Recognising change and offering appropriate solutions in a timely manner to changing needs, maintaining ongoing contact with the market and continuing to develop the product technologically; these are the only ways that a company may aspire to continuity and cross the threshold of fifty years, maintaining global leadership built specifically on cutting-edge technology. This, put succinctly, is the credo shared at Torre de’ Roveri, at the foot of the Orobic Alps, which is where Meccanotecnica Spa has its headquarters, whose technology patents and reliability from 1964 onwards have contributed to building the firm’s reputation, making it the global benchmark when it comes to making sewn books and catalogues.
It would not be an exaggeration to state that at least half of the sewn books and catalogues in circulation were produced using a Meccanotecnica machine. The close relationship with these product categories and the abrupt change that the books and catalogues production process has experienced in the last decade were the preconditions for the radical innovation in the range presented in September via an extraordinary open house event.
The event reserved for specialists in the industry from all over the world, saw attendees from nearly 300 firms representing the five continents, transforming the Bergamo region’s peaceful foothills into the “navel of the book world”.
“We wanted to create an event in order to devote time and attention to so many customers who, along with us, are experiencing the deep transformation under way”, stated Giovanni Ghilardi, the company’s Sales Manager, “and we are convinced that by opening the doors of our facilities to them, bringing them into contact with our colleagues, sharing information and projects, offering them food for thought via presentations and short seminars, and exchanging views, everyone, including us, will benefit from it.”
Meccanotecnica’s management’s satisfaction, even if measured in terms of the tone and the local character, is both clear and justified: the event, which was scheduled for two weeks, continued for a third week, as happens with major shows.
BROAD-RANGING CONSIDERATION: ATTENTION TO THE SCENARIO
Paraphrasing the well-known expression, some might say “the book is dead - long live the book!” The phenomenon of the migration from the paper molecule to the digital bit in order to provide a vehicle for thought and culture already seems to be greatly scaled back compared to earlier apocalyptic visions which announced the death of the book. And it is specifically the book that Meccanotecnica has decided to back. It is a vision that Stefano Formentini, the company’s Marketing Manager, wanted to support by presenting distinguished international research regarding this.
The theorem is based on the “qualitative book” concept, with the quality applying not only in terms of content but also in terms of its format and availability and, in this sense, thread sewing offers broad guarantees and seems to be the conditio sine qua non. And all this is independent of how the book may actually have been printed.
FROM A TRADITIONAL RANGE OF MACHINES TO SOLUTIONS FOR DIGITAL PRINTING
This latter consideration is why Meccanotecnica’s range (which was presented as a whole at the open house event) is so broad, from the recent development of the aster range, the widest choice of traditional book sewing machines, to solutions specifically designed for books on demand and digital finishing in the UNIVERSE DIGITALINE.
The aster range is able to satisfy practically all budgets, from small structures with basic requirements which find the ideal response in the asterEL (Entry Level) model, with a performance level adequate to contained investment possibilities, to the growing requirements of much more developed structures devoted to managing high volumes in short response times that the 300 cycles per minute provided by the asterTOP are able to fulfil.
Of the various models, we really should mention asterEVO, the real star of the market, which without any doubt may be considered to constitute a world standard. And in those instances where a single operating unit does not suffice, integrated gathering and sewing solutions come into play, such as Uniplex, which integrates the gathering line to a sewing machine, moving on to systems offering even higher performance that respond to a need for greater production capacity and which integrate more sewing units, such as the Multiplex and Magix solutions.
The modular design of the machines and major know-how brought to maturity over fifty years of having a specialised presence on the market, along with close analysis of needs, provide the technical staff with great flexibility, enabling them to successively design and build ideal solutions for customers’ specific requirements.
An engineering effort that is just as large is devoted to demands relating to books on demand and small production runs, predominantly linked to the new digital printing processes but also frequently involving offset printing. From such efforts the UNIVERSE DIGITALINE line was conceived, a world preview of which was presented at drupa 2012. It has now been perfected and was the real queen of the event last September, being able to respond to the differing requirements of digital and offset processes.
The UNIVERSE DIGITALINE is a complete range of machines which produce a completely finished book starting from digitally printed single sheets, through four steps as thread sewing, pressing and end-papering, binding and trimming.
Universe Sewing is a full automatic book sewing unit which handles traditional offset signatures, digital flat sheets or a combination of both. Single flat sheets are folded and collated together to make a signature, while traditional signatures are directly fed onto the transport saddle.
The new Universe INLINE, which was presented in July at Expoprint Latin America, held in São Paulo in Brazil, is the spine processing line, featuring four modules: the spine press unit, the unit for the end-sheet feeding, the unit for applying the gauze and, lastly, the soft cover feeder. The line provides book blocks ready for the casing-in process rather than soft covered books.
Universe Trimming, the three-knife trimming system, finishes off the process. The line is fully integrated and automated. UNIVERSE DIGITALINE offers extreme versatility to those printers or binders who have to invest in highly-automated flexible systems to deal with numerous and different jobs with print runs that vary greatly.
[Courtesy of Il Poligrafico, n° 157/2014 - October 2014, Italy]