Muller Martini

Case Studies

Muller Martini

APPLICATION: Equipping Vertical Machining Center for Short Run Jobs

BACKGROUND: Muller Martini is a multinational company, with manufacturing plants in Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and the United States, specializing in the manufacture of a full range of post-press finishing equipment for commercial printers, binderies, newspaper plants, digital book printers and web offset presses.


The Muller Martini facility in Newport News, Virginia, produces machines for bookbinding and book stitching that follow printing press operations. In 2005, Muller Martini planned to install a new Hurco VMX 64 vertical machining center, originally intended for long-run or special milling jobs. The company soon realized the market opportunity for shorter run jobs as well.

Muller Martini needed the new machining center to provide flexibility and speed in the transition between these different applications. According to Tool and Fixture Design Engineer Christian Tynch, "We needed a system that delivered the precise tolerances and accurate locating required for a wide range of sophisticated applications."


Having used the Ball Lock mounting system since the 1990’s, Muller Martini sought to use Jergens vises as part of an integrated system on the Hurco VMX 64. The vertical machining center uses five 6” Jergens vises, with integrated Ball Lock bases and all configured to utilize custom-made hard jaws created by Muller Martini. End plates were also installed on the vises to facilitate quick and easy changeover to single-jaw applications.


Muller Martini also requested that Jergens build a customized subplate with Ball Lock receivers in predetermined locations for accurate locating. The subplate is designed for vises to be set up on 350mm or 250mm centers for different applications. Vises are positioned at the plate edge to facilitate operator installation and removal. Anticipating future requirements, the subplate is also designed for various combinations of fixture plates and the installation of an indexer. Muller Martini currently uses the Hurco VMX 64 for two different types of applications: large components held by all five vises or a series of smaller parts requiring progressive operations.


The integration of Jergens vises, the Ball Lock mounting system and a custom subplate has had a significant impact for Muller Martini:


  • Facilitated shift from long-run to more flexible short run operations
  • Reduced raw materials and spare parts inventory
  • Dramatically reduced vise changeover time as compared to previous operations
  • Significantly improved quality, especially for parts requiring progressive setup operations in the vise


ABOVE: Muller's Ball Lock System with Jergens vises
Reduction in setup time from the Jergens vises has us looking to buy more of them in the very near future.

— Tool and Fixture Design Engineer,
Christian Tynch


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Muller Martini uses tens of thousands of parts, most of which are made in-house, with shorter lead times and improved quality.


Using the Jergens vises integrated with
the Ball Lock System, we are able to literally set up one job while running another, with vastly shorter lead times and virtually infinite positioning
options for our milling operations. Plus, our quality improved dramatically - we couldn't be happier.

— Tool and Fixture Design Engineer, Christian Tynch


Jergens Workholding- Ball Lock System

Jergens Workholding- Ball Lock System
ABOVE: Ball Lock locating pin cutaway