Druckerei Zu Altenburg GmbH - asterPRO, book sewing machine

Druckerei Zu Altenburg GmbH - asterPRO, book sewing machine
Case study
From the left Mr. Erik Scharf (Technical Manager) and Mr. Matthias Löbel (Bookbinding Manager)
10 May 2018

DZA Altenburg increases productivity with investment in new technology with an integrated system of the Meccanotecnica Group

The Altenburg Printing Works looks back on over 400 years of tradition. It was founded in 1594 by Duke Friedrich Wilhelm of Saxony as the “Fürstlich Sächsischen Officin” in the Hartenfels castle near Torgau.

Nearly four centuries later, the transition to offset printing led to the founding of a new printing house under the name DZA Druckerei zu Altenburg GmbH. The first automatic book sewing machine was put into operation in 1996, an Aster 2000 from Meccanotecnica.

Two decades later, the time had come for a replacement investment. The new solution had to primarily support the positioning of the house as a fully-integrated printing and binding company - from the data to the finished book. Focal points are art and architecture books, but also other genres, with always high quality in mind.


We were looking for a solution capable of providing a constant quality of sewn book block, high productivity and flexibility together with ease-of-use. Last but not least the solution had to provide seamless integration between sewing and book block finishing with the nipping station.


One asterPRO complemented with Sistema Pre-loader and Nipping Station.

Nipping is the ultimate solution when looking for excellence and top quality in book production, especially for high-signature count books. The solution presses the sewn book blocks, reduces the thickness of the spine and makes easier the handling for the remaining finishing operations. Furthermore to minimize the labor force, loading and unloading are less than 2 m apart.


The exclusive benefit of this line is that sewing and nipping operations are integrated into one process.

"In terms of flexibility, productivity and ease-of-use, this system configuration with asterPRO is the best available solution on the market for our requirements", says DZA technical Director Erik Scharf.

On average, approx. 90.000 books per month were made over the last half year on the system. One of them was an edition of 64.000 copies of the 'Documenta Reader' in 2017.

"The reliability of the new machine did not surprise us, the high and constant quality of the pressed book blocks from the system fully met our expectations and we are very satisfied", said the master bookbinder (Matthias Löbel) at DZA.

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