Thunderbolt has installed the newly-launched Muller Martini 3692 gathering machine at Johannesburg-based printing company Takali. The 3692 machine was launched by Muller Martini in October this year and it is the first to be sold in Africa.

The machine enables small and medium-sized perfect binding jobs to be performed even more efficiently due to its ease of use and great size variability. Its highlights include the patented book verification system, which automatically prevents production with incorrectly set-up signatures.

With run sizes declining, time-saving changeovers, the ability to reach optimal performance levels quickly and uninterrupted production are vital in perfect binding to ensure that as many jobs as possible can be reliably and efficiently completed in each shift. The 3692, which can be used in the Pantera and Alegro A6 perfect binding lines as the successor to the 1571 gathering machine, is ideally designed to meet such requirements. 

It is highly compact, since the elements contain four stations by default, which means that it saves a lot of space. It can also be loaded and operated ergonomically on both sides, allowing you to load on one side and simultaneously prepare the next job on the other side during production. That reduces job changeover times considerably and increases the cost-effectiveness of the entire perfect binding line.

Using the pivoted central touchscreen, production-related data can be easily entered into the system and saved, and the production process can be monitored. This eliminates the need to move around the binding line and also reduces job changeover times significantly. The quality assurance systems, e.g. the Asac Automatic Signature Thickness Measurement System and the ASIR Optical Signature Scanning and Verification System, are also operated from the same unit. For settings specific to the feeder, the HMI (Control) panels are located directly on the gathering machine.

Signature separation is extremely reliable. The bottom signature is securely pulled by four suckers, which are adjustable lengthwise and widthwise, before it is firmly held by the grippers at the back of the signature and removed from the gathering tray via the shortest route. A cushion of air is produced, which cleverly aids the separation process in the hopper, minimising friction. Even tricky signatures are handled with optimum process reliability and efficiency.

To ensure 100% integrity of your book, Muller Martini’s patented book verification system, which prevents production with incorrectly set-up signatures, is integrated into the new 3692 gathering machine. AsirCode allows you to check that production is complete and the sequence of signatures is correct, including the cover. The relevant information is read off from AsirCode, so it is not necessary to connect to an external PC or prepress. AsirCode prevents production with incorrectly set-up signatures.

The benefits of the new 3692 gathering machine include its great size variability, as well as reliable signature separation. The spacious feeding drums ensure the secure processing of signatures with large widths, for example A4 oblong sizes.