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Combined Customer Expo Draws Big Crowds

August 2003
WESTAMPTON, NJ—In another positive sign that things are turning around for the better in the graphic arts, a special customer expo conducted here recently by MBO America and Muller Martini attracted more than 250 participants.

Held in early June at MBO America's Westampton headquarters, the exposition was attended by key executives and technicians from facilities that operate or plan to run binderies. Their focus was on a variety of finishing solutions that were operated continuously throughout the event.

Werner Naegeli, president and CEO of Muller Martini, headed the team representing his company at the event. "It's always great to meet face-to-face with bindery professionals to discuss the challenges they're facing and propose solutions," he declares. "An event like this gives you the chance to do that without the time pressures that typically limit your dialog during a sales call or a big trade show."

Hans Max, president and CEO of MBO America, agrees. "With our folding and mailing systems, and Muller Martini's stitching and perfect binding systems, we assembled one of the most productive binderies in the world for our customer expo," he says. "The participants I talked with were very impressed with the capabilities of these advanced systems and they wanted specifics on putting the innovations to work for them."

Muller Martini presented its new AmigoDigital, a perfect binding system designed to meet the high-end finishing needs of both digital printers and sheetfed offset facilities that require short-run book manufacturing solutions.

AmigoDigital's zero-makeready capabilities turned more than a few heads. The system's built-in measuring table utilizes the precision of laser beams to ascertain the dimensions of the book it is about to finish. All the operator has to do is give the OK, and the AmigoDigital inputs the parameters. Through the use of servos, it adjusts every setting to the correct size and specification.

Also at work during the customer expo was Muller Martini's newest saddle stitching system—BravoPlus—which brings high-volume saddle stitching advancements to facilities that concentrate on short-to-medium runs. The BravoPlus worked in conjunction with MBO's BA-700 automatic banding delivery running a two-up job at the event.

In addition to the BA-700 delivery, MBO America ran a wide range of folding, mailing, cutting and binding solutions. They included:

* An MBO Perfection folder demonstrated how its Navigator operating system—with touchscreen, Rapidset and Datamanager—automates makereadies.

* A remote access link was established with a Perfection folder with Navigator at A.J. Images in Roselle, NJ. MBO technicians used the connection to demonstrate how they can monitor and review live production data and check equipment set up to maximize their customers' productivity.

* Two MBO B21 eight-page units were coupled to a Stralfors unwinder and sheeter to create signatures.

* A Herzog + Heymann (H+H) M7.46-72 map folder with 12 fold plates was demonstrated.

* An MBO B30-S/4VM Perfection folder connected with an H+H 392 unit demonstrated time slitting, time perforating, time scoring and plow folding, and utilized a pick & place unit to tip on a three-dimensional piece to create eye-catching direct mail pieces in a single pass.

* A B26/44X folder teamed up with an H+H ILS system to produce a 16-page pasted booklet, then trimmed on a Bograma punching unit.

* An Ehret reel-sheeter operated in combination with a Perfection B-26S eight-page unit and a BA-700 automatic banding delivery to demonstrate high-speed sheeting, folding and banding.

* A 45˝ Wohlenberg Cut-Tec guillotine cutter was surrounded with Baumann automated material handling systems.

* A Theisen & Bonitz flex B315 VP collator worked in system configuration with the company's new 304 stitch, fold and trim unit with integrated head- and foot-trim.

A variety of other folding, gluing and diecutting combinations were also displayed, comprising a total of 20 MBO America systems.

"It is very encouraging to see such a large turnout at a finishing technology event," notes Max. "It's an indication that the worst may be behind us, and the best is yet to come for the graphic arts."

Werner Naegeli confers: "The positive feedback we received from those who attended indicates that printers and bindery professionals are gearing up from the survival mode they've been in for the past couple of years. They're now looking for ways to grow their businesses."

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