ABG marked its 65th anniversary at Labelexpo, and used the Brussels show to demonstrate how, in an industry which has changed perhaps more than any other over that time, it has succeeded in delivering finishing solutions which drive business success.
Wayne Quayle, Business Development Manager – Labels and Packaging for Currie Group, which represents ABG in Australia, showed Labels Plus around the company’s stand in Brussels, where it celebrated its milestone with a comprehensive showcase of 22 machines, in what Quayle said was ABG’s largest-ever Labelexpo showcase and a testament to its ability to anticipate trends and meet market demand.
“The ABG stand here at Labelexpo shows just how successfully ABG has responded to market challenges,” he said. “The stand continued that heritage, with technologies that directly address the trends we face today – the emphasis on sustainability, the potential of new digital print technologies and the need for automation and integration to drive productivity and profitability.”
Headlining the ABG display were the company’s flagship Digicon solutions, including a high-spec Digicon configured for high-end embellishment and beverage applications. Featuring two flatbed screen heads, two foiling heads, and a new-look Vectra SGTR turret rewinder, it ran live demonstrations producing premium labels throughout the show.
A Digicon Series 3 converting line featured a JetFX digital embellishment module, which provides a fully-digital, offline system to add multiple processes like tactile spot varnish and cold foiling in one pass. The system featured two inkjet heads with UV pinning and UV curing, automated cold foil throw-off, a shuttle system for inspection and waste reduction, chill rollers for sensitive materials, pre-press software and food-compliant fluids.
These were complemented by the debut of Digicon Lite, a new version of the series which incorporates semi-rotary flexo to provide a more complete, entry-level package for converters. ABG also demonstrated the modular B5010 Booklet Machine, which can process up to 36,000 booklet labels per hour with a registration accuracy of +/- 0.5mm and utilises a new feeding system which adjusts quickly and easily to various booklet dimensions.
Also generating plenty of attention was the company’s new Digilase 4.0 digital laser converting machine, designed specifically for short-runs with reduced lead times. “The Digilase 4.0 features a range of modules to provide flexible roll-to-roll or roll-to-sheet options, and can handle a range of creative options from kiss-cutting and engraving, through to cutting with bit removal, all with a level of consistency and precision to suit even the most intricate shapes, fine contours or sharp corners,” Quayle says.
“It’s also an intelligent solution, with MIS integration, intuitive controls and fully-automatic job changeover that can be done in milliseconds, so it’s perfect for the web-to-print market.”
There was also strong emphasis on automation and MIS integration, with ABG’s own workflow solution featuring JDF/ JMF connectivity to a range of MIS systems, and a range of new options for slitting, rewinding and inspection (SRI) designed to deliver outstanding performance and efficiency for both specialist and general applications.
FleyeVision camera technology was demonstrated on many machines, perhaps most notably in a ‘world first’ solution that promised continuous, 100% camera inspection in a workflow featuring a non-stop turret rewinder and offline table top rewinder.
“This demonstrates how waste can be reduced to almost zero, with a system that inspects and rejects rolls with errors – all without interrupting production,” Quayle says, showing how the system moves rejected rolls efficiently to a small, table-top Omega Horizon rewinder roll mapping system which allowed specific roll errors to be identified, doctored and the roll rewound.
Finally, with the continued growth of digital print technologies driving new markets, ABG highlighted a Ti 200 system that creates RFID/EAS technology labels and checks them with a special chip checking device, and also featured its recent acquisition of shrink sleeve and flexible packaging specialists, Enprom Solutions, an undoubted benefit to converters as these trends continue to gain ground.
“It was fantastic to come here and see the response to ABG’s latest solutions here in Brussels, and we can’t wait to show the Australian market how these solutions can help them drive their business success,” says Quayle.