MBO Looks Beyond Folding

Standing with the new MBO K8 RS combi-folder (a.k.a. “the world’s fastest folding machine”) are (from left): Frank Bahmer, president and CEO of MBO America; Frank Eckert, CEO of the MBO Group; and Lance Martin, director of North American sales.

Touting what he called “the new MBO America,” Lance Martin, director of sales, told a group of industry journalists last month that the company wants to shed its image as a manufacturer of folding machines and focus on its range of products and services. These include web finishing, packaging, mailing and pharmaceutical folding systems, as well as an analysis service in which MBO technical experts will analyze customers’ folding processes and recommend improvements.

“No other company has that at the moment,” noted Frank Eckert, CEO of the MBO Group, who was at MBO America’s Marlton, N.J., headquarters for MBO’s open house event. This analysis service, he said, has proven very popular in Europe, so MBO is introducing it in the U.S.

Printers that installed folders a decade ago to handle high volumes are unsure of how to adapt their equipment to today’s need for automation and smaller-run jobs, he said. Through this analysis service, MBO technicians offer guidance to help printers make changes and choices that will decrease labor costs.

During the meeting, journalists got a tour of MBO America’s new facility, and demonstrations of some of its folding systems, like the new K8 RS combi-folder, which the company dubs “the world’s fastest folding machine,” capable of production speeds up to 275 m/min. It is fast enough to keep pace with an offset press, Martin remarked.
“With this machine, customers can maximize their press usage because job throughput times at the finishing stage are significantly reduced,” he said.

Also shown off at the open house was the MBO M80 modular buckle folding machine, which offers the flexibility to install “add-on” components after the initial purchase. It uses the new M1 control system, which standardizes machine interfaces and can be upgraded as components are changed.

All MBO solutions are modular, stressed Frank Bahmer, president and CEO of MBO America. This means that full systems are created from an array of modules. Customers can add a new module to an existing line when a need develops.

Executives noted that many printers that add new digital printing equipment fail to consider how they will fold and finish those digital jobs.

“Finishing is not up front in the conversation, many times,” said Martin.

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