An adhesive that the industry is stuck on

Special glue from Baden-Württemberg shakes up the market

Ribler, an SME based in Stuttgart, develops, produces and sells bookbinding machines and comprehensive glue application systems for the print finishing industry. The company is extremely interested in international partnerships and is looking for foreign partners for research and development activities. Steinbeis-Europa- Zentrum (SEZ) successfully set up the right connections in Europe and helped Ribler become a partner in FAMOBS, an EU research project.

Ribler is a world leader when it comes to expertise in special adhesives for the paper finishing industry, especially complex digital printing paper. The company also manufactures bookbinding machines that use these adhesives. Ribler’s special new adhesive enables lay-flat binding of almost any type of paper on the market. This process consumes less than five percent of the energy required by conventional bookbinding methods, and less than half as much adhesive. The adhesive itself is also environmentally friendly, and as its application requires no electricity, this technology is the only completely environmentally friendly bookbinding method currently in existence. Ribler’s new bookbinding process is extremely flexible and reduces production costs by over 50 percent. Compared to conventional hot-melt binding, it is 100 percent environmentally friendly, as no vapors or toxic gases are released.

Thanks to the support of the SEZ, Ribler is now exploiting its expertise as part of a European research project. The SEZ has been providing Ribler with regular information on suitable funding opportunities and partner requests for several years now, as well as disseminating Ribler’s own partner requests via the Enterprise Europe Network, which is made up of around 600 partners in 48 countries. Company profiles and technology profiles are distributed via the network, and partner organizations (such as the SEZ) identify possible international cooperation partners for companies in their local area.

Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum supported Ribler with a joint research application together with 12 other partners, under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation. The FAMOBS (Frequency Agile Microwave Bonding System) project received the go-ahead and is being funded for three years by the European Commission. The project’s aim is to develop an open microwave oven for hardening adhesives. Microwaves can harden adhesives up to ten times faster than conventional convection ovens – and the microwave sys- tem is so compact that it can be integrated directly into an assembly system. This technology also has potential future applications in microelectronics and microsystems.

Ribler’s technology is being used in the FAMOBS project. The company has developed an incredibly innovative and effective adhesive that reduces the hardening time in bookbinding to mere seconds instead of hours while minimizing the amount of energy required for hardening. Using microwaves to dry the adhesive means production costs can be reduced and productivity massively increased. The FAMOBS EU project gives Ribler the opportunity to work together with four other industrial companies and four research institutes from a total of eight different countries. Four SME associations are also involved in the project to represent the interests of their member companies and ensure the dissemination of the project results.


Prof. Dr. Norbert Höptner
Dr. Petra Püchner
Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (Stuttgart)

Enterprise Europe Network

  • European network comprising around 600 economic development agencies in 48 countries worldwide
  • Targeted at European SMEs
  • Aim: to support companies, universities and research institutes
  • Helps SMEs establish contacts with commercial partners in other European countries
  • Enables research and technology partnerships
  • Allows innovative products and services from Baden-Württemberg to be distributed across Europe

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