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Muller Martini handles perfect binding and trimming in Books for Schools effort

Press release from the issuing company

January 22, 2004 -- Javits Convention Center, New York City — In a graphic arts industry first, seven leading suppliers are joining forces at the ON DEMAND show in an exhibit devoted exclusively to producing books for the New York City Department of Education. The “Books for Schools” booth (#3004) will be home to an integrated production line that automatically transforms blank rolls of paper into various size soft bound books at the average rate of one 200-page book every five seconds. As an expansion of the successful “Books for Schools” program originated by Delphax Technologies, the enterprise will feature a Muller Martini AmigoDigital perfect binder that will automatically manufacture the books from color covers and cut-sheet book blocks. A new Muller Martini Esprit three-knife trimmer will work near-line to complete the volumes. The digitally driven workflow will produce more than 6,000 books that will be donated to New York City students. Four classic titles will be printed: The Last of the Mohicans, The Odyssey, Pride and Prejudice, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. “This isn’t a Muller Martini exhibit, or a Delphax booth or a solo stage for any of the other participants involved,” says Andrew J. Fetherman, Manager of Muller Martini Corp.’s OnDemand Solutions Division. “This display is about system integration, partnership and making on-demand soft-cover production a working reality. And it’s all being done for the best cause in the world: furthering the education of New York City students.” The exhibit’s workflow begins with Dakota Digital Paper from Boise Paper Solutions. An LS Series Automatic Web Splicer from KTI will feed the stock into the digital printer — Delphax Technologies’ CR1300 Digital Web Press. It will print each book block at a rate of 2,400 six-by-nine-inch pages per minute. A Stralfors LASERMAX LX560 cutter and LX565 stacker will work in-line to create the cut-sheet book blocks from the continuous web. Then a Shuttleworth Star Roller Conveyor will transport, accumulate, and index the results. Finally, the Muller Martini AmigoDigital perfect binder will use lasers to automatically measure the book blocks, then it will seamlessly combine them with color covers produced on a Xeikon digital press to create commercial quality, soft cover books at speeds of up to 1,000 fully variable size books per hour. The books will then be trimmed at a rate of up to 2,000 books per hour on a near-line Esprit three knife trimmer that is making its debut for the digital market at ON DEMAND. “While we’re honored to be working together with our production partners in this joint demonstration of on-demand firepower, we also want to remind show goers that all of our innovations can work with virtually any combination of equipment — in-line or near-line,” Fetherman says. “So in addition to looking at our ‘Books for Schools’ system as an integrated entity, they should also consider the individual attributes of each component.” Bringing high quality to the on demand workflow Muller Martini’s contributions to the workflow begin with the AmigoDigital perfect binder. It is the first professional grade perfect binding system designed to meet the high-end finishing needs of digital printers. It works in-line or near-line and brings a new level of commercial quality finishing to the digitally printed product. It is purpose-built to plug into the on demand workflow, so that the parameters of each individual book will be automatically transferred to the binder for hands-free setups. When the AmigoDigital is configured in-line, it adapts itself from data supplied by the upstream machine. When configured near-line, a built-in measuring/loading station utilizes laser technology to acquire the dimensions of the book block. That automates the makeready of the AmigoDigital on conventional short-run jobs. In either case, the electronic book size data is used to adjust the length, width, and thickness settings of the binder. The result – the machine literally makereadies itself. An integrated cover feeder on the AmigoDigital marries the cover to the book block. A built-in nipping station enhances the registration and squareness of the book’s backbone. The result: digitally printed books, produced in short, on-demand runs that are indistinguishable from conventionally produced products. Cutting considerations Making its first trade show appearance in North America is the Esprit three-knife trimmer. It works near-line or integrates with Muller Martini or other short-run to mid-range perfect binders to add more quality and speed to the soft cover book production process. Features on the Esprit include a touch screen console with Programmable Logic Control (PLC) for automated makeready. It uses servo motors to speed up and simplify changeovers, eliminating the need for manual adjustments. Esprit produces at the rate of 2,000 cuts per hour and can trim several books per cutting cycle at a maximum thickness capacity in excess of three inches. “There will be a lot of vendors promising integrated solutions at ON DEMAND,” says Fetherman. “But just a handful will be an integral part of a working system that’s producing products that will be read and enjoyed long after ON DEMAND closes its doors. That’s why Muller Martini is proud to be part of the “Books for Schools” program.”