Books are the core business of Books Spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością Spółka komandytowa in Żychlin, Poland. Because the runs of its softcover products have been falling steadily in recent years, the family-owned company invested in an Alegro – and now benefits from significantly shorter make-ready times thanks to the high level of automation offered by the Muller Martini perfect binder.
Books has relied on finishing solutions from Muller Martini for over a decade. It was in 2010 that the production hall in Żychlin became a true Muller Martini showroom with an Acoro perfect binder, a Diamant MC 35 bookline, a Ventura MC 160 thread sewing machine and a Presto saddle stitcher. A few years later, the capacity in thread sewing was strengthened with a second Ventura MC 160.
From bookshop to print shop
2010 was a turning point in the still young history of the company in that Izabela and Mariusz Napierała decided to expand their bookshop, founded in Koszalin in 1998, with their own print shop in Żychlin. In the meantime expanded to include its own publishing house (Ibis Publishing House), the complete graphic arts operation with prepress, press and postpress not only produces its own works, however, but also provides the majority of its services to various publishers with around 80 employees. These come from Poland as well as from all over the European Union.
"Perfect binding is very important in our company," say Izabela and Mariusz Napierała. "For our publishing house, we produce not only fiction but also textbooks. For the most part, we use hotmelt binding, but also PUR binding."
"Muller Martini is unrivaled"
Print runs go from 500 to, in rare cases, up to 100,000 copies per job – with an average of 2000. While the number of titles printed at Books has risen permanently in recent years, print runs have fallen just as continuously. This in turn means that Books has to retool more frequently. That's why last January, the family-owned company commissioned a second perfect binder from Muller Martini, the Alegro, with a 20-station gathering machine 3692 (https://mullermartini.com/en/products-en/softcover-production/gathering/ztm-3692/), cooling section, Solit PRO three-knife trimmer and Uno book stacker. "For us, there is no doubt," Izabela and Mariusz Napierała emphasize, "that Muller Martini is unrivaled worldwide as a manufacturer of systems for industrial book production."
The fact that the Alegro enables significantly shorter make-ready times thanks to its high level of automation was one reason for the investment. The second – the owner couple openly state – was co-financing from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Intelligent Development Operational Program. Because of its innovative book gluing technology, the Alegro was considered within this EU program.
The perfect complement
The two adhesive binder lines from Muller Martini complement each other perfectly at Books. "We use," say Izabela and Mariusz Napierała, "the new Alegro for classic softcover products with hotmelt and only to a small extent for hardcover book blocks. PUR-glued and thread-sewn hardcover blocks, however, we produce on the Acoro."
However, Books is considering retrofitting the Alegro with PUR in the near future. This is because Izabela and Mariusz Napierała have had exclusively positive experiences with the new perfect binder during its first months of operation. "The frequent job changes are much faster and easier compared to the Acoro thanks to the servo technology, and we are also experiencing high production stability. The greater efficiency gives us a competitive edge."
According to the two company bosses, the operators are also highly satisfied. "Our personnel are particularly impressed by the low noise level of the system and feel a significant improvement in working comfort. As one of our employees put it, 'it's like working in an office.'"