Some 40 customers from Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden learnt firsthand at the Muller Martini factories in Zofingen and Felben about the latest technologies in saddle stitching, perfect binding, hardcover books and digital book production.
A visit to digital specialist Publikation Digital in Gerlafingen and a talk about the MMServices program rounded off the two-day study trip to Switzerland.
Dirk Deceuninck was "pleasantly surprised that despite the difficult times, so many customers invested two days in seeing our latest solutions close up". According to the Managing Director of Muller Martini Northern Europe, the event was designed to show customers how they can conquer new market segments with new ideas and gain high investment protection for their machines as a result. "At the last drupa we gave customers a general overview of our solutions," says Deceuninck. "Now we could convince the customers in detail of future opportunities in the graphic arts industry and our solutions. It was also important to us to give our guests a glimpse behind the scenes of Muller Martini at the two factories in Zofingen and Felben."
The live demonstration of the SigmaLine from Muller Martini, the first fully integrated and complete industrial solution for digital book production, met with particularly great interest at Publikation Digital in Gerlafingen. "We specialize in saddle stitched brochures and magazines and currently produce everything using the traditional offset method," say the two owners of Veldhuis Media in Raalte, the Netherlands, Erwin de Lange and Oscar Jager. "Nevertheless, we want to grow further and digital printing is an option for us. That's why we were particularly interested in digital inline solutions during our trip to Switzerland. Although we'd looked at these at the drupa already, during this two-day event we could talk much more intensively with the Muller Martini technicians and also exchange experiences with other industry professionals."
Thijs Claes, owner of Claes Printing in St-Pieters Leeuw, Belgium, took the same view: "During such an event there's far less stress than at a trade fair, and you have much more time for in-depth discussions about new machines and production methods." Claes Printing, a traditional offset printing company, currently concentrates solely on saddle stitching in terms of print finishing, but also has its eye on perfect binding. "That's why the visit to the Bookbinding Academy in Felben was particularly interesting for me and more than met my expectations," says Claes.
As a company specializing in magazines, Aller Trykk AG in Hagan, Norway, has not yet been directly involved in digital printing. "But who knows what the future holds?" says Kolbjørn Vogt, who is responsible for machine maintenance at Aller Trykk. "This trip to Switzerland was an excellent opportunity for me to learn at Muller Martini firsthand about state-of-the-art technologies also in the field of digital solutions. A great advantage was being able to go into technical detail with the Muller Martini experts right by the machines. I'm definitely going home with a lot of new ideas."