and book delivery.

In addition, Muller Martini showcased new innovations for conventional and one-off hardcover book production on our Diamant MC Hybrid. For conventional manufacturing, we demonstrated the Tandem Headband station, allowing for very fast changeover of headbands and backlining on the fly.

For photo book production, Muller demonstrated several innovations that increase the operating productivity of the line, including a near-line case scanner to automatically scan batches of cases and a sequencing system at the infeed to reorder out-of-sequence book blocks.

Muller also debuted the extension of Motion Control (MC) to the EP340 Pressing and Joint Forming Module, completing the use of this proven technology throughout the book line. Utilizing this and other new design principles, the EP now requires no exchange parts for the entire product range.

Digital Solutions

Muller showcased the flexibility and scalability of its SigmaLine digital book production technologies featuring truly zero make-ready. Show-stopping innovations included the barcode driven SigmaTrimming Center, perfect for consolidating 1-off trimming requirements into a single operation.

Muller’s booth also featured the complete SigmaLine, a fully integrated, high-end digital softcover production system that starts with a preprinted roll or can be connected directly in-line with a digital web press and ends with a finished book—all produced completely in-line. Its SigmaControl line control system powered by Connex, the only end-to-end digital workflow and data management system on the market, enables the seamless processing of multiple jobs back-to-back with the press of a button, in other words, “PDF-in, finished book out.” All of the finishing equipment displayed in the Muller Martini booth was “Digital Ready and Proven” and could easily be integrated into the SigmaLine platform.

Supporting SigmaLine technology were several strategic partners who displayed various SigmaLine system configurations in their booths as well. This multitude of system configurations provided show-goers with a real-world understanding of the flexibility that comes with Muller Martini’s Digital Solutions as SigmaLine technology can be customized to meet their particular digital finishing requirements:

  • The world’s largest technology company, Hewlett Packard, debuted the new SigmaFolder II technology platform running in-line with their 42″ wide, T410 Color Inkjet Web Press. The line produced live book work for one of our joint customers throughout the show.
  • Together with the launch of their new RotaJET 76 digital inkjet web press, press-powerhouse KBA featured Muller’s SigmaLine system with our in-line Primera Digital saddle stitcher that turned digitally printed output into magazines and advertising brochures.
  • In yet another booth, Muller’s Scalable SigmaLine perfect binding system was integrated with MBO’s leading cutting, folding and stacking technology to highlight in-line, short-run digital book production.

To further reinforce the power and nearline flexibility of Muller Martini’s digital solutions, within the Muller booth product specialists demonstrated how various technologies could work together in a digital hardcover application. Glued book blocks processed off the SigmaLine were handfed into the Alegro perfect binder and processed with endsheets and crash. The ensuing trimmed and bound bookblock was then fed cased-in on the Diamant MC Hybrid line resulting in a finished hardcover book.

Press Solutions

During drupa, Muller Martini introduced the new generation VSOP web offset printing press developed for printing labels, flexible packaging, and folding carton products. Boasting a decade of proven technological success, the new VSOP Press not only comes with a fresh new laser blue color standard in the Muller Martini platform, but it also features a revitalized and modern exterior look. But, naturally, enhancements don’t stop with appearance, as a long list of functionality and operational advancements were also on display, including:

  • New ergonomic construction allowing for easier machine access for sleeve changes and daily operation
  • Innovative electronic control technology utilizing fewer components for greater machine reliability
  • Efficient external roller setting feature reduces the initial and operational roller setting time by half
  • Optimized ink train design delivers consistently reproducible ink settings
  • Modular design philosophy enables flexible machine configurations for a wide range of hybrid packaging printing applications

Saddle Stitcher Solutions

There was sustained interest from attendees viewing the Primera E160 (16,000 c/hr) saddle stitcher running in-line with strategic partner Sitma’s inserting and wrapping machines.

In addition, the entry level stitching solution was presented via the improved Presto featuring many of the benefits usually only found on high end stitchers.

“drupa 2012 was clearly a success for Muller Martini,” noted Werner Naegeli, President and CEO of Muller Martini Corp. “We were delighted knowing that many of our customers were making the trip to Dusseldorf, and greatly encouraged by their enthusiasm, interest, and outlook. It goes without saying that Muller will continue to lead the industry by developing innovative, smart, and flexible process solutions that meet the needs of customers within an ever-changing marketplace. That’s always been our strategy and it will continue to be as we move forward.”