To showcase the extent of its impressive automation technology to its European customers, leading finishing equipment manufacturer, A B Graphic International (ABG), has recently held a series of site visits to three UK label printers, to see how investments in ABG’s advanced automation solutions have resulted in increased workflow efficiencies.
The visits, held over 14-16th and 28-30th November, involved 34 people, a small mix of ABG hosts and customers, split into two groups. Each group visited Letchworth-based Printed Easy, Mercian Labels in Cannock, Staffs, and Hull-based Springfield Solutions; a luxury coach was provided for each tour along with full hospitality arrangements.
Printed Easy has a large range of ABG equipment including four DigiLase machines and ABG’s first two automated core cutters, along with a new DigiJet offering, a DigiLite and various sheeters. The company’s workflow is based on a completely unique web-to-print business model focusing on short-run, high-margin work. Developed around a bespoke Management Information System (MIS) that was built in-house, the company has a unique algorithm that incorporates ABG’s latest workflow connectivity solution, ABG Connect, which calculates instant, live quotes to customers on their website.
Mercian Labels are a development partner for ABG, running the first-ever fully automated Digicon Series 3. They are also the first customer to run the latest version of ABG Connect that incorporates an automatic fleyeVision camera inspection system, as well as an automated Vectra SGTR Turret Rewinder. Their machine dramatically reduces the requirement for an operator and can reduce material wastage between jobs down to only 3m.
Another key development partner is Springfield Solutions, which is currently beta-testing an ECOLEAF unit for ABG, in partnership with Actega. Springfield was previously a beta partner for DigiJet and now runs a unit in full production with huge success. They are a digital business running five-screen digital print presses, four of which have a Digicon Series 3 running inline for a one-pass production process. The ECOLEAF unit was installed in July on a 530 Converter and uses an Actega-developed Inkjet trigger image solution. Springfield is Actega’s first development partner to use a digital solution instead of a flexo/flatbed screen.
The event was very well received, with all participants impressed with what they saw - follow-on comments included: “Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend the tour, it was very interesting, I have learned a lot and I have seen the real potential of the automation that ABG promotes with its machines and the interaction with ERP”.
Matt Burton, ABG’s global sales director, said: “The visits to our three UK customers’ facilities were an all-round success and I am indebted to them for their time and energy in presenting their automation success stories. I am also very grateful to both Marc Schillemans and Paolo Grasso of Actega, who both presented ECOLEAF technology to our respective groups, and provided excellent demonstrations during the visits. I hope our European customers are now fully conversant with the advanced automation opportunities available from ABG and I look forward to discussing their future requirements.”