Second-hand is First Class

A Belgian booklet publisher is causing quite a stir with a customized second-hand solution from Muller Martini which optimally combines perfect binding and saddle stitching.

The global company Multi Packaging Solution’s printing plant in Bornem, Belgium, produces approximately 600 million (mini) booklets and brochures every year. The company’s customers for offset products mostly come from the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. An Acoro A7 built in 2009 enables the company to significantly reduce setup times, and thanks to Asir 3 signature control it can even increase production reliability. What is special about this second-hand machine is that it is not connected with a conventional three-knife trimmer on a perfect binder, but rather with a 0361 three-knife trimmer typically used in saddle stitching.

The 0361 three-knife trimmer not only lends itself to ultra-thin booklets (they never exceed a spine thickness of 5 millimeters at Multi Packaging Solutions), but also trims in two-up and three-up production. “That has tripled our productivity for perfect bound booklets,” says Operations Director Els Lameire, who is highly satisfied with the innovative first-class inline solution.

In order to transfer the products optimally from the perfect binder to the three-knife trimmer, an automatic Bograma FR 550 friction feeder, which is synchronized with the three-knife trimmer, is positioned between the two aggregates to feed the brochures. It also serves as a buffer to compensate for the difference in production speeds between the Acoro and the three-knife trimmer.

In saddle stitching, too, Multi Packaging Solutions commissioned a second-hand Muller Martini PrimaPlus manufactured in 2008 to replace an older saddle stitcher. That means the company can now also produce stitched booklets in two-up production. With its service program MMServices, Muller Martini not only organized the relocation of the second-hand machines to Bornem from other locations in Belgium, but also provided in-depth training for the machine operators and a thorough inspection of the machines. The cover feeder of the PrimaPlus, for instance, was exchanged and the Acoro extended to include the PUR option.

The automatic Bograma friction feeder (right) acts as a buffer to compensate for the different production speeds of the Acoro perfect binder and the 0361 three-knife trimmer (left).