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Nipson and Muller Martini to Deliver On-demand Softcover Book Solutions

Press release from the issuing company

New York City -- June 21, 2002 -- Speaking at a special session of On Demand 2002, executives from Nipson and Muller Martini outlined a plan that will make the on-demand production of soft-cover books a commercial reality later this year. The first result of the initiative is called the Inventory Management Solution (IMS). It 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 under a hundred to well over a thousand books. The module, which converts a roll of stock into bound and boxed books, is scheduled to start up this summer at the Harrisonburg, Virginia book plant of R.R. Donnelley Print Solutions. In their On Demand presentation, Alain Flament, Director of Business Development for Nipson, and Andy Fetherman, Manager of Muller Martini Corp.’s Digital Finishing Division, discussed the evolution of such systems. They are driven by Nipson’s digital VaryPress or DMP8000 model and Muller Martini’s AmigoDigital, an automated perfect binding system. Flament noted that the book market is trending from traditional production and distribution processes to an on-demand paradigm in which books are printed on an as-needed basis. Since 90% of the cost of the book is in warehousing and processing costs, the savings can be significant. Digital soft-cover production lines, such as the one that will be installed at R.R. Donnelley, have all the economics in their favor, according to the presentation. They require only two operators to run, from file input to the creation of books boxed for shipment. They can produce over 500 books per hour and are capable of handling a wide variety of formats, thicknesses and stocks. High resolution print quality is standard. On the finishing end, commercial book quality is achieved by Muller Martini’s AmigoDigital perfect binder. Andy Fetherman showed how electronic book size data from the upstream machine is used to automatically set-up every length, width and thickness setting on the machine. He provided details on how the system mills and prepares the spine of each book for gluing, then utilizes both a spine gluing unit and a separate side gluing applicator to ensure the structural integrity of every book. Covers are scored and pressed to optimize the book’s appearance and prevent cracking, while an electronic check is made to ensure that the correct cover is being bound to the right book block. This is all done in one continuous workflow. "The AmigoDigital can be used as an in-line solution as we’re doing at R.R. Donnelley," Fetherman said, "or as a near-line finishing system, which can accept book blocks from both digital and offset presses. Whichever way one chooses, it’s clear that the digital book has arrived. It does not require an electronic device to read. The efficiencies of our system have made it a paper-based reality."