The Uncommon Supplier

Here’s the story of the innovations that have made Mekatronics the Uncommon Supplier and the world leader in self-adjusting, zero make-ready equipment for hardcover On-Demand book manufacturing.

For over 50 years, Mekatronics has been the uncommon supplier and technology leader in the design and manufacture of self-adjusting, zero make-ready equipment for hardcover On Demand book manufacturing.

What is the thread (glue) that binds Mekatronics and its customers? We are, by nature, problem solvers with imagination. We work together with people in binderies, from technical staff to senior management, to study needs and arrive at the most appropriate combination of equipment and know how to solve problems and improve operations. We care about the outcome. This is the Mekatronics’ attitude–our uncommon dedication to product quality, customer service, and technical assistance. We build relationships…not just machines.

Mekatronics understands that every automation challenge you face does not require a complex new system. Instead, we offer a broad selection of the very best, very open automation products. Among the many machines developed by Mekatronics, several stand out for their contribution to dramatic leaps in productivity within the library binding industry with many resonating well in the newly expanding On Demand book manufacturing industry.



  OVERSEWING is the process of building-up a book by sewing a section of individual sheets to it and the next two adjoining sections that provides a flexible strength unequalled by any other sewing process. With the Oversewing machine the mechanization of library binding begins with its introduction in the wake of which oversewing becomes the dominant method of leaf attachment for over six decades. In 1982, Mekatronics become the proud owner of the pioneering company that developed the Oversewer.
1952   While employed by P.I.E, (Printing Industries Equipment) the book NIPPER is developed to compress the swelling of the spine.
    1954   While employed by P.I.E, Jack Bendror, begins his cycle of invention.  He wins first prize from the prestigious Hydraulic & Pneumatics magazine for his innovative use of hydraulics in the self-adjusting P.I.E ROUNDER& BACKER— a revolutionary piece of technology that speeds up the critical process of shaping book spines for better openability and durability.

Speed Nip

  The SPEED-NIP book compressor, Mekatronic’s first development is introduced using novel, patented, hydraulic principles that result in a machine with twice the speed and twice the force of its P.I.E predecessor.  This machine becomes very popular not only for nipping, but for such operations as removing old joints, Pressing folded and tipped endpapers, squaring backs for improved trimming and pressing panoramic sheets for the growing photo book manufacturing industry.
1960   The HYDROPRESS  twin Building-In machine, presses books in a fraction of the time it takes to use the traditional standing press, in which books must be left for several hours to dry in the appropriate shape.Most important, and not available in any other machine, is a fool proof mechanical safety device that allows the machine to cycle only when the working area is fully closed. When the machine is idling and the working area is open, the platens are mechanically locked in the up position preventing them from coming down by any spurious signal.
1961     The VERSAMATIC Casing-In machine is developed to automate the process of gluing books into their cases.  It becomes a popular partner to the Hydropress, and as a team these machines greatly increase productivity and throughput.

Rounder Backer

  Mekatronics debuts a self-adjusting ROUNDER & BACKER  of totally new design, built to accommodate the growing demand for periodical binding and the need for greater productivity. This machine incorporates in its circuitry the same patented hydraulic principles used in the Speed-Nip and Hydropress, almost doubling the speed of its P.I.E. predecessor.
    1969   The 1180-BSC, controlled by hard-wire logic utilizing printed circuit boards, is first introduced. This optical book measuring unit has no moving parts.  It captures the raw orthogonal dimensions of a volume; and calculates and prints trim, board, and cover material dimensions and other instructions required to process a volume.  The 1180-BSC improves productivity for the few who purchased it, but the tool is years ahead of its time.
1970   With many binderies using multiple oversewing machines, one with as much as 16,  Mekatronics releases the QUANTUM IV, a thread trimming, endpaper folding, tipping, and nipping machine that integrates several functions into one stand-alone operation and increases production levels for oversewn volumes.  While the Quantum IV is a technological success, its introduction coincides with libraries’ increasing interest in double-fan adhesive binding as an alternative to oversewing and sales were limited to only a few machines.
1970   The Ehlermann QUICK III double-fan adhesive binding process with integrated milling is introduced.  As shrinking binding margins and librarians’ demand for better openability and copyability, the demand for double-fan adhesive binding increased, large-scale commercial use of the Quick III begins.
1975   RB-7/8, a computerized hot-foil cover lettering system pioneered as the first computerized cover-lettering system for the library binding industry in which the obsolescence of hot-metal line-casting becomes apparent.  Driven by the Digital Equipment Corporation PDP‑8, this machine boosts productivity while keeping costs down.
1980   The microprocessor-controlled MD‑17 book measuring unit is introduced to meet the demands of an industry more technologically mature than when the 1180‑BSC was introduced eleven years earlier.  
1981   The HANDI-BIND, a one-step binding system that can bind important office papers, documents and records into into sturdy volumes for permanent keeping in private and public sector offices such as: Banks, Hospitals, Court Records, Public Libraries, Computer Printouts, Architects, Brokerage Firms Legal Firms, Sample Folders and Many others.     
1982   The MEKANOTCH spine notching machine is introduced as a technological enhancement to the very demanding Double-fan adhesive binding technology that leaves no margin for error. Material-related characteristics such as glossy, coated, or heavily calendered paper and adhesives establish the limits that cannot be exceeded without loss of binding quality. It improves page-to-page bonding.
1983   The GEM computerized cover lettering system is introduced as a successor to the RB‑7. Unlike its predecessor, it is now driven by the IBM personal computer.  Major design changes are made possible by new motion control technologies that have evolved in the robotics industry.
1987   The LOTEK case-making gauge with fully automatic cord cutting attachment is not the high-tech piece of equipment that the industry has come to expect from Mekatronics especially following the development of the high–tech GEM.  Nonetheless, this simple tool increases bindery productivity and quality through the reduction of errors.  
1990     The EZ-PRESS, a book press with a higher throughput than the cumbersome 19th century screw-type book press, meets the needs of librarians for improved conservation equipment for in-house programs.
1990   The VERSAMATIC, originally developed in 1961, is redesigned to to meet the more stringent domesticand international safety requirements that have emerged in recent years. Capable of using higher viscosity adhesives.  This allows for the building-in operation not only to begin immediately, but also eliminates the adhesive squeeze-out associated with low-viscosity adhesives. Is now fully pneumatic and unlike its predecessor, becomes truly self-adjusting.  Elimination of manual glue cleaning at quality control results in higher throughput.

Ultrabind Rearview

  The ULTRABIND,  a multi-station, in-line adhesive binding machine, like many of Mekatronics’ earlier innovations, removes the limits on productivity in double-fan adhesive binding.  It truly marks the transition of library binding from a hand-craft industry into the modern era of manufacturing.
1994   MEKATWIN more than doubles productivity by integrating spine milling and notching in a single machine run by one operator.
1994   The ROLL-IN Turning-In machine is introduced to increase productivity over conventional methods.  It turns cover material over the edges of boards in two effortless steps.
1994   The MEKABIND a double-fan adhesive binding machine capable of processing books up to 3-1/2″ (90 mm) in thickness, is suitable not only for the small binder, but for the large binder using the ULTRABIND capable of processing books only up to 2-1/2″ (60 mm) .
1994   The ROLL-IN PLUS Turning-In machine is introduced as an enhanced version of the ROLL-IN introduced earlier that year.  It increased productivity and throughput by turning-in all four sides of the cover in an effortless, fully automatic 7 second cycle. Nevertheless, it was technologically ahead of its time.
  1996   The SID (Spine Inlay Dispenser) de-skills the inlay retrieval operation and eliminates the need to create an inventory of cut materials. This too was technologically years ahead of its time.
1997   The MEK-A-CASE Case making machine. The only machine of its kind in the world that achieves total manufacturing flexibility in single-copy runs where intermixed sizes are randomly processed with no set-up time whatsoever.
    1998   The C3 integrates the SID™ (Spine Inlay Dispenser) and the board shear machines to produce the inlay and board components to be joined with the cover material – all through the one-time handling of the book block and by a single operator. A tool ahead of its time.
      1999   The EZ-CUT The only machine of its kind in the world is a fully automatic, unattended system for cutting cover materials comprising of two stations consisting of:

  • Four vertical carousels storing different widths up to 17-1/2″ [450-mm] each accommodating up to 24 rolls of material in 24 different colors.
  • A cutting station that travels between carousels and automatically cuts material to precise size.
  • Loads finished pieces into trays of an automatic stacker
1999   The MEKASHOOTER eliminates the time-consuming and debilitating manual methods of first cutting and then gluing backlining material for application to the spines of bound book blocks. It will dispense, cut and glue a piece of backlining material that will fit the book block. An unaffordable tool for an entry-lever bindery.
1999       The HEADBAND-IT Headband application machine is the only semi-automatic machine of its kind that is fully self-adjusting. Applies headbands simultaneously to the head and tail of book blocks of different sizes and thickness with no make-ready or set-up whatsoever.


  The MEKALINE is a fully automatic, self- adjusting machine that can process randomly intermixed book blocks of different sizes, thickness and types of paper with no make-ready or set-up. It integrates Book Block Feeding, Rounding & Backing, Headband Application and Casing-In. An ambitious undertaking for only a few forward thinking customers.
2002   The CENTURION is a self-adjusting automatic machine for building-in book blocks of different sizes, thickness, shape of spine and types of paper with no make-ready or set-up. Increased capacity over conventional machines handling bulk sizes up to 4″. It can be linked to the output of a casing-in machine for a fully automatic operation with the finished book blocks automatically stacked on an optionally available stacker or manually operated by one operator.
  2004   The AUTO GLUE-FILL A productiity-boosting topside gluer with an automatic glue fill system consisting of a re-circulating pump, a glue storage drum and an electrical control box.
  2004   The AUTOGLUER is a productivity-boosting machine that integrates sheet feeding with any sheet-coating machine. Useful in manual case making to automatically feed uniform or intermixed sizes of cover material.
    2005   The AUTO 4-STEP is an affordable, single-operator productivity boosting machine built for accurate turning-in of heavy materials such as buckram and leather. Capable of processing 42” covers, it is ideal for the photo book manufacturing industry.
  2006   The MEKAINDEX is handheld pneumatic thumb index cutting gun … a tool that enables you to expand your profitability by capturing a segment of a specialized market.
2007   The MIGHTY-CUT is a heavy duty, pneumatic board cutter capable of cutting accurately two pieces of binders boards or any other similar material such as book covers, calendar backs, posters, show cards, etc. Reduced book block handling minimizes the debilitating wrist injury often incurred in conventional board shears. Safety is enhanced, fatigue is reduced, and productivity is improved.

Ultrabind Rearview

  The ULTRABIND 2 is the world’s only zero-make-ready Double-Fan Adhesive Binder for book blocks to be case bound. This amazing machine, will bind books from 3-1/2″ thick to as thin as a single page, from 16″ tall to 4″ short, from 3″ narrow to 15″ wide, one after another in random sequence, fully automated. Unlike its predecessor in 1991, this machine has one operator that feeds books into the loading station and another that catches and stacks finished books from this 6 station, in-line machine. You have to see this robotic marvel to believe it.
2013   The MEK-A-CASE JR. is a single-operator improved Casemaking System featuring protein glue application, suction positioning, electric edge folding and rolling pressing all in one machine