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ABG’s workflow solution hailed as automated revolution

Leading finishing equipment manufacturer, A B Graphic International (ABG), is confident that the launch of their automated workflow solution, ABG Connect, will be game-changing for the labelling industry.

ABG Connect aims to increase workflow automation by connecting all stages of the print and finishing process seamlessly as one. The solution, which has been under development for nearly a decade, offers a fully automated print-finishing process, bringing with it a host of commercial and efficiency benefits. During its evolution, partnerships with self-adhesive labels convertor, Mercian Labels, and MIS specialist, CERM, have resulted in the creation of a cutting-edge, plug-and-play solution that uses the latest industry-standard JDF/JMF messaging format to connect a customer’s management information system to their ABG finishing line.

One of the main advantages of ABG Connect is the dramatic increase in productivity and operator efficiency it can provide. From their beta testing, efficiency savings of up to 75% are now achievable on a single machine, compared to multiple passes on multiple machines from other finishing solutions. With redeveloped software and a brand-new system architecture platform, ABG Connect provides a streamlined, user-friendly approach to maximising production capabilities. Additional benefits include substantial time savings from a fully integrated zero-point inspection solution - ABG’s automated camera inspection technology which requires zero operator input during set-up.

ABG Connect also offers a seamless automated job changeover process​ providing reductions in downtime, human errors and a solution to combat the de-skilling of operators in the industry. Reduced waste from as little as 3 metres between job without any 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 carry out the set-up needed to achieve the desired finishing effects.

When running inline with the market-leading ABG Vectra turret rewinder, job SKUs can be handled with ease. By combining CERM’s AutoPlan technology and ABG Connect’s ability to print roll closure SKU labels, multiple job SKUs can be managed simultaneously whilst automatically entering each roll into stock direct from the end of a finishing machine.

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

While CERM MIS has been integral to the development of this solution and CERM are an ABG Premium Integration Partner, ABG Connect can be fully integrated with any MIS system including any home-grown XML-based solution, making it the most flexible, adaptable and integrated machine automation product available on the market.

ABG Connect is a highly versatile solution that can be adapted and integrated to suit any business. With various packages available from basic reporting solutions to complete machine set-up automation, it can be tailored to suit all requirements.

Commenting on the launch, Mark Norman, ABG’s technical director, 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.

To learn more about ABG Connect, visit www.abgint.com/products/abg-connect/.