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Muller to show SigmaLine at drupa

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

April 08, 2008 -- Offset printing and the conventional form of book production are forcing both the publisher and the manufacturer to accept costly risks.  On the one hand, large inventories must be maintained due to minimum order quantities and short lead times.  Furthermore, these minimum order quantities are disappearing faster and faster off the shelves and additional quantities of the books can no longer be sold due to an increasing flood of new titles.  Therefore, the trend toward short runs continues. And when it comes to smaller runs, digital manufacturing has found a market with extensive growth potential, particularly in the production of soft cover books.

Two reasons clearly support digital book production in the short run segment:
1.    The costs, because make-ready expenses in the offset printing process increase dramatically with conventional finishing as the run lengths decrease.
2.    Fast availability, because digital manufacturing enables printed products to be produced from the first to the last page in a single print operation.

SigmaLine: Intelligent networking of all component processes

To enable the benefits of digital book production to be fully utilized, the subprocesses have to be integrated with one another.  Muller Martini's SigmaLine is a commercial-quality total solution that consistently takes advantage of this benefit.  The basic principle is impressively simple.  Book data, available in the form of a PDF file, is used to generate production data (JDF) and ultimately to automatically adjust all the subcomponents within the SigmaLine system.  The heart of the system is the integrated line control, called SigmaControl, which integrates all subprocesses such as printing, cutting, folding, gathering, perfect binding, cooling and trimming.  With this approach, digital printing presses of different partner firms can be integrated into the SigmaLine and therefore become part of the continuous JDF workflow.

This consistent integration and linking of prepress data to digital printing, right through to the finishing of the final product, enables short runs to be produced economically.

SigmaLine: Well established internationally

A variety of print production businesses are utilizing SigmaLine's benefits.  One of the first was Bell & Bain in Glasgow, Scotland.  This traditional offset printer entered the 'new digital territory' of book production in 2005 (an Océ Vario Stream 9000 is integrated as a digital printing press).  “We were convinced from the first day that we had made the right move with SigmaLine to achieve the very high product quality required by the market, even with digitally produced small runs,” states Managing Director Ian Walker.  The facts and figures from the book market in Great Britain underscore just how accurate Mr. Walker’s appraisal is.  In Great Britain, just ten percent of the titles account for more than 90 percent of book production volume.  By far the greater portion of titles is comprised of short runs.  At Bell & Bain, the average run length of all titles is 1,800.  Between 50 and 1,000 copies are produced in the digital print segment, with the average run length being approximately 300 copies.  The range of these products extends from scientific, technical and medical journals to small quantities of academic literature and unedited sample copies.

In France, too, the trend in book production is clearly toward shorter runs.  This is why Nouvelle Imprimerie Labellery in Clamecy, located south of Auxerre, decided to produce its soft cover products (encompassing runs of approximately 100 to 2,000 copies) with a new SigmaLine from Muller Martini.  For Labellery’s Managing Director Dominique Haudiquet, only a complete inline solution would do.  “Muller Martini offers a total solution in the SigmaLine as a single manufacturer. There is no other solution that is even nearly as automated and has line control, enabling us to operate the system with one operator.”  A NIPSON VaryPress 400 is used as a digital printing press.

SigmaLine solutions are also utilized in several other countries, particularly in the United States.

SigmaLine at drupa 08

SigmaLine, the commercial-quality total solution for digital book production, will be just one of the many technologically advanced highlights that Muller Martini will present to visitors from May 29 to June 11, 2008 at the company’s booth B38 in hall 14 at drupa in Düsseldorf, Germany.




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