From left to right: Hans Leuenberger (Muller Martini), Michael Uhl, Ulrich Schätzl, Peter Stein (Muller Martini) and Bruno Müller (CEO Müller Martini) at the Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne.

Schätzl Druck & Medien GmbH & Co. KG in the German town of Donauwörth is investing in the hardcover book block solution showcased by Muller Martini at Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne with an endsheet feeder, Vareo perfect binder, and InfiniTrim three-knife trimmer. The equipment, which is managed by the Connex workflow system, will be supplemented by a Muller Martini Diamant MC Digital bookline and a Kolbus DA 270 casemaker at the online printing house.

Schätzl has been printing fully digitally since 2015, with 100 percent of its products ordered online on demand, and 75 percent of products produced in a run of one copy. Aside from wedding and greetings cards finished with foil or lacquer, the company specializes in photo books and customized children’s books in both the softcover and hardcover segments. Schätzl produces some 95 percent of its volume for online customers worldwide.

Currently the family business – which was founded in 1981 and employs 100 people – uses several systems with a lower degree of automation for that purpose. “However, since our main focus is on fully-automated processes, and we need scalable and automatable capacity due to seasonal fluctuations, especially for the Christmas trade, we looked around for a new solution,” says Managing Director Ulrich Schätzl.

Michael Uhl (Head of Administration and Organization) describes the VBA/Vareo/InfiniTrim system as “exactly what we need.” “It’s a hybrid system for softcover and hardcover, ensures automatic signature infeed, provides high size variability, and reduces manual interventions – just as described by Muller Martini in its 4.0 strategy.”

The new system, which will be commissioned this summer, is managed by the Connex workflow system. “That’s even more important to me than the individual machines, because it forms the basis for our networked production, which is indispensable,” says Ulrich Schätzl. “Connex provides excellent support for our ‘Schätzl 4.0’ strategy.”

The purchase agreement for the new systems – which will be the first Muller Martini machines in Schätzl’s 38‐year history – was signed at Hunkeler Innovationdays in Lucerne, where Muller Martini first unveiled the world premiere. Previously endsheet feeders were only used in the high performance classes. Now, however, Muller Martini is enabling the inline production of book blocks with endsheets and liners in ultra-short runs as well.

This new machine configuration, which was developed in line with Muller Martini’s Finishing 4.0 philosophy, provides bookbinders with the major advantage of being able to produce ultra-short runs of as little as one copy per job much more economically, not only in softcover but in hardcover as well.

Until now book-of-one production often involved a lot of manual work due to the various production steps, with the gluing of the seamless endsheet to the front and back of the content section being the obstacle. However, the new Muller Martini solution means that the entire hardcover book block process is fully automated. The completed book blocks can be finished into book blocks with round or straight spines straight from the InfiniTrim using a bookline – Schätzl will use a Diamant MC Digital for that purpose.

Press Release: Muller Martini