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Digital print finishing at its best for the Fedrigoni 365 calendars

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Almost every element of each book is variable to create unique editions
14 Dec 2020

The book finishing solutions for digital printing of Meccanotecnica have produced the famous Fedrigoni 365 calendars

Meccanotecnica has partnered with Ricoh and Fedrigoni to produce the 2021 edition of the famous Fedrigoni 365 calendars, an annual publication by Fedrigoni UK in collaboration with TM Studio, featuring the designs of UK-based creatives.

The main goal of this project was to exploit digital printing capabilities, variable data technology, and state-of-the-art finishing at their limits.

Participants were asked to contribute a design for a randomly assigned number. Each calendar was then composed algorithmically, with hundreds of separate designers’ images pulled at random and assign to a date. Every book is consequently produced with its combination and sequence of designs and in ten different colorways, matched to its unique cover also produced from a random placement of color gradients. The result is 4000 unique calendars. Ricoh’s data management solution used algorithms to ensure that no design was used twice within any single calendar and that each design appeared an equal number of times throughout the entire run.

Digital printing has enabled Print-On-Demand (POD) and Variable-Data-Printing (VDP) generating a new range of books and allowed opportunities unthinkable only a few years ago. Meccanotecnica offers printers and binders a complete range of book finishing solutions to exploit digital technology, allowing them to cost-effectively produce high-quality books in short runs.

UNIVERSE™ is the automatic book folding and sewing machine used to bind the Fedrigoni 365 books, while the back gluer INLINE and the automatic three-knife trimmer TRIMMING have completed the finishing.

VARIABLE DATA PRINTING

Each calendar was composed algorithmically, with hundreds of separate designers’ images pulled at random and assign to a date. Almost every element of each book is different to create unique editions from the content to the personalized covers and their dust jackets.

THREAD SEWING

This book has been thread sewn, a premium bookbinding technique known for its resistance and lay-flat property. It is a purely mechanical process not affected by inks, papers, or environmental conditions.

UNIVERSE, BOOK SEWER FOR DIGITAL PRINTING

UNIVERSE™, automatic book folding, and sewing machine has bound the Fedrigoni’s 2021 calendars. UNIVERSE™ book sewer is the undisputed leader for cost-effective short-run production of high-quality books printed in digital. Its level of performance and automation together with the widest flexibility in the choice of papers are unmatched on the market. 

GigaLynx™ Camera System

A highly reliable control system was essential for the production of the Fedrigoni 365 calendars. GigaLynx™ control camera verifies the sequence integrity by reading barcodes or images, avoiding errors well before the section is sewn and therefore allowing to save the book.

Moreover, thanks to the auto-programming feature, the book-sewing machine has run different jobs on-the-fly.

INLINE, BACK GLUER FOR SHORT-RUNS

The back gluer, INLINE, integrates several book finishing processes, automates the production of hardcover and softcover books, and reduces manpower. The binding of the 2021 calendars was performed by nipping the spine of the sewn book blocks, gluing the back and the sides, and applying the gauze and the cover.

COVER MATCHING

Every book block had to be matched with its unique cover. Also this time the GigaLynx™ control cameras, positioned at the in-feed of the back gluer and at the cover feeder, played an essential role.

LAY-FLAT BINDING

The Fedrigoni 365 calendars were lay-flat bound by the INLINE back gluer. This binding technique applies to the book block both the gauze and the cover. This technique makes the spine less rigid, improving the lay-flat property of the paperback book.

TRIMMING, THREE-KNIFE TRIMMER

TRIMMING completed the finishing process with the three-side cutting of the books. This three-knife trimmer can perform fully variable changeovers without operator intervention and manage runs down to one book, even with flaps.

Watch the video about the book finishing process

This video shows the book finishing process and how the calendar books were produced by Universe, Inline, and Trimming.

WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE 2021 PROJECT

This video shows the project in all its aspects from the paper choices to the printing and finishing of the books.

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