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A B Graphic maintains strong sales growth despite pandemic and supply chain challenges

A B Graphic International (ABG) continues to see strong demand for its market leading print finishing technology, despite the widespread challenges caused by both pandemic and supply chain issues, including beyond their control parts shortages. All businesses have had to carefully pick their way through the impact of COVID-19 and ABG, being no different, has maintained momentum through a mix of planned investments and prioritising innovation - both seen as key to continuing their growth track.

In adhering to an aggressive 5-year strategic plan, the last 12 months has seen ABG undertake a number of key initiatives, the latest of which being the creation of a new digital manufacturing hub at their German site specifically to manufacture their highly successful DigiJet digital embellishment module. The solution, which is being marketed globally, provides high quality digital embellishment techniques without tooling, enabling ABG’s customers to target new markets, offer better service in terms of shorter turnaround times and benefit from savings on tooling costs.

The company has also expanded their offering by adding shrink sleeve machines to their portfolio. Previously forming part of Enprom’s equipment portfolio - Enprom being acquired by ABG in 2019 - the modular range covers seaming, doctoring and cutting shrink sleeve solutions and provides ABG with opportunities to enter into new market segments.

With a record number of orders placed in 2020, ABG has launched the next evolution of its popular DigiLase digital laser cutting machine, DigiLase 4.0. The latest refinements include new individual piece options and faster speeds, which, when combined with its state-of-the-art laser cutting technology, make the DigiLase 4.0 unrivalled in guaranteeing consistent and accurate results.

Elsewhere, a strategic partnership with Actega Metal Print agreed in May 2020, which will see ABG handle sales and service of the new EcoLeaf metallisation technology in the EU and the UK, goes from strength to strength and an official product launch is scheduled for the end of the year. Integrated inline on finishing equipment, analogue or digital printing presses, EcoLeaf combines a printed trigger image and a metallisation unit that applies only the precise and required amount of metal. It replaces the use of hot and cold foil rolls and their subsequent high impact on waste, as well as reduces the cost of metallic embellishments.

A major focus of ABG’s forward planning is based on its investment in people. The company is currently in the middle of large-scale recruitment drive, aiming to fill a number of positions globally. The scale of this ambition was illustrated by Richard Knight, ABG’s CEO, who said: “Our people are at the core of our success and we are especially grateful for their considerable efforts and dedication shown over the last 18 months. We are now in position to welcome numerous new employees across all areas of the business, from design to sales. As we are dedicated to attracting, retaining and developing the very best people at ABG, this recruitment drive will enable us to keep innovating and leading the print finishing market.”

In maintaining the company’s strong sales performance, the family-owned business retains its leadership structure for the foreseeable future, with the exception of Mike Burton, ABG’s Director, who retired in September this year, but remains on the board of directors.