Muller Martini

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Muller Martini
Industry Printing, Graphic Arts
Founded 1946
Headquarters Zofingen, Switzerland
Area served
Key people

Bruno Müller (CEO)

Rudolf Müller (Chairman of the Board)
Products Bookbinding equipment, Newspaper inserting systems

Muller Martini, based in Switzerland, manufactures paper inserting systems, mail room delivery systems and other printing related equipment. Manufacturing facilities are located in Switzerland, Germany and the United States.

Switzerland started manufacturing bookbinding equipment in 1946 under the name Grapha Maschinenfabrik. The first machine produced was a hand-fed saddle stitcher, later modernized by the “Swiss Girl” automatic feeder, which could be disengaged and tilted back when not in use. Grapha exhibited its first fully automatic saddle stitcher with in-line trimmer at Drupa in 1954. During the same time, the company was working on the development of an adhesive binder.

In 1955, the company incorporated and changed its name to Grapha Maschinenfabrik Hans Müller A. G. That same year Muller sold its first machine in the United States. Other equipment was added, and in 1961 large-scale production of newspaper and magazine inserting machines was started. As Muller expanded, new manufacturing, sales and service facilities were set up abroad. A United States subsidiary, the Hans Muller Corp. was established in 1967.

Martini joined the Muller organization in 1969. Founded by Friedrich von Martini, inventor of a precision rifle, Martini began manufacturing folding and stitching machines in 1850. Martini introduced its Book Sewing Machine in 1897, and more than 10,000 have been produced to date. The Martini automobile, powered by a Martini-designed internal combustion engine, was also introduced in 1897. Automobile production stopped in 1934, when the company decided to concentrate on book binding equipment. Adhesive binding machines were developed by Martini in 1941.

Muller Martini developed its first offset web press for business forms in 1972 and is now a manufacturer of web presses for direct mail promotional graphics and commercial work. In 1973, Muller Martini USA offices relocated to Hauppauge, Long Island. At the same time, the company name was changed to Muller Martini Corp. A network of sales, product management and service personnel were also established throughout the United States with Regional Offices in the Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco areas.

In the United States, Muller Martini started its first manufacturing facility in 1973 to produce bindery and mailroom equipment in Newport News, VA. This plant has been expanded in several steps and today is over 290,000 sq ft (27,000 m2), used for automated manufacturing as well as assembly, engineering, and new product development.

In 1989, Daverio in Switzerland and KJ in Denmark became part of the Muller Martini, with the ability to produce and market complete newspaper inserting, press finishing and bindery systems, including conveyors and packaging lines for automatic production.

GMA, located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a supplier of newspaper mailroom systems to the United States market, was acquired by the Muller Martini group of companies in 1992. GMA was renamed Muller Martini Mailroom Systems.

Muller Martini took over the manufacture of the VBF product line of case binding machines for hard cover book production in 1998. Manufacturing was moved to a new factory with its own training center in Bad Mergentheim, Germany, within 2 years. In 2007 VBF became Muller Martini Book Technology GmbH. As of January 2002, Muller Martini USA assumed marketing and customer service support for all VBF machines in the United States, along with casemakers made by Hoerauf.

In 2004 Muller Martini founded a new business segment "On Demand Solutions". The Division was developed to provide commercial quality finishing to the Digital Book Production market.

In 1991, Hans Müller Sr. transferred the overall responsibility of the Swiss-based company his son Rudolf Müller, who now holds the position of CEO.

The worldwide sales network is further extended in the 1990s with the establishment of Muller Martini Norway (1990), the acquisition of the trade agency in Finland (1992; today, Muller Martini Finland) and the establishment of companies in Poland (1992), Hong Kong (1995), Australia (1996), Korea, and Singapore (1997), as well as Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico (1999).

The machine portfolio is topped off by the acquisition of Graphic Management Association Inc. (GMA) in Allentown, USA, the market leader at the time for inserting machines and mailroom equipment (later Muller Martini Mailroom Systems, Inc.).

The acquisition of VBF Buchtechnologie GmbH in 1998 further extends Muller Martini's claim to a comprehensive print finishing portfolio. Muller Martini Book Technology GmbH in Bad Mergentheim, Germany, today serves as a training center for complete systems for hardcover production.

Muller Martini sets up additional branches in Portugal and Russia (2000), and in the Netherlands (2001).

Muller Martini opens an assembly plant in the Chinese city of Shenzhen in 2000. In the first years of operation, the plant produces saddle stitchers and perfect binders solely for the Chinese market. The machines produced there are also delivered worldwide as of 2015.

Print product requirements include shorter runs, customization and topicality. However, high costs for short runs made the production of smaller quantities barely worthwhile. Muller Martini meets this challenge in 2004 by introducing the SigmaLine – a unique total solution for industrial digital book production. The SigmaLine links all processes from pre-press through digital printing to print finishing, enabling fully automated production in a single pass. In order to meet the specific demands of the new market, Muller Martini establishes a new business unit, Digital Solutions, in 2004.

The ProLiner inserting system, first introduced in 2007, is designed to meet the individual requirements of newspaper operations of all sizes. The system caters to complex mailroom requirements such as zoning and regionalization, as well as the growing number of preprinted sections and inserts, while also boasting a high level of quality, flexibility, and reliability. The open system architecture means the ProLiner can be extended flexibly.

The trend towards digital networking of individual production steps continues to be unstoppable and CIP4 is established as a standard. Muller Martini responds to this development with its fully linked work-flow solutions that are consistently designed according to the CIP4 standard. The Connex data and process management system allows all Muller Martini systems from individual machines to complex production lines to be networked with a customer's Management Information System (MIS).

The new generation of Muller Martini machines, presented at drupa 2008 for the first time, encompasses numerous technical innovations and a completely reworked, modern design. The new ergonomic guard concept offers even better access to work processes and takes the body mass and reach of machine operators into account even more consistently. The new laserblue color promotes concentration and productivity, and is the most visually striking, identifiable feature of the new generation of machines.

At the drupa 2008, Muller Martini sets a milestone for adhesive binding thanks to PUR production at 18,000 cycles/h using the Corona perfect binder, which is almost double the value previously achieved in practice.

In 2009 Muller Martini acquires the patent for the VSOP web printing press from Drent Goebel. This variable-size web printing press opens up new applications for high-quality commercial work and mail shots, as well as for producing flexible packaging and labels. It takes less than five minutes to exchange the handy plate and rubber blanket cylinders, which means that changeovers to new sizes are cost effective. This printing press provides size variability that has previously only been seen in flexo and rotogravure printing.

In May 2009 former CEO Rudolf Müller assumes the position of president of the board of directors, which he had been a member of for 18 years. The new CEO, Bruno Müller, has worked at various companies within the Muller Martini Group for some 20 years, including in the US. On his return to Switzerland, he heads up the Mailroom Systems business unit before assuming management of the new Digital Solutions business unit in 2005.

Ipex 2010 sees the unveiling of Muller Martini’s global service offering, MMServices. The globally standardized and recently expanded life cycle care program provides advice and optimization for machinery installed all over the world and enables customers to adapt their machines to progressively changing market circumstances and thus to rely on increased investment security.

In order to take advantage of synergy effects and to offer customers optimal, customized solutions, Muller Martini enters into cooperation agreements with RIMA Systems and SITMA. Additional strategic partners are Solema and MBO (on selected markets).

The Diamant MC bookline captures the booming photo book market thanks to digital technology.

The Alegro perfect binder satisfies the high requirements in offset and digital printing with innovative Motion Control Technology.

All systems presented at drupa 2012 are “digital ready”.

Around this time Muller Martini takes over the responsibility for much of Heidelberg Print Finishing Equipment (service and spare parts) so Heidelberg can concentrate on their main printer divisions.

In Zofingen a new, central Spare Parts Center is set up to supply the European markets.

The new Logistics Center with over 35,000 permanently available original spare parts provides both full supply of parts and a very high degree of availability. The seamless process from ordering to delivery ensures full order tracking. Spare parts are delivered 24/7, 365 days a year.

Hans Müller, a pioneer of the graphic arts industry who remains closely linked with the company even into his advanced years, dies at the age of 96. The company founder is remembered not only as a brilliant engineer, but also as a kind and generous leader.

At the same time the company restructures to adapt to major market changes in the graphic arts industry. The sales and service companies are merged globally into nine regions with larger resource pools.

Muller Martini Machines and Systems AG in Hasle focuses increasingly on the external market, and adapts its organizational structure and processes accordingly. The production business, which plays an important role for Muller Martini, develops from classic parts manufacturing to supply of components. The company gains ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certification.

Muller Martini launches a global investment protection program. Customer-specific measures enable machines to maintain maximum productivity for as long as possible or, in the case of a drop in performance, to be brought back up to optimum production levels as quickly as possible. Service packages, updates and upgrades are offered in addition to inspections and preventive maintenance.

From 2014, perfect binding systems are now developed and assembled at Muller Martini Print Finishing Systems AG (in Zofingen). A competence center for perfect binding and a service hub remain in Felben-Wellhausen, the site of Muller Martini Bookbinding Systems AG.

In May 2016 Muller Martini Ltd. the Northern European Head Office, moved from Iver in Buckinghamshire to Gloucester House, 7 Langley Quay, Waterside Drive, Langley, Berks, England, SL3 6EY.


Production facilities[edit]

Muller Martini has production facilities in Switzerland and in Germany.

  • Muller Martini Print Finishing Systems AG, Zofingen (Switzerland)
  • Muller Martini Electronic AG, Zofingen (Switzerland)
  • Muller Martini Maschinen & Anlagen AG, Hasle and Stans (Switzerland)
  • Muller Martini Book Technology GmbH, Bad Mergentheim (Germany) [2]

See also[edit]