Star product: Morgana AutoCreaser Pro XL

Simon Eccles
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The latest version of this device brings long-sheet capabilities and improved automation features.

This latest AutoCreaser XL was intended to be one of the highlights of Morgana’s Drupa stand
This latest AutoCreaser XL was intended to be one of the highlights of Morgana’s Drupa stand

What does the machine do?

When Morgana introduced its first AutoCreaser model 20 years ago, it was one of the first finishing machines developed to suit the new needs of digital printing for short runs. The early toner-based digital colour printers and copiers were particularly prone to cracking of the print if it ran over the fold, so pre-creasing was needed to avoid this. Some paper and board types are also prone to cracking of the coating. The challenge was to allow fast, efficient setting up without needing the usual stack of ‘overs’, ie the waste sheets generated by conventional print.

Since then some 10,000 AutoCreasers have been sold worldwide and the current range includes four models with different formats, prices and feature sets. Since its 2013 acquisition Morgana is officially called the Plockmatic Group Offline Business Unit. Its Milton Keynes factory is now mainly used for warehousing, with manufacturing outsourced.

This year’s new AutoCreaser Pro XL is the sixth generation and the first to offer long-sheet support. It also has a new user interface and improved sheet feeding monitoring. As before there’s the option to link it inline to Morgana’s Autofold Pro folder.

When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?

This latest AutoCreaser XL was officially launched in June this year and was intended to be one of the highlights of Morgana’s Drupa stand. As before the target market is commercial and in-house digital printers of all shapes and sizes, including those with the relatively new long-sheet SRA3 presses.

How does it work?

Long sheet feeding is a key new feature of the AutoCreaser Pro XL, which gains an extending support table to take sheets up to 385x1,300mm. This is more than enough to cover all of today’s digital sheetfed presses that offer extended lengths. Rivals can feed long sheets, but not necessarily automatically.

As the name suggests the AutoCreaser range features automatic feeding. This latest model introduces new Adaptive Process Control (APC) that monitors sheet feeding in a closed loop process. The vacuum feeder continuously checks the paper float zone and automatically makes adjustments on the fly. Morgana claims that APC is an industry first for a machine in this class.

The Pro part of the name indicates the inclusion of a digital, operator-friendly, user interface that Morgana calls its SmartScreen panel – the majority of its creasers and folders now have this.

A new intuitive user interface controls all the main functions. Popular sizes are pre-set, or new sizes can be keyed in and remembered. Next the fold type (letter, gate, etc) is selected. The controller then automatically calculates and sets the crease positions. No manual adjustments are required. An unlimited number of jobs can be stored by name.

The mechanical heart of the system is the heavy duty cross blade and forming matrix, as used with all previous versions. Options include a narrow or ultra-narrow creasing blade, a cross perforation kit and a second crease blade (for up and down folds on covers) that includes the perforation kit.

The perforation kit is supplied with two full-length blades and three part-width blades – 75mm, 100mm and 150mm – or you can cut your own. Creases can be as close as 0.1mm for a double-hit effect on some materials. Morgana’s spring-assisted EasyBlade system makes blade swaps quick and simple without tools. Lengthways perforation wheels can also be supplied to allow quite complex coupon patterns to be achieved.

The Morgana AutoFold Pro is compatible with AutoCreasers and other creasers – it can be wheeled into place when needed, with an adjustable-height transport bridge.

How fast/productive is it?

This is the fastest of the AutoCreaser range, with a throughput of up to 8,500 A4sph. Longer sheets with lots of creases or perforations will obviously take longer.

What is the USP?

According to Morgana, the USP includes its long-sheet support, plus the APC sheet monitoring, and the improved user interface with fully automated setup.

How easy is it to use?

The new user interface with pre-set sizes, easy pattern selection and unlimited job memories makes operation very easy, while the APC monitoring makes the feed very reliable.

“You will simply process more jobs in less time,” says Ray Hillhouse, vice-president sales & marketing for the Plockmatic Group Offline Business Unit.

How about training and servicing?

Training is normally part of the installation process, while the Morgana 5 Star service plan is available.

“In these strange times it has been known for a printer to be trained on the basics of the AutoCreaser with a phone call, but ordinarily training would take place at time of installation,” says Hillhouse.

How much does it cost?

Prices start at £15,990, with one 1.2mm crease blade for up or down creases, plus a 28 tooth rotary perforating blade. Up to five perforation wheels can be added. Cross perforation is a £990 option. A second crease/perf fitting can be added for £1,990.

Is it available yet?

According to Plockmatic there have been two installations in Germany and one in Greece. A UK printer in Peterborough has an AutoCreaser Pro XL on trial.


SPECIFICATIONS

Max sheet size 385x700mm (385x1,300mm with extension table)

Min sheet size 99x210mm

Paper thickness range 70-400gsm

Max creases/perfs per sheet 30

Min crease distance 0.1mm

Max feeder height 200mm (100mm for lengths above 700mm)

Job memories Unlimited

Throughput Up to 8,500sph A4

Price From £15,990

Contact Morgana 01908 608888 www.morgana.co.uk


ALTERNATIVES

Encore Machinery Pit Stop AF High Speed

An SRA2 creaser with touchscreen programming that can be adapted with supports to take much longer sheets than the nominal 500x700mm. This machine is about three years old. It’s somewhat faster than the Morgana and takes thicker stocks, but is a bit more expensive. There’s an even faster 14,000sph model if needed.

Max sheet size 500x700mm, or more or less unlimited with table supports

Min sheet size 100x150mm

Paper thickness range 60-600gsm

Max creases/perfs per sheet 90

Min crease distance 0.1mm

Job storage memory capacity 200 jobs of up to 100 creases or perfs

Throughput Up to 8,000sph A4

Price £18,845 with crease and perf options

Contact Encore Machinery 01582 562518 www.encoremachinery.co.uk

KAS Paper Supplies Creasematic Auto 50 Touch

This is an SRA2 creaser with autofeed and touch screen. The specs say the maximum sheet length is 700mm, but in reality a support table can be added to take up to at least 1,000mm long. The extra width over the Morgana means that lengthways creases can be put on sheets up to 500mm long. It is supplied with four creasing width tools to cover the stock range of 80-350gsm.

Max sheet size 500x1,000mm with extension table

Min sheet size CD cover

Paper thickness range 80-350gsm

Job storage memory capacity 99

Max creases per sheet 35

Throughput Up to 8,000sph A4

Price £10,500

Contact Ashgate Automation 01865 891904 www.ashgate.co.uk

Multigraf Eurofold Touchline CP375 Mono

This entry-level to the Touchline range offers two tool positions for creasing and stop perforation, and can also be linked to the £21,533 Eurofold TCF375 to add inline folding. A table extension supports long sheets up to 1,050mm. For another £4,000 the CP375 Duo offers bi-directional perfing, stop perfing and creasing in a single pass. Duplo is the distributor, but The Finishing Point listed here as one of its agents kindly supplied pricing.

Max sheet size 375x660mm (1,050mm with extension table)

Min sheet size 105x148mm

Max paper range 80-400gsm

Throughput Up to 6,000 A4 sph

Price From £16,523.00

Contact The Finishing Point (TFP) 01925 418222 www.tfp-uk.com

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