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Label Traxx MIS and ABG Digicon streamline digital laser finishing

Label Traxx MIS announces integration with ABG’s Digilase digital laser cutter. The project is the result of collaboration with Label Traxx customer Innovative Labeling Solutions (ILS) of Hamilton, OH, Esko and ABG International. The aim of the assignment was to speed up job changeover and increase throughput through ILS’ digital finishing department.

The integration enables the Digilase to pre-process the job in advance so that when a barcode printed on the web is scanned, the digital finisher knows which job it is running, is ready to cut the correct die line and the slitting knives are positioned automatically. 

“Our digital label business has been growing fast,” explains ILS owner Jay Dollries. “We already have Label Traxx integrated with Esko’s Automation Engine which has significantly streamlined the flow from order processing to prepress and printing. However, the volume of job changes has meant that a clear bottleneck was looming in finishing. We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this project.”

Using Label Traxx’s new API module, an API (application programming interface) was created that feeds the Digilase data in realtime as production is processed. Esko’s Automation Engine creates the step and repeat of the job using data supplied by Label Traxx. There is a trigger in the file plan that runs the API. Label Traxx then creates and transfers the job data the Digilase requires via XML and generates an SVG (scalable vector graphic) file to give the laser a path to cut. The Digilase takes the vector file and plots each burst of the laser. This pre-processing means that when the printed web enters the Digilase, the job barcode is read and the laser is already prepared. Set-up time on the finishing machine is minimized.

“This was a great project to work on with ILS, Esko and ABG,” says Label Traxx President Ken Meinhardt. “Together we have solved a real issue for our mutual customer ILS and we have successfully miminized set-up time on the Digilase finishing machine. This will enable them to finish a higher volume of digital label jobs every day.”

Label Traxx’s API module is available in Version 8 of its software, which is being launched at Labelexpo in Chicago this month.