Muller Martini showcases expanded offering

Muller Martini is showcasing the fruits of collaboration with recent acquisition Hunkeler at Drupa, with a world premiere for the innovative Starbook Sheetfolder connected to a Vareo Pro perfect binder.
At its booth, Hall 1-B50, Muller’s classic blue devices can be seen married with the grey of Hunkeler’s livery.
Muller Martini CEO Bruno Müller said of the firm’s future go-to-market plans: “Hunkeler is working in various channels and Müller Martini has a globally local service and sales organisation, we are working on combining these to use all the different channels to more effectively come close to the customer.”
He told Printweek: “The way we approach this is very carefully, we go from country-to-country and look for the best possible setup to support our global customers.”
Hunkeler is active in a number of different markets where Muller Martini does not have in-depth know-how, such as transactional and direct mail.
Plans for the UK have not as yet been disclosed. 
Muller was also enthusiastic about the market potential for slick, highly-automated  post-press systems despite the obvious decline in some of its key markets, such as magazines.
He said: “We believe in print even though changes are needed and we need to adapt to the new situation.
“Digital has completely changed the logistics in the printing industry,” he noted as he charted the company’s advancements in adapting to that change since the first SigmaLine was shown at ‘the JDF Drupa’ of 2004.
He also quipped that some of the firm’s old perfect binders were still running reliably at 30 years old.
“I tend to say that the customer didn’t pay for 30 years, but unfortunately that’s the case!”
The group’s Drupa showcase includes a compact ‘smart factory’ setup comprising a SigmaLine Compact book block system, InfiniTrim, and Antaro Digital perfect binder, producing 45 different book types in less than eight minutes.
“This line takes up 170sqm and needs two operators, the old system was 360sqm and five operators, just for perfect binding,” he stated.
The first showing for the Hunkeler Starbook Sheetfolder also drew crowds.
It can make glued book blocks from four- or eight-page signatures, and can also include different paper types.
It adjusts to variable formats and page counts, and has a clever sheet rotator for short edge feed signature applications. It is being shown at Drupa connected with a Muller Martini Vareo Pro perfect binder.
The stability of the glued sections results in an “excellent” flat spine when the job reaches the binder.
All the Muller and Hunkeler systems on show are also integrated with Muller Martini’s Connex workflow system.
Hunkeler also has a separate booth Hall 8a-A20, and its kit features on a number of digital press vendors’ stands.
A Primera Pro saddle stitcher and Ventura MC 200 book sewing machine are also being demonstrated.
There is a Solema Cobot Omega 693 collaborative robot on the end of the Ventura line.

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