Finishing Plus: Muller Martini Corona Perfect Binder Is Perfect
Press release from the issuing company
Several years ago, Frank Puisis and Jim Pace realized that they needed to make some changes at the Chicago-based bindery they had owned since 1991. Both men felt that in order to remain competitive in the "Mom and Pop" environment of the trade bindery industry, their company Finishing Plus, needed to be more specialized.
"We recognized that there was tremendous opportunity in the perfect binding market," said Mr. Puisis. "Books and catalogues were getting thicker and thicker, and there was a real demand out there for companies with the ability to produce such products," Mr. Puisis added.
While Finishing Plus had not previously been in the perfect binding market, Mr. Puisis and Mr. Pace decided to go after a piece of that business themselves.
"We needed to invest in the best binder that would allow us to run at the fastest speeds and with the quickest makereadies," said Mr. Puisis. "We also needed very versatile equipment that allowed us to run both very thin and very thick products, without a lot of set-up time."
Finishing Plus came to the conclusion that purchasing a Muller Martini Corona perfect binder was the logical solution. "We spent about two years analyzing the machine and another year with the actual purchase evaluation and installation. We specifically looked at the reliability of the equipment and how long it would last," Puisis says. "What we found is that Muller Martini’s equipment has been out there for 30 or 40 years and is still operating well."
As part of their analysis, Finishing Plus found that the used equipment market for this type of a solution was very strong in comparison to some of its competitors’ binders, and that even after 30 years, the equipment retained substantial value. "We are assured that the resale value is definitely there with the Muller Martini equipment."
The Corona, which was installed in August 2000, has helped Finishing Plus obtain an increased breadth of services. The company’s client base now includes commercial printers, publishers and some agencies. Finishing Plus offers specialty services, including pharmaceutical folding, miniature folding, and large sheet format folding, including complicated road maps. The company also handles specialty bindery services for printers who don’t have the capability to perform these functions in-house. Presently, Finishing Plus focuses on specialty items through doing inkjet imaging, catalogue stitching, and imaging work on folders.
While branching out into perfect binding has opened the company up to new markets, the Corona has also helped address Finishing Plus’ reliance on expensive labor. "This machine has eased some of the burden because it’s not as difficult to operate as some pieces of equipment. You still require good quality people, but you don’t have to have the most experienced person to run the equipment," he adds. "The ease of operation starts with the set-up and continues through to the finished product, Puisis says, adding that the learning curve lasts only a few months."
Finishing Plus has also used the Corona in its marketing efforts. For example, during the busy annual report season, printers are very interested in what type of equipment their reports will be finished on. "The annual reports are like works of art that have to look good, the presentation, printing, and binding. When we tell them we’re going to be running the work on a Muller Martini Corona binder, they are very much at ease. It’s got a good brand name in the marketplace, and people know what it can do, so that gives us the competitive edge," he adds.
In the future, Puisis plans to not only increase the company’s work in the perfect binding market, but will focus on increasing client satisfaction by utilizing his equipment’s data management capabilities. "We have a lot of quality control procedures and we try to keep our customers informed on a daily basis in terms of the progress of a job and where it’s at," he says.
Puisis attributes his company’s overall success to hard work, creativity and the ability to listen to the customer and analyze the market. "We’ve built up a large following of customers. We’re known nationally and people know that if they send a job to Finishing Plus, it will be done in a quality fashion and delivered on time."
The 1,500 c/hr. Amigo Perfect Binder is a compact, hand-fed binder with PLC assisted makeready that is ideal for samples and very short runs of high-quality books. The one-person operation and ease of use is ideal for on demand applications. Wrenchless clamp adjustment allows quick set-up. Straight-line glue application with two glue rollers and true side gluing by applicator wheels prevents unsightly glue in the gutter of the book. The top-loading, bottom-feeding cover feeder ensures continuous operation, with 4-line scoring adjustable on-the-fly.
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