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Pelican Print invests in high end Morgana bookletmaker

Finishing Solutions

The Morgana PowerSquare 224 bookletmaker is perfect for the binding of high pagination or heavier stock publications, but is equally at home with smaller formats. The SquareBack finish for books or booklets is able to carry print on the spine, giving an appearance similar to that of perfectbound books. The finished shape makes books and booklets easier to handle, stack, store, and pack.

Gary Pople, head of digital services at Pelican Print, said: ‘One of our major clients has added a number of sites to its expanding business. As a result, the number of publications that they are ordering has grown significantly. This has meant that we had to decide how we were going to best solve the increase of work in the post press area of our digital workflow.

‘We had started to review our digital finishing capabilities prior to the pandemic, as we had been shuttling work from our digital production factory over to our litho building on the other side of Aylesbury. That then often meant interrupting a longer run on our Muller Martini stitching line in order to produce a short run job. Higher pagination work might have involved sending the work out to a trade finisher for perfect binding.’

During a visit to a Morgana open house event in Milton Keynes at the end of 2021, Gary was introduced to the SquareBack 224 product. ‘The machine seemed to deliver everything we needed – the combination of the four processes of stitching, folding, spine forming, and trimming in one unit, with the option to produce SquareBack books of up to 10 mm thick.’

Whilst Gary and his team were familiar with the solid build and typical ease of use of Morgana products, as well as the company's efficient support team, comparisons with competitive products were important. Following a detailed analysis, Gary was able to make his recommendation to Pelican Print’s managing director Scott Brookes.

‘Gary investigated the options, and the Morgana PowerSquare was the machine that ticked all of the boxes,’ said Scott. ‘When I saw the machine in action I was immediately impressed by its capabilities and its productivity.

‘The SquareBack feature on saddlestitched work really stood out for me. It means that we can now produce a product with all of the visual appeal and storage benefits of a perfect bound book, but at a nearly half the price, and in a fraction of the time that it would take to be produced by conventional perfect binding.’

With the machine now in action, Gary is impressed once again with the ease of use: ‘It is very easy to set up the machine – and that is essential when you are dealing with short run work. We can be in production in five minutes – something that might have taken half an hour on the more complicated Muller Martini equipment. Typically, we might only be producing 50 or 100 books, so those runs can be produced in just 10 or 15 minutes.

‘We run a variety of publication sizes as well, and A6 sized work goes through the machine just as easily as the more regular A5 or A4 products.’

The maximum finished book thickness of 10.4 mm (approximately 208 pages of 80 g/m2, or 224 pages of 70 g/m2), is nearly double that of alternative conventional bookletmaking machines, so it is ideally suited to higher paginations or thicker stocks, whilst still being very capable of producing a variety of sizes and sizes of booklets, right down to a sheet size of 120 x 200 mm.

The Morgana PowerSquare 224 stitch head can insert from one to six stitches in the spine of printed work. The stitch head and clincher are static, with the sheets moving to the stitch head. This means the stitch head and clincher never have move, so alignment and stitch quality are consistently good.

Up to six staples can be applied to booklet set, meaning that smaller format work can be printed 2-up or 3-up, and subsequently cut to size after stitching for highly efficient production. It also features fully automated settings for different popular book sizes and paginations. The system provides for variable stitch-leg length for different book thickness, and a variety of wire colours are available. This means that it is now possible for the coloured stitches to be matched to the print on a spine.

All of this helps to make the PowerSquare 224 a fast and cost effective alternative to perfect or tape binding. The unit at Pelican Print is hand fed, but Morgana's VF and VFX feeders available as options.

Many digital print applications use heavier stocks, and need the flexibility to produce a wide range of finished books from a single process, with limited operator intervention. The PowerSquare is a perfect match with its ability to handle publications printed on stock from 60 to 400 g/m2.


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