26.02.2019 / Ronald Reddmann

"Do you also offer this for hardcover?"

The large number of visitors at the Muller Martini stand on the opening day of the Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne shows that we are hitting the bull's eye with the new endsheet feeder/Vareo/InfiniTrim solution for the industrial processing of hardcover book blocks in runs of one, which was presented to the public for the first time.

"Great stuff – do you also offer that for hardcover?" It has been almost three years now, but I still have the question in my ears as if it had only been yesterday. It was often put to me several times a day at drupa 2016 in Düsseldorf. There we caused a stir at our stand because we presented the dream team, which revolutionized softcover production in ultra-short runs – the Vareo as the world's first perfect binder in which each of the three pliers is equipped with its own servo motor and driven individually, and the InfiniTrim three-knife trimmer with its revolutionary drive, transport and trim concept.

"Do you also offer this for hardcover?" - "But of course: Come to Lucerne and marvel at the latest innovation from Muller Martini at our stand at the Hunkeler Innovationdays," I can answer the developers in our company today with a sense of pride. The "unbeatable duo" has become an "unbeatable trio" – and the softcover range has also been magically extended to hardcover.

Well, it's not as if it's not already possible to produce hardcover jobs in runs of one today. The crux in terms of quality is the gluing of the continuous endsheet to the front and back of the contents. Up to now, hardcover book-of-one productions often involved a lot of manual work due to the different production steps. However, the new Muller Martini solution means that the entire hardcover book block process is fully automated. The finished book blocks can be completed directly from the InfiniTrim in the Diamant MC bookline from Muller Martini or in the BF 513 and BF 530 booklines from Kolbus to produce hardcover books with round or straight spines.

Highly automated endsheet feeders are today only used in the high-performance classes. With our world premiere, however, we are enabling the inline production of book blocks with endsheets and liners in top quality in ultra-short runs as well. The Vareo thereby displays another exclusive strength. This new machine configuration, which was developed in line with Muller Martini’s Finishing 4.0 philosophy, provides bookbinders with the major advantage of being able to produce ultra-short runs of as little as one copy per job much more economically, not only in softcover but in hardcover as well.
Our new endsheet feeder can also be used as a standalone or nearline solution, for example to save space. However, its full performance only unfolds in inline combination with the Vareo and InfiniTrim. The Vareo's hangout setting option can also be adapted in three stages: 8, 11 and 15 millimeters – this is also unique on the market in this machine class.

Some customers already decided to make use of the great advantages of our new solution in Lucerne. Yesterday, Monday, Schätzl Druck & Medien GmbH & Co. KG from Donauwörth, Germany, signed a purchase agreement for the hardcover book block solution with an endsheet feeder, Vareo and InfiniTrim, at our stand. In the online printing plant, which is managed by the Connex workflow system, the equipment will be supplemented by a Muller Martini Diamant MC Digital bookline and a Kolbus DA 270 casemaker.

Michael Uhl (Head of Administration and Organization) describes the VBA/Vareo/InfiniTrim system as "exactly what we need. It's a hybrid system for softcover and hardcover, comes with automatic signature infeed, provides high size variability, and reduces manual interventions – just as described by Muller Martini in its Finishing 4.0 strategy."

The new plant, which comes onstream in the summer, will be controlled by the Connex workflow system. "This is even more important to me than the individual machines," says Managing Director Ulrich Schätzl, "because it forms the basis for our indispensable, networked production. Connex provides excellent support for our Schätzl 4.0 strategy."
Customer Bonacia, which is located in Woodston/Peterborough, England, and prints all of its products digitally, is also optimizing its processes for softcover and hardcover production by investing in a Vareo perfect binder and InfiniTrim three-knife trimmer inline duo. Most of the company’s orders are (ultra) short runs of as few as one copy per title. For this reason, a lean and continuous production process, from the printing press to distribution, that is as highly automated as possible is essential for Bonacia. "We have four long-term goals," says Production Director Carl Whitelock: "Reduction of overtime, reduction of changeover times, reduction of manual interventions and reduction of unit costs."

Bonacia’s financial experts calculated the return on investment precisely. They had received a much cheaper offer for machines produced by their previous supplier. However, the calculations showed that the Muller Martini equipment would pay for itself much quicker. Bonacia has not yet planned to integrate the endsheet feeder. "But we will take a serious look at this option for the future," says Carl Whitelock.

"Do you also offer this for hardcover?" – Have a look for yourselves this week at our stand in Lucerne over the remaining three days and experience the digital solutions of Muller Martini and see live how you can successfully master the challenges of the future with the help of economical and fully integrated cutting-edge technology.

Please click here for further photos of Muller Martini’s stand on the first day of the Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne!


The Muller Martini world premiere at a glance

The Muller Martini endsheet feeder/Vareo/InfiniTrim solution ...
  • ... enables for the first time the industrial processing of hardcover book blocks in runs of one,
  • ... is ready for digital and conventional applications,
  • ... offers unique processing flexibility regarding softcover brochures, hardcover book blocks, production of layflat/open spine brochures (e.g. Swiss brochures),
  • ... is suitable for all book block types (thread-sewn, signatures, single sheets, pre-glued),
  • ... fits in with the Finishing 4.0 philosophy (almost unattended processing thanks to barcode-controlled production workflow).

Read tomorrow in our third trade fair blog how the Austrian trade journalist Knud Wassermann sees the international significance of the Hunkeler Innovationdays.