Charlottesville Press One of the First with a Muller Martini Valore
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
Charlottesville, Virginia -- About a year ago, Charlottesville Press, Inc. became one of the first facilities in the world to run a new Valore saddle stitcher from Muller Martini. Today, the company’s president, Rodney Thomas, wonders how his growing printing facility ever got along without its Valore. Of course, being first can have its drawbacks, particularly when there’s new technology to put to work. But Thomas says that there were very few teething problems in getting the Valore up to speed at Charlottesville Press. "We'll try anything that will help us do a better job for our customers," Thomas declares, "So we didn’t mind being one of the first five shops to install a Valore. And we had nothing to worry about, because Muller Martini helped carry us through the whole thing." One of Thomas’ biggest causes of concern was training. He didn’t want his bindery crew to be caught short on the new technology. He was relieved to learn that Muller Martini packages a training program with Valore that makes it easy learn how to use the system’s automated advancements. Before going to a Valore, Charlottesville was running a past generation stitcher/collator, but the machine wasn’t keeping up with the volume or variety of work the printer needed to finish. Thomas looked at all of the alternatives available, and ultimately decided on investing in something new from Muller Martini. "We went from a much less substantial system and it was like going from a Chevrolet to a Cadillac," he says. "Valore is more accurate, consistent, and cleaner. Plus it’s much quicker in changing over from one job to another." Versatility was another attribute Charlottesville Printing required in its new saddle stitcher. "We don’t stick to the same size very often," Thomas explains. "We produce a variety of formats all the time. On the Valore it’s very easy to change every thing over." Being able to do the small format products is another key requirement for Charlottesville’s stitching system. "It’s great to be able to come down in size without having to go to another machine," says Thomas. "We do it all on the Valore. Even if you have a product you can’t put a lip on, Valore can handle it. That gives you a little extra flexibility that can make all the difference." Thomas also appreciates the 6,000 cycles/hour run rate of his Valore, but he appreciates the turnaround times it provides even more: "I can tell a customer that I’ve got his job on the machine at 1 PM at that he’ll have it at 4 PM, and know it’s going to be on time." Reliability is also on Thomas’ list of plusses: "The consistency of the machine is what we like. Once it’s set up, there’s no stopping it. You don’t have to go back, stop your run and start making adjustments in the middle of a job." Book quality is another factor in Valore’s favor. "My customers are really particular," Thomas says. "They don’t like what I call those ‘bubble books’ — books that don’t fold flat. Our Valore produces a much better product than anything else in its class."