About us

History

1964

Meccanotecnica is founded in Torre de’ Roveri (Italy) by Gianattilio Meratti and Gianfranco Tironi.
The company initially designs and produces the Collmatic, automatic tipping machine.

The two founders.
The two founders.

The Early 70'S

The Company achieves its first international success with the design and development of the Headop signature feeder. The system revolutionizes the market by automating thousand of semi-automatic book-sewing machines.

Internal view of the plant: Headop assembly line.
Internal view of the plant: Headop assembly line.

1975

Book Automation Ltd. (first branch office of the Group) is founded in the United States of America to directly follow and support the US and Canadian market.

1983

Meccanotecnica presents the first fully automatic book-sewing machine, the Aster-Headop. Thanks to its compact design, versatility, rapid set-up and easy operation, it quickly becomes a best seller.
This year sees also the opening of the German Branch Office: Buch Automation GmbH.

Aster-Headop, automatic book sewing machine.
Aster-Headop, automatic book sewing machine.

The 90's

To service the numerous installations around the World, Branch Offices are opened in the main graphic art markets: Grafotec Benelux in the Netherlands (1991), Meccasia in Singapore (1991) and Livretech in France (1997). The company rapidly evolves in an international Group. Major technical developments and a strong spirit of innovation foster the introduction of the fastest book-sewing machine: the Aster 2000.

Aster 2000, automatic book sewing machine.
Aster 2000, automatic book sewing machine.

The company anticipates market needs by integrating signature gathering with the sewing process. The automatic gathering and sewing lines opened a new era in book sewing: Uniplex, Multiplex SA, Magix, Bombax, and Bombix now work in the largest bookbinders worldwide.

Magix, automatic gathering and sewing line.
Magix, automatic gathering and sewing line.

1997

The company anticipates, once again, the market by launching two solutions for digital print finishing: the Kristec, which handles printed sheets and the Legor-Aster, designed to work in line with digital web presses.

Kristec, automatic book folding and sewing machine for digital print finishing.
Kristec, automatic book folding and sewing machine for digital print finishing.

2001

The introduction of the super automatic features on the high-end solution of the portfolio further improves the efficiency reducing significantly change over time.

Aster 220 SA, automatic book sewing machine.
Aster 220 SA, automatic book sewing machine.

The mid-2000's

The Aster range is renovated with the introduction of Aster 160, Aster 160 OS, Aster 180 C, Aster 180 and Aster 220 C, satisfying all the customer needs. Meccanotecnica also sets a new standard within the signature recognition technology by presenting the Signalynx.

Aster 220 C, automatic book sewing machine.
Aster 220 C, automatic book sewing machine.

2006

The Group expands its capability on the market with the opening of a new Branch Office in China: Aster (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd.

2009

Meccanotecnica presents asterEL, the entry-level book sewing solution, which brings top technology within reach of a wider range of customers. This year sees also the opening of the Polish Branch Office: Aster Polska Sp. z o.o.

asterEL, automatic book sewing machine.
asterEL, automatic book sewing machine.

2010

The company keeps on developing its solutions for digital print finishing. In this year Kristec passes the baton to the Universe Sewing, automatic book folding and sewing unit.

Universe Sewing, automatic book folding and sewing machine for digital print finishing.
Universe Sewing, automatic book folding and sewing machine for digital print finishing.

2012

The traditional and the digital print finishing portfolio is redesigned with the introduction of asterTOP the fastest book-sewing machine on the market with its 18.000 cycles/h, asterPRO the flagship unit, asterEVO and asterBIG for over-sized books.

asterTOP, automatic book sewing machine.
asterTOP, automatic book sewing machine.

This year also sees the extension of the portfolio to cover the entire book production process with solutions specifically designed for short-run production and quick change over time: INLINE, modular and multifunctional book finishing line and TRIMMING, fully automatic three-knife trimmer.

Inline, modular and multifunctional book finishing line.
Inline, modular and multifunctional book finishing line.

2014

Major changes in the graphic art market determine a steep decline in run lengths and in the total number of books produced. The Group is therefore reorganized in order to address the new dynamics of the book industry.

2016

In Drupa, the UNIVERSE family goes through a major upgrade. The new generation is presented featuring a more functional design, higher performance, and efficiency along with new colors. A new model of this family is also unveiled: Universe Sewing Web-fed, automatic book folding and sewing line able to address the need for high volume digital book production directly from the roll.

Universe Sewing Web-fed, automatic book folding and sewing line for the production of books directly from the roll.
Universe Sewing Web-fed, automatic book folding and sewing line for the production of books directly from the roll.

The new version of Inline, modular and multifunctional book finishing line is also presented during the event. The new line consistently brings quality and efficiency to a whole new level.

Inline, modular and multifunctional book finishing line.
Inline, modular and multifunctional book finishing line.

2017

The new Trimming, automatic three knife trimmer is presented to the market, featuring a fully automated set-up without changing parts.

Trimming, automatic three-knife trimmer.
Trimming, automatic three-knife trimmer.

Buch Automation GmbH (Germany's Branch Office) becomes Aster Europe GmbH. The new company takes over Grafotec Benelux BV to extend its reach well beyond Germany, to cover the continental Europe with sales and after-sales services.

Aster Europe GmbH logo.
Aster Europe GmbH logo.

2018

Another milestone is reached with the introduction of the Full Cycle technology for the asterPRO model. This new feature allows the sewing of books without the blind stitch, increasing efficiency and productivity.

Uniplex-asterPRO Full Cycle, automatic gathering and sewing line.
Uniplex-asterPRO Full Cycle, automatic gathering and sewing line.

This year also sees the presentation of the new version of Universe, automatic book folding and sewing unit for digital print finishing. The solution consistently improves productivity and efficiency.

Universe – Inline – Trimming, sewing and book block finishing on-the-fly.
Universe – Inline – Trimming, sewing and book block finishing on-the-fly.
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(+39) 035 585 111