MBO America Hosts "Octoberfest"
WESTAMPTON, NJ—With an assortment of traditional German Octoberfest foods and beer, as well as a showroom full of various finishing equipment available from the Germany-based folder and accessory manufacturer, the only thing missing from MBO America's recent customer open house held here was a German oompah band wearing lederhosen.
According to MBO America President and CEO Hans Max, more than 150 existing clients and prospects—representing both commercial printers and trade binderies—attended the event. It was held over three days in MBO's U.S. headquarters facility.
The modern site houses sales, service and parts operations; an extensive equipment showroom, which is used for MBO America's folding schools, training seminars and for customer demonstrations; storage for parts inventory; a machine tool department; as well as a warehouse and prepping area.
Customers came from as far away as the Midwest and Southeast, including Bob Geier, Mid Island Group, Farmingdale, NY; James Clark, Capital City Press, Barre, VT; Tom Gulyas, ACE Printing & Mailing, Berlin, MD; Mike Stief, Intelligencer Printing, Lancaster, PA; and David Gischel, Victor Graphics, Baltimore, just to name a few.
With more than a dozen pieces of equipment specially set up for the open house, highlights included a B26-S/644 Perfection buckle folder equipped with an ASP-66ME mobile stream delivery unit, a Navigator control system with touchscreen interface and networked to MBO's Data Manager digital integration software.
Also, the highest interest was over a B30-S/4 Perfection folder with a preslitter shaft unit, configured with a Herzog & Heymann (H&H) 392-72 slitting/perforating/scoring unit, a PCT 201 post card tipper, a VTB 46 vacuum transport belt and an ASP-66ME mobile stream delivery unit. The Perfection series, heralded as the world's first marble-less folder, provides quiet, belt-driven operation.
A 28˝, 12-plate H&H map folder with a MBO continuous feeder and SBA-P46ME was also highlighted.
Expanded Product Line
"MBO's recent merger with H&H of Germany was a great move for our company," reveals Max, a 33-year MBO veteran who has held his present position in the U.S. for the past 13 years.
Earlier this year, MBO America announced the rights to sell Wohlenberg cutters and Baumann paper handling systems. Its newest U.S. distribution agreement is with Bograma AG, a Swiss manufacturer of automated punching and hole punching equipment. "Close to 100 customers at Graph Expo were interested in this new machinery for niche applications," Max notes.
And although the concept of computer-integrated manufacturing presently gets a lot more lip service than actual practitioners, Max points to three MBO America customers that are using the CIP 3/4 protocol in conjunction with their Perfection folders equipped with both the Navigator control system and Data Manager.
They include A.J. Imaging, Roselle, NJ; CRW Graphics, Pennsauken, NJ; and Japs-Olson, St. Louis Park, MN.
Advantages for the bindery, he says, include significantly quicker machine setups, reduced paper waste, the need for less skilled operators and significant time savings for repeat jobs. Printers are becoming more and more interested in the benefits of CIP 3/4, and it will also be adopted by trade binders eventually, Max observes.
"This will allow printers to send electronic files to their trade finishers. If the binder doesn't have that capability in the future, the printer will take its business somewhere else."
Customer/supplier relationships really boil down to service, Max concludes. "If a customer calls me, it's not for fun; they're calling because they need help. Strong customer service, coupled with quality equipment, is what has made MBO America so successful.