Back in 1977, in the city of La Couronne (France) at the heart of the region Charente, a CEO of a folding carton manufacturing company for the pharmaceutical _eld, Yves ENGELHARD, was very concerned about the quality of his products. He wanted them to be perfectly packed for delivery. He had in stock numerous cardboard boxes of different sizes, this took up a lot of space in the factory. Despite his strong concern, the right size box was still to be found for the perfect fit of the folded cartons he produced. As a result there were multiple quality problems: smearing, poor machinability of the products on the machines of the customers, bottom boxes were crushed on pallet transport and so forth… Managing stock was a complex task, some of the smallest productions wouldn’t exceed 20 or 30 boxes. Yves ENGELHARD searched the market for a specific machine capable of quickly producing corrugated boxes in small quantities but found nothing satisfactory to solve his problem. He then decided to make one himself and called on Jean Luc MARTRON and Claude BOURON to study a prototype. The machine had to be simple and fast to set up.
In 1979 the first machine built was called: MAC «Machine A Caisse».
It would feed 4 folder gluers and was making necessary boxes for the transport of more than one million folded cartons per day. Each model was perfectly adjusted, the length of the boxes taking in account the folding carton’s thickness variations so it would be packed not too tight nor too loose. The conditioning was easier and even quicker so the productivity of the folder gluer was improved considerably. The only necessary stock was 3 different formats of corrugated sheets. Great amounts of space were freed and delivery was simplified. In the early eighties about 10 MAC 1000 machines were produced for printers and packaging makers. Most of these machines are still in production.
In 1986 with the help of Yves ENGELHARD, Jean-Luc MARTRON, Claude BOURON and Didier CHAMBRET decided to create MECANELEC. The first year, they built the MAC 1200. In order to finance the R&D they set up a maintenance and rebuilding workshop activity for offset presses, hot foil stamping machines and folder gluers.
The experience acquired throughout machine rebuilding & maintenance boosted the development of the new MACs with proven and tested techniques which made Mécanelec’s machines sustainable and reliable.
1992 saw the outcome of the MAC COMBI 1200 which could produce many different varieties of
corrugated boxed, much appreciated by numerous customers around the world.
A major technological shift was decided: PC driven machines. A young engineer Olivier GAUTHIER, becomes part of Mecanelec’s design office and takes two major steps :
- Development of the PC based operating system as well as totally graphic control ware with touch screen. A remote maintenance software was also integrated.
- Development of box design and production management software with CFAO (CAD/CAM) «INFOMAC»
The new MAC COMBI 1400 is launched,a real success installed on every continent, introduced with 1400 x 400mm and 1400 x 200mm models, featuring the INFOMAC software for manufacturing control and paperless files.
The MAC COMBI 1800 was another real technical improvement combining slotting and creasing on an 800 x 1800 mm press with the original cutting tools. This was well appreciated by the customers as it solved most of their specific packaging needs.
Throughout the year 2000, Mecanelec kept on improving the MAC line, the INFOMAC AND MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE.
In 2008, Beckhoff’s computers using ETHERCAT, the world’s fastest network, were fitted to the whole MECANELEC production line machines. This technology simpli_ed the wiring of the components but also allowed detection of eventual fleeting errors and enabled analysis and corrections, making maintenance much easier.
Beckhoff’s technology, present in 75 countries is a guaranty of reliability and sustainability for us and our customers.
In 2013 it appeared obvious for us to solve this following problem: How to integrate to the MAC machine the gluing of the flap after slotting to make the case manufacturing even easier ? Only one person and of course only one passage.
We will present this solution at the DRUPA 2016 exhibition with our MAC 1400 GE (GLUING
During last Drupa, in 2012, a Northern Europe customer visited our booth and explained how his 2000 Mac Combi 1400 was still in operation giving daily full satisfaction after 12 years of service. He also had been tempted by Eastern Europe copies of our machine and even admitted buying one. He suggested how he rapidly regretted that choice as his copied machine had rapidly deteriorated after only 3 years of use. Our customer’s in-house comparison clearly states that despite being 4 times older than the Eastern Europe copy, our 2000 Mac Combi 1400 unit still operates to its best and had surely overrun its copy. Some bargain choices are costly in the end.
Beyond the satisfaction of getting such feedback, he strengthened us in the idea of continuing with the same philosophy: manufacturing quality machines which will be around in the next 20 years. Our design studies never follow concepts that would alter strength or reliability and we do everything to offer you simple to use, time lasting & cost worthy machines.