Leading finishing equipment manufacturer, A B Graphic (ABG), held a well-attended automation open house event at its Bridlington head office and manufacturing facility on 28 & 29 March.
The event showcased the latest developments in ABG’s finishing technology, underlined its strategic direction and confirmed the company’s vision for its digital offering, ABG Connect – the company’s latest workflow connectivity solution. An introduction to ABG’s new manufacturing facility at Kelleythorpe Industrial Estate, near Driffield, East Yorkshire, was also included in the programme.
Working to a busy schedule, guests on both days received an engaging mix of partner presentations from CERM, Mercian Labels, Maan Engineering and Actega, together with a factory tour and demonstrations displaying ABG’s automated finishing technology.
ABG’s drive for increased workflow automation and connectivity through ABG Connect was a key theme throughout the event, with Matt Burton, ABG’s global sales director, commenting: “In the commercial print arena automation is paramount; however in the labels and packaging space we are in the early days of the automation transformation. ABG are ahead of the market in terms of having products available to facilitate this change such as ABG Connect. ABG will continue to sell more and more products with ABG Connect included, bringing about greater efficiencies by reducing the number of machines, headcount and complexity.”
Finishing equipment on show at the event included a Digicon Series 3 – beverage specification, showcasing ECOLEAF and traditional embellishment capabilities, a DigiLase 4.0 with an emphasis on laser die-cutting, fleyevision, a Digicon Lite 3, and non-stop winding technology with an Omega Converter 530. Additionally, there was a preview of ABG’s latest turret rewinders, due for launch at Labelexpo Europe in September 2023.
Later in the day, guests were able to visit ABG’s new 40,000 sqft premises in Kelleythorpe, close to its Bridlington headquarters. Ready for phased occupancy shortly, the site will house ABG’s dedicated turret rewinder manufacturing facility, which has been based at a smaller site nearby in Middleton on the Wolds since 1995, as well as ABG’s engineering facility. The move will expand ABG’s in-house engineering capabilities, free up space in the company’s existing site in nearby Carnaby to manufacture Digicon systems and decrease lead times.
Post-event guest feedback included:
“The event’s been brilliant, it’s great to see the investment that’s going into ABG, you can tell they’re growing massively. It’s really good to see the production facility, far bigger than I thought it was.” Tom Neath, General Manager – Aztec Label
“I found it very interesting to see how ABG is manufacturing its machines and how in-depth the machines are made at ABG. My key takeaway is to see how automation could bring us forward and to get a glimpse of how we could proceed with automation at our plant.” Jan-Dirk Mueller, Production Manager – Halbach
“It’s been really informative, been very interested in the Turret Vectras, especially the new model that I believe is launching in September, which we’re interested in.” Andy Hedley, Cramlington Site Manager – Coveris Flexibles
“I really like the spirit of ABG. I have known your company for many years now and, having been in the label industry for over 30 years, it’s great to see a family company growing with this mindset and having the complete respect of its customers, employees and partners.” Patrick Vreven, Director of EMEA Business Development – CERM
Concluding, Matt Burton said: “The aim of the event was to reconnect post-pandemic and show off what ABG has been up to – our new products, new facilities, new partnerships, new innovation and to share our strategic vision – all developments that allow us to better serve our markets and customers around the world, today and tomorrow.”