Saddle Stitchers — It's a Buyer's Market
"If you have a big variation of sizes, like trade binderies—because they can't control the type of work they get—you want to have a very flexible machine," Stirnimann says. "We have fast-makeready machines that can handle a broad range of products."
Muller Martini reports that it manufactures more saddle stitchers each year than the rest of its competitors combined. The company offers a variety of units capable of different outputs, from the 8,000 cph Minuteman and 9,000 cph Presto to the 12,000 cph Bravo, 14,000 cph Prima and 20,000 cph Tempo System.
Labor Issues, Makeready Are Vital
BY PAUL KUCHTA
The major component of any hourly rate, or per thousand rates for a saddle stitcher, is labor. More efficiency as related to manning is the number one issue for this profit center.
Makeready efficiencies are also significant; obviously, the less time spent on makeready, the more cost-competitive the job will be. Makeready accuracy should also be considered—the more accurate the initial makeready, the faster the machine will be at a consistent production speed.
Quality control features are critical in assuring that the end user of the saddle stitched product will receive only good product.
Variable side caliper inspection point, long signature detection and trimmer quality control (square book detection) are indispensable, particularly in light of today's tight labor market and the inexperienced help that is often used. Adjustment of critical processes without interruption of production is a major benefit.
Smart features are even better: for example, the ST270's and 300's ability to monitor average product thickness over the run and adjust automatically to accommodate changes in paper caliper typical in web stock.
Waste reduction features such as the sequential start and stop of a saddle stitcher should be considered a must. The reduction of books to be uncollated due to makeready start and stops is significant, lowering production costs by eliminating labor and time pulling sigs apart.