16 September 2018 Finishing

Plockmatic takes second bite at UK's finishing expertise with Watkiss purchase

Plockmatic has bought Watkiss Automation, its second UK purchase of a finishing equipment specialist.

Five years after buying Morgana, Swedish company Plockmatic has returned for another slice of the UK print equipment manufacturing industry.

It has bought Watkiss Automation for an undisclosed sum, adding a high end inline equipment specialist to the offline technology supplied by Morgana and the lighter weight inline booklet makers sold by Plockmatic.

In recent years, Watkiss has achieved acclaim with its PowerSquare inline booklet makers. The PowerSquare 224 can produce a finished stitched product with up to 224pp with a flattened perfect bound. This is greater than any booklet maker that is currently available from Plockmatic.

The PowerSquare 160 is at the point of availability. This is capable of handling a long sheet, delivering an A4 landscape product which has not been possible with Plockmatic machines. Both PowerSquare machines are available as offline as well as inline configurations where deals with OEM press suppliers will continue.

The connection between the two UK companies runs deep. Morgana started as an agent for the Watkiss rotary collator at the end of the 1970s and the two have collaborated since, notably with the Documaster combining elements from both companies.

Now the offline versions of the PowerSquare machines will be sold via the Morgana distribution channel while Plockmatic will handle any inline sales that do not come through supplier arrangements.

Watkiss sales director Paul Attew says: “Our team has spent years building a business around customer’s requirements. We believe Plockmatic is best positioned to look after our customers and service new ones.” Plockmatic CEO Jan Marstorp adds: “We’ve built a worldwide supply chain, marketing, sales and service organisation unique in the industry and it is ready to make these powerful systems available to even more customers.”

The two companies have separate stands at the Print Show this week and the conclusion of the deal came too late to change plans for the NEC show. But Watkiss and Morgana will combine under the Plockmatic umbrella for the first time at Print in Chicago.

Watkiss has also been a distributor for a number of associated products, covering Mamo binders and Mohr guillotines, for example. There will be overlaps with products that Morgana sells, and after consideration, there are likely to be changes. “We are just starting to review the product range,” says Plockmatic's Ray Hillhouse. “Watkiss brings products for the higher end of the booklet making market, stackers and trimmers as well as the PowerSquare. And we did not previously have a machine capable of making an A4 landscape product to go with the long sheets produced on the latest digital presses.”

Gareth Ward

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Deal is done

Deal is done

Paul Attew and Jan Marstorp shake as Marstorp welcomes Watkiss to the Plockmatic group. The purchase of the UK company comes five years after the Swedish group bought Morgana.

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