“It was a management decision that came about through a desire to have a security of supply,” said Brady Hill General Manager ASSTA Label House, when discussing the install of their second HP Indigo. “We have had good results in the market we are in with our HP Indigo WS6800, and the quality launched us into the uncoated wine label market. The logical step was to piggy-back that with a second machine for security of supply and increased capability, but it also reflects HP bringing out their new metallic inks. Production made the decision that we have one machine with metallic ink and one without. That means we are not replacing inks the whole time. It also gives us flexibility in the widths going through.”
Pic caption: ASSTA Label House GM Brady Hill (left), HP Digital operator Albert Ukardi and Production Manager Matt Peterson at the new HP Indigo 6900 digital press.
The new machine is a WS6900. He said the company has always been heavily into wine labels, which the HP Indigo was perfect for. “We had our letterpress units before we purchased our first HP Indigo, four semi-rotary and highly embellished, which had served us very well. We had seven colours, screen, foil, all good machines. Then the transition to uncoated came through and we looked to a new technology – obviously digital.
“We weighed up the factors that the HP Indigo 4600 offered at the time and the interesting thing is that we out-grew that machine within 12 months, and decided to put in the HP Indigo 6800. So we have ended-up with the two front-ends and two highly-embellishment backends to cater to that market and they’ve served us well.”
“We also installed another ABG Digicon,” added Graeme Staas, Managing Director. “I consider them to be absolutely fantastic.”
“They’re the top of the pack and we actually need the two digitals to keep them going, continued Brady. “From a sales point of view, you’re always pushing production to get the job through to meet customer demand. But the way digital works, is that our front-end runs very, very, efficiently now with the two machines. And the back-ends now determine where the difficulty often is – the despatch dates. The front-ends are left alone ploughing through the work as efficiently as they can, and then through the back-end we actually look at scheduling our deliveries.”
Responsible for production, Matt Peterson, said having the two front-end machines, meant increased production flow. “We’re getting the work through quicker, with a better workflow. We can load our embossed jobs on the one press, and the less-embellished jobs can go through the other press. So there are increases in productivity just by adding one press to the mix.”
“What we have now at ASSTA Label House, is a new generation,” said Graeme. “And the way ahead is unlimited. It depends on the way Brady and Matt want to go, but I feel very confident we have the right equipment, we’re heading in the right direction and things couldn’t be better. We are one of the last family-owned businesses left, and we’re intending to keep it that way. We have a commitment here to keep it going.”