Based on the key concepts of automation, connectivity, variability and touchless workflow, Finishing 4.0 has successfully established itself and is now a reality in the smart factory.
The smart factory is a major topic, especially for Müller Martini customers in the digital printing segment. Machines are no longer isolated production islands; instead, they exchange data with their environment. In this way, all processes work closely together, forming a seamless automated workflow from an incoming order through to its shipping. At the same time, individual machines now automatically recognise what they need to do. Changeover times will not only be reduced, but eliminated. Seamless production, from ultra-short runs to book-of-one runs, will provide customers with entirely new business models.
However, connectivity continues to move forward at traditional printing houses as well. The main concern here is to make production cost-effective again. Müller Martini is also assisting these customers on the path to digital transformation by providing them with individual application options using the Connex workflow system. In many cases, however, all that is needed is to replace an old machine with a new one that offers improved performance – or even to replace two older models with one new, highly automated machine that will nevertheless increase output.
The smart factory is already a reality in the graphic arts industry. The numerous customer projects that have been implemented demonstrate the enormous potential of a networked printer. The biggest drivers here are the new business models. The desire for personalisation, the photobook boom, applications such as web-to-print and print-on-demand require networked production processes.
With the smart factory, production processes, the flow of materials and the exchange of data are optimally integrated. Unnecessary steps are eliminated, sources of errors are avoided and everything that can reasonably be automated is. There is no longer a focus on individual production islands, but rather on the optimisation of entire business processes. As a result, even ultra-short runs can be produced cost-effectively.
Müller Martini will be focusing on its new Life Cycle Management programme, which aims to clearly structure the service offering for an aging machine base. But service is becoming smarter as well. Müller Martini will be providing some impressive examples to demonstrate how its service technicians interact efficiently with customers thanks to the new services. These will be presented at drupa 2020.
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