ABG debuts ABG Connect, a new automated label technology

A B Graphic International (ABG) has launched ABG Connect, a new workflow solution developed in cooperation with UK-based Mercian Labels and Cerm, aiming to increase automation by connecting all stages of the print and finishing processes.

The solution has been under development for nearly a decade and offers a fully automated print-finishing process, bringing various commercial and efficiency benefits. 

During its evolution, partnerships with self-adhesive label converter Mercian Labels, and MIS specialist CERM, have resulted in the creation of a plug-and-play technology that uses the latest industry-standard JDF/JMF messaging format to connect a customer’s management information system to its ABG finishing line.

ABG said one of the main advantages of ABG Connect is the dramatic increase in productivity and operator efficiency it can provide. Beta testing achieved efficiency savings of up to 75 per cent on a single machine, compared to multiple passes on multiple devices from other finishing solutions.

With redeveloped software and a new system architecture platform, ABG Connect can potentially provide a more streamlined, user-friendly approach to maximising production capabilities.

The company says additional benefits include time savings from ABG’s fully integrated zero-point inspection camera that requires zero operator input during setup.

According to ABG, the new solution also offers an automated job changeover process providing reductions in downtime, human errors and reduced waste between jobs without the operator intervention while running non-stop.

In practice, the Cerm MIS sends a file with the required job information to the ABG Connect software that contains all the required data for the desired finishing, such as die-cutting, slitting, hot foil or varnish embellishments. 

As a new job is detected via a scanned QR code on the web, the information file is distributed throughout the ABG machine to automatically perform the setup needed to achieve the desired finishing effects.

Combining Cerm’s AutoPlan technology and ABG Connect’s ability to print roll closure SKU labels, multiple job SKUs can be managed simultaneously while automatically entering each roll into stock directly from the end of a finishing machine.

ABG Connect delivers live production data directly from the finishing machine into an MIS. This allows for accurate reports to be generated now from the machine, thereby showcasing the high levels of productivity possible.

While Cerm MIS has been integral to the development, ABG Connect can be integrated with any MIS system, including home-grown XML-based solutions. 

With various packages available, from basic reporting to complete machine set-up automation, it can be tailored to suit all requirements.

ABG technical director Mark Norman said, “ABG Connect is the pinnacle of development work at the company and we’re proud of the advantages we see this generating for customers. For us, it really is an ‘automated revolution,’ and to be leading the way in automated print finishing feels like a natural place for ABG to be”.

All regional enquiries should be directed to Currie Group, the authorised distributor of ABG equipment in Australia and New Zealand. 

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