As early as 1997, book wholesaler Libri came up with the concept of publishing books 'on-demand' for publishers and authors.
This idea gave rise to the sister company BoD, the European pioneer and leading specialist in digital book publication and self-publishing.
Libri and BoD are now investing in the future of the book market by building Europe's largest and state-of-the-art print-on-demand centre in Bad Hersfeld in Germany with PLUREOS.
Realisation partner for the project is WITRON Logistik+ Informatik GmbH, a systems integrator from the Upper Palatinate in Bavaria, Germany.
The seamless integration of BoD's print-on-demand production into Libri's bookstore logistics will reduce the production and delivery time for paperback titles from two or three days to one day.
The distribution centre in Bad Hersfeld supplies 3,800 bookstores of various sizes and 1,200 internet stores across all channels.
In October, employees celebrated the completion of the building structure for the new hall, which boasts a floor area of 10,000 square metres.
In the future, up to 50,000 books will be printed daily with PLUREOS and shipped overnight.
Jörg Paul, COO of the book wholesaler, said, "With the new print and logistics centre, we are reducing storage costs, increasing title availability in bookstores, and have fewer returns.
"The challenge, and at the same time the success factor, is speed. We have to be just as fast or even faster than classic stored goods."
Libri approached Ulrich Schlosser, who is responsible for the modernisation projects at WITRON and has known Libri for many years, with this requirement.
"At first, we thought that the Libri colleagues wanted to modernise their systems. Who would expect a completely new material flow?" Schlosser noted.
WITRON plans to update IT systems, control technology of all stacker cranes and the entire conveyor system. "We are modernising and changing in parallel during ongoing operation; an open-heart surgery, so to speak," Schlosser explained.
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