Why Müller Martini Sets the Tone in the Smart Factory (Part I)

In drupa booth 1B50, where Müller Martini will present four highly automated industrial production lines integrated into the Connex workflow according to the motto “driving the digital transformation,” many conversations in its trade show booth will revolve around the topic smart factory. In a two-part blog, Adrian Mayr (Director Product Management) and Markus Bracher (Director Solutions Engineering) will reveal why Müller Martini is a nose ahead in this area and where the path to the smart factory will lead.
What actually makes a finishing system smart? In a nutshell: When bookbinders’ experiences and automated processes are integrated optimally into a machine! In recent years, Müller Martini has succeeded in this like no other system manufacturer. That’s why we’re a pioneer and pacesetter that sets the tone with regard to the smart factory.
There are three reasons for our success in this area. First of all, we took up this key topic in the graphic industry much earlier than our competitors. A typical example of this is our SigmaLine. 20 years ago, at drupa 2004, we were the first company to present a unique and innovative complete solution for book-on-demand production. According to the motto “PDF in, book out,” we have continued to develop this system for economical production of the small(est) print runs; in 2021, we launched the SigmaLine III and then a few months ago we added the SigmaLine Compact digital book block production system to our portfolio as a further member of the SigmaLine family. With it, we can serve the market even better and address even more customer requirements.
We ensure an efficient supply chain
Secondly, with our Finishing 4.0 development strategy launched at drupa 2016, everything is focused on the topics of networking, automation, variability, and touchless workflow. We ensure an efficient supply chain in order to keep manufacturing costs low despite the increasing customization of products – for example, the global boom in photo books produced primarily with a print run of 1. This requires production systems that are in a position to prepare the job data completely for a new product and start production, if possible, without manual intervention. Changes in the process must be detected and neutralized. This way, our customers are in a position to keep their manufacturing costs low despite smaller print runs and increasing product variety.
And thirdly, thanks to its global customer base with its specific requirements, we have been able to gain a great deal of experience that has been incorporated into our solutions. For example, the USA is a leader in digital production, and we have incorporated this experience into many other projects around the world.
Three lighthouse projects
That’s why we have several lighthouse projects around the world. For example, here we’re thinking about our French customer Groupe dupliprint with several HP roller-roller printing systems, several cut-sheet printing systems for covers (Canon/Xerox), SigmaLine Compact from the roller, inline with Antaro perfect binder, and InfiniTrim – a complete workflow solution for production sequence optimization, print pre-stage for content and covers, roller data management, job tickets for the SigmaLine, and touchless workflow for Antaro and InfiniTrim. Don’t forget to read the blog by Groupe-dupliprint’s founder Frédéric Fabi on the Müller Martini website.
Or about the Bluetree Group in England with two hybrid digital Müller Martini saddle stitchers from the roller or from flat sheet delivery, roller-roller print system (Screen), conventional printing presses (Heidelberg), and digital sheet printing machines (Indigo and Landa) – a complete workflow solution for production sequence optimization, print pre-stage for content and covers including conventional sheet production, roller data management, job tickets for the saddle stitchers, and all types of product cross-outs.
Or about the Imprimerie Gauvin in Canada with roller-roller printing system (HP T250), SigmaLine Compact, delivery on roller table for one-off and small print runs, inline on Solema Pluton for large print runs, cell with two Vareo perfect binders and InfiniTrim cutting robots, including sorting system – a complete workflow solution for production sequence optimization, printing pre-stage for content and covers, roller data management, job tickets for the SigmaLine and Pluton, and touchless workflow for Vareo and InfiniTrim, and material flow controller for sorting system.
Read here next week in the second part of our blog why many graphic operations are still a ways away from a smart factory.
Adrian Mayr, Director Product Management at Müller Martini
Markus Bracher, Director Solutions Engineering at Müller Martini

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