Ipex Machinery has partnered with Meccanotecnica to deliver specialised book sewing technology to the southern African printing industry, writes Karen Stretch.
[WITH long-established roots, Meccanotecnica, situated in Bergamo, Italy, has earned a firm reputation for integrity and traditional craftsmanship in book thread sewing and finishing machinery manufacturing.
Over the last 40 years, success has been driven by top-class performance and innovation, with international growth in the offset and digital print sectors being steered by a comprehensive network of regional distributors.
Since January 2014, Meccanotecnica has partnered with Ipex Machinery, one of South Africa’s highly-respected printing and converting equipment suppliers, providing access to a vast network of local printers. Carlo Cortinovis, Meccanotecnica’s sales manager, recently visited the region to deliver valuable information to customers and training for Ipex Machinery staff. He’s confident that the new alliance will present an abundance of business opportunities.
‘We’re excited about our prospects in southern Africa and believe that Ipex Machinery is the right partner to assist us in building the Meccanotecnica name in southern Africa,’ Carlo declares. ‘Last October, Ipex technicians visited our factory, familiarizing themselves with Meccanotecnica’s philosophies and values before completing full training on our machines,’ he adds. ‘Ipex has imported a complete spare parts stock to support the local market, ensuring maintenance and extensions can be carried out quickly and efficiently.’
Since the introduction of the Headop signature feeder in the 1970s that revolutionised the offset/traditional book finishing market, Meccanotecnica has set the standard in reliable high-performance technology. The first automatic book sewing machine, the Aster-Headop, came off the production line in the early 1980s and soon became a leader in the bookbinding market. Today, Meccanotecnica boasts the largest number of book sewing machines sold worldwide, with the Aster brand enjoying a primary position in terms of effectiveness, quality and ease of use. ‘Our policy is to provide the printing industry with the best all-around package – technology-driven solutions, reliable machines, quick service and the highest level of personalisation,’ Carlo explains. ‘R&D is the key to our success. Our latest 3D software allows efficient design of machine parts and all-new models are developed using fully-automated CNC machines, laser cutters and metal bending equipment. Testing is conducted in-house under simulated and real manufacturing conditions before approval for serial assembly. Furthermore, each sewing machine or customised line is tested before delivery.’ Meccanotecnica’s latest offerings in its best-selling Aster series satisfy every production need . These include AsterTOP, the fastest output machine; the versatile AsterPRO; the extra-large AsterBIG; the bestselling AsterEVO; and the low-maintenance AsterEL. Each can be customised with optional devices to suit individual finishing needs.
What’s more, Meccanotecnica has utilised its traditional automatic book sewing machine know-how and excellent technical resources to develop Universe Digitaline, a range of book sewing lines for top-quality digital print finishing, specifically book-on-demand, self-publishing, reprints and personalised books. The finished book is produced in a number of steps, including sewing on an AsterUniverse line. To guarantee maximum flexibility, Universe Digitaline automatic machines are available individually or as am integrated bookbinding solution, offering a significant degree of customisation.
‘We currently produce the largest range of book thread sewing systems – operating from 150 to 300 cycles/min – and an assortment of signatures from 75 x 120 to 320 x 520,’ comments Ipex Machinery’s Stephen Wood. ‘From entry-level jobs to the highest outputs required, from stand-alone configurations to inline solutions, we can deliver the highest grade equipment available. What’s more, besides our service guarantees Meccanotecnica offers online and phone support if and when required.’ According to Stephen, Meccanotecnica is well recognised locally and printers have welcomed the
new partnership. ‘We’re hugely honoured to represent Meccanotecnica in southern Africa,’ he continues. ‘Managing leading global brands in our market and building them to a leading position is part of our philosophy; and Meccanotecnica forms an integral part of our overall offering.’ South Africa is currently Meccanotecnica’s largest, most mature market in Africa and Carlo agrees that Ipex Machinery has the right skills and market knowledge to develop and grow its business on the continent. ‘Stephen and his team have established good business relations in other southern African regions and we’re excited about the new opportunities these present,’ Carlo sums up. ‘Ultimately, Ipex Machinery’s efforts are pivotal to Meccanotecnica’s long-term success in Africa and we’re fully committed to supporting and developing the partnership to ensure we deliver book sewing machines and an after-sales service well beyond industry expectations.’]
Courtesy of Packaging & Printing Media , March 2014, South Africa.