Open House Opens Eyes
OPPENWEILER, GERMANY—Imagine a manufacturing operation where various MBO folding machines are custom-made to order. Where highly skilled engineers still produce spiral fold rollers by hand—just as they have done since the first MBO machine was built in 1967. And where even the electrical panels for the sophisticated Navigator control system are made in-house. That's just the world a group of U.S. printers and trade binders saw recently during a tour of MBO Binder GmbH & Co.'s manufacturing plant here in this quaint German community located near Stuttgart.
MBO also has a large manufacturing facility in Porto, Portugal, used for mass production, whereas equipment assembled in Germany varies depending on which options customers order. Even so, all 3.5 million parts stocked in Germany, but produced in Portugal, are double-checked to ensure high quality and tight tolerances.
The group, chaperoned by MBO America President and CEO Hans Max plus Bernie Gruber and Klaus Beckbissinger, was welcomed the first morning by Dr. Bernfried Moosmann, managing partner, who stressed the importance of investing in automation and value-added production capabilities—especially during tough economic times. Afterwards, they toured the facility and saw demonstrations of 22 offerings from both MBO and Herzog + Heymann (H+H), a mailing and specialized folding equipment manufacturer acquired by MBO in 2000.
Of special interest was a fully automated MBO B30S/444 Perfection folder designed for customers with many size and paper stock changeovers. Its B30S continuous feeder configuration incorporated motorized feeder guides and a motorized infeed alignment table with air bars instead of the traditional smoother bars. Also motorized are the roller adjustments and the buckle plates. In addition, it featured the upgraded Perfection with Navigator and touchscreen control, which allows quick makereadies, less manning requirements and centralized adjustment control.
Also running was a B35S/442 Perfection with B35S continuous feeder, MC-Control including counter, high-speed sheet alignment guide, double-stream and RFE sheet return devices, and SBAP 72ME delivery.
A MBO/H+H project study arrangement included the HSF/1020 folder for signature work, FP 1020/110 palletized feeder with Vaculift feeder head, MC-Control, VIVAS, a transport system with left/right plow fold, the #381/52 cutting unit with high-speed guide, a knife fold unit and SBAP 46ME delivery. Shown for extra-large-format finishing was the B44S/444 Perfection with a new palletized feeder featuring two suction drums in the lift and a new package delivery for ease of handling.
Attendees on the tour included Martin Anson, Bindagraphics, Baltimore; John Bandrofchak, McNaughton & Gunn, Saline, MI; Lonnie and Nancy Blackwell, Fisher Group, Cedar Rapids, IA; Richard Faith, Lynx Communication Group, Salem, OR; William Gaddy and Brian Clark, ADP, Edgewood, NJ; Aaron Greebel and Renee Riczker, AJ Images, Roselle, NJ; Ignacio and Maria Jessie Guzman, Hart Bindery, Los Angeles; and Mark Houseman, Source Link, Miamisburg, OH.
Also taking part were Steve Reuther and Sam Mauro, Tropical Printing, Sarasota, FL; Tom and Jodi McCoy, Malloy Inc., Ann Arbor, MI; Tom and Gloria Sexton, Sexton Printing, St. Paul, MN; Alan Swanson, Thomson Shore, Dexter, MI; Robert Michael Wing, St. Ives, Cleveland; Steven Wyant, Quebecor World/Petty Printing, Effingham, IL; Bert Young and Al Fraser, Day & Nite, San Francisco; and Robert Carl and Ruth Ann Schafer, Synergy Graphics, Fridley, MN.
While in Oppenweiler the guests stayed at a luxury hotel where the owners had purchased two large log cabins in Canada, meticulously disassembled them and transported them to Germany to be reassembled.
Following the open house, the attendees were then whisked off to visit the Bluehendes Barock castle in Ludwigsburg, the Daimler Benz (Mercedes) Museum in Stuttgart, as well as sightseeing in the Blackforest with ample oportunity to purchase the region's infamous cuckoo clocks.