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AmigoDigital Perfect Binder helps R.R. Donnelley Bind as Needed

Thursday, May 02, 2002

Press release from the issuing company

Hauppauge, New York -- An automated production line that R.R. Donnelley will be using to produce soft cover books as they are needed by publishers is being anchored by Muller Martini’s new AmigoDigital perfect binding system. Called the Inventory Management Solution (IMS), the system was developed by Nipson, Muller Martini, and Hunkeler collaboratively with R.R. Donnelley to create an integrated production line that could cost-effectively produce runs of several hundred to over a thousand books. The goal of the new technology is to eliminate the need for maintaining large inventories. The fast makeready capabilities of the IMS module will make it economically viable to produce titles on an "as needed" basis. A roll of paper and stream of digital data enters one end of the system and a flow of quality soft cover books, trimmed, stacked, cartoned and ready-for-sale, emerges from the other. "Producing text at over 400 feet per minute or over 500, 300-page books per hour, the digital printing capability of R.R. Donnelley’s IMS modules cost-effectively revolutionizes the book printing industry for short-run book production by providing new sources of revenue and profit for R.R. Donnelley’s customers," says Alain Flament of Nipson. His company’s VaryPress is the black-and-white printing component of IMS. The module is scheduled to start up this summer at the Harrisonburg, Virginia book plant of R.R. Donnelley Print Solutions. "Sharing our marketing information and customer insights with manufacturing partners like Muller Martini and Nipson enabled us to jointly create an inventory solution for our customers," notes John Conley, vice president of strategy and new business development for R.R. Donnelley. "This unique approach creates value for all our partners while providing customers with faster inventory turns, more efficient use of warehouse space and streamlined administration-all contributing to improved cash flows." Muller Martini’s part of the solution begins with the AmigoDigital, a short-run automated perfect binding system that is based on the company’s popular AmigoPlus model. "The major advancement here is that the AmigoDigital is equipped to plug into a digital printing system and produce up to 1,000 fully variable books per hour inline or near line," says Andrew Fetherman, Manager of Muller Martini’s Digital Finishing Division. "Our Merit-S three-knife trimmer and our Uno stacker have also been incorporated into IMS to continue the automation right on through to distribution." The finishing expert notes that the AmigoDigital "automatically sets every length, width and thickness variable to the precise dimensions of the incoming book." That not only speeds makeready, but virtually eliminates the possibility of operator error in the postpress stage. Fetherman also points out that only systems with a high reliability rating and capable of producing quality product need apply to the digital workflow. "The AmigoDigital turns unfinished book blocks into completed soft cover books using the same high quality techniques our high volume perfect binders employ," he says. "Its milling station, separate spine and side glue stations and cover pressing station also are modeled after our big systems. So the quality of our digital book is equivalent to conventionally printed books. That makes producing soft cover books on an as-needed basis a commercial reality."




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