Following in the footsteps of the Swiss manufacturer’s Minuteman, the Presto saddlestitcher hoped to improve on its predecessor’s output speed and ease of use. The Minuteman was a popular machine, which held its retail value well on the secondhand market, according to Ray Keane, managing director at used equipment dealer Albion Machinery.
Muller Martini is a respected name within the industry and the Presto is a well-known product, he says. It was introduced as a replacement for the Minuteman and these were very popular too.
Introduced in 1995, the Muller Martini Presto had enhanced levels of automation and electronics compared to the Minuteman. It also came with touchscreen control for easier set-up of jobs. Targeted at small- to medium-sized printers and trade finishers, the machine is easily extended to a maximum of six twin feeders. While its predecessor had a speed of 8,000 cycles per hour (cph), the Presto increased its output to 9,000cph.
It works by pulling folded paper through a drum. This is then opened and laid on to a saddle to be stitched. It is then transferred, via a chain, to a stitching device and the three-knife trimmer. Once trimmed, the booklet is sent to a belt delivery or stacker.
The heads enable stitching without stopping, while the Presto’s tilt-back twin feeders allow materials to be hand-fed, resulting in bigger loads. Software and hardware changes came in the form of optional extras that could be retrofitted depending on the age of the machine. For example, in 1999, a length monitor was introduced as an optional extra. In 2004, a Semko side calliper became available. This checked the lateral thickness measurement based on a reference value, rejecting incomplete copies unstitched. Optional extras include fourth and fifth knives. Two stitching heads come as standard, but users can have up to six flying stitching heads. Twin delivery trays, single-belt delivery and compensating stackers are also available.
The Presto was superseded by the Presto E90, launched at Drupa 2008. Although the newer model didn’t replace the original Presto, the revamped E90 offers newly developed Q stitching heads and a new three-knife trimmer with a reverse trim sequence. This allows for easier and faster set-up of 2-up jobs. Length monitor and staple control are also standard on the machine, which has a servo drive in the stitching unit for faster set-up times. If you are looking for a comparable alternative to the Presto, then it would have to be the Heidelberg Stitchmaster ST 100, adds Keane.
The price of a secondhand Presto depends on its age and condition. If you’re looking for a four-station machine from the year 2000 with a stacker, then expect to pay around £40,000 to £50,000. Keane advises users to check the stitching heads and the quality of the three-knife trimmer. The dealer supplies machines with a six-month warranty. At the time of writing, New Milton-based Jerry Curtin had a 1999 Muller Martini Presto, with a six-station cover feed, advertised on pressXchange for £35,000.
Max feeders six
Stitching heads six
Options Semko, length monitor, tilt-back feeder
Typical footprint 10x4.8m DOC
2000 four-station model with stacker from £40,000-£50,000
What to look for
Quality of three-knife trimmer
Condition of belts
Suckers on feeders