3 Upgrades for Interstate Containers with more to follow!
Interstate Container, producer of custom-engineered corrugated packaging for the US market and member of the international manufacturing group Indevco, have now received a significant upgrade from Absolute for 3 of their machines, incorporating Absolute’s carbon fiber blade systems.
One reason Absolute won the contract was their 12-year history of successful installations for Interstate’s parent company Indevco, one of the most prestigious names in the Middle East. From their headquarters in Lebanon, Indevco manufacture packaging for a wide-range of applications, with divisions in corrugated, tissue, non-woven and flexible materials.
Knowledge of the global packaging industry also came into play. Not only have Absolute been supplying Indevco since 2003, but they hold an impeccable track record of over 6,500 installations worldwide, delivered by highly skilled engineering teams in both Europe and North America. Understandably, Interstate were confident of a successful upgrade, which Absolute’s specialist installers managed to complete the majority of the units over a long weekend! And, compared with tenders from other suppliers, Absolute offered the greatest value in terms of payback, bolstered by a solid reputation for quality products and after sale support services in North America.
For one machine, UniBlade was installed alongside the existing crossbar and loading system, while another machine was fitted with a 2G chamber. The third upgrade involved replacing the original rubber rollers, updating the drive and installing complete new 2G chamber doctoring units.
The benefits of these upgrades were immediate and impressive: Interstate noticed a significant reduction in ink loss during colour change, a higher quality wash-up from dark to light, less downtime resulting in higher outputs and improved quality print.
Bill Gempp, Vice-President of Absolute in the Americas, is proud of the achievement. “This project was a co-ordinated effort by our European HQ, our North American customer service structure and our North American technical team which all came together to produce a great conclusion for both Indevco and Absolute.”
Speaking for Interstate Containers, Dick Monteiro, Capital Projects Manager - Container Division, agrees: We have again worked closely with Absolute to produce a win-win result for both companies, they are a pleasure to deal with and the installation has provided the best possible results. I’m confident we will be providing Absolute with a further Purchase Order for additional units in the coming weeks.”
Fardem Packaging invests in growth by upgrading to Absolute
Five years after their first introduction to Absolute - creators of the most successful Carbon Fibre print chamber system available - global company Fardem Packaging bv is investing heavily in this equipment at their Edam site in the Netherlands. Not only are they upgrading existing machines, but installing Absolute chambers on new machines to make the plant one of the most efficient in its sector worldwide.
Fardem was established 125 years ago, long enough to gain a formidable reputation in heavy duty packaging predominantly for the chemical, fertilizer, animal feed and food industries. Innovators to the core, the company also manufacture specialised polythene films for the business-to-business sector and, in every aspect of their operation, focus on long-term partnerships with customers and suppliers such as Absolute.
Innovative though they are, for such a significant investment Fardem had to be sure both the upgrades and new machines were of optimum standard. To make sure of this, when the project began in 2011, Engineering Manager, Ton Voorneveld bought one chamber each from several suppliers as an initial trial.
There was no contest - Absolute’s chamber far outmatched all rivals, resulting in a complete retrofitting of all Fardem machines. Since then, a further 20 systems have been supplied, bringing the total to 65 chambers to date.
One of the reasons Ton chose the Absolute system was that, with 14 different chamber sections, they have the perfect profile - creating the optimum doctoring angle for each anilox roller. In addition, all Absolute chambers and assemblies were designed to be fully interchangeable, even when used on separate machines.
Ton also appreciated how Absolute could provide a bespoke loading system: “This meant we didn’t need to cut away at our existing print units, as the loading system accommodated them all.”
With an ongoing relationship in mind, Ton visited the Absolute plant in Huddersfield, UK in order to understand the experience and quality of Absolute’s operation and was highly impressed by the resources available for both manufacturing and after-sales services.
There have certainly been no complaints. Ton confirms that retrofitting Absolute chambers to 50 print units has “standardised set-up procedures and minimised our training requirements, so we can improve efficiency and consistency of production while the chamber itself has reduced wash-up times and minimised ink loss.”
Naturally, Managing Director of Absolute, Antony Whiteside, is proud of this assignment, which has been completed so successfully. “Although this is a large quantity of chambers, Fardem is a very typical customer in that the majority of our business involves trading over many years with the same customers placing repeat orders. Part of our strategy is to support customers, maintaining close, long-term relationships.”
Ton is also very happy with the outcome “I am very satisfied with the quality delivered. Absolute has achieved an excellent result and I congratulate everyone at Absolute for the high standard of product.”
On a roll with 7 great projects & 7 top multi-nationals!
With 7 huge pre-print projects on the go and the world’s 7 leading packaging integrated groups on their customer base, Absolute are riding into 2016 on a wave of optimism. Certainly, the world’s premier supplier of woven carbon fiber-chambered doctor blade systems to the flexo industry look forward to increasing their market share even further in the months ahead.
Managing Director Antony Whiteside is particularly excited about the future: “There is a lot of investment right now in premium print and our high quality flexo print installations are gaining momentum as the corrugated converting industry becomes increasingly sophisticated.
‘Making a good box is not enough. End users are looking for great design combined with guaranteed high quality flexo, and will only specify suppliers whose products enhance their brand. The corrugated industry is now mature enough for end-users to view consistent, fit-for-purpose packaging as a given. What drives their choice is bespoke design and top quality print.”
Absolute’s dealings with the world’s top 7 machinery manufacturers proves his point. These manufacturers are either standardising upon Absolute equipment or being requested to supply Absolute by end users. The reasons are obvious: Absolute not only boast an impeccable track record on seamless installations but are at the cutting edge of flexo ink system design.
And, according to Antony: “People see that customers are interested in the “whole of life cost” of a product and, with a 15-year guarantee on our carbon fiber chamber, and maintenance free blade clamping they view this as a more efficient investment than any other system.”
As well as supplying the world’s 7 top individual packaging manufacturers, Absolute also deals with the top 7 integrated groups in North America and Europe, “They are buying from us because we are the only supplier on earth to offer 14 different sections of chamber - symmetrical, asymmetrical, single blade and dual blade – for the entire spectrum anilox diameters widths. And our service network is worldwide to support our installations.”
The number 7 may seem a lucky number for Absolute, but Antony believes their success is not due solely to chance! “Much effort has gone into every aspect of our design and installation service, as we’re determined to provide the best possible results for customers on every level.
‘In 2015 the corrugated industry seems to have rediscovered the benefits of high-end pre-print and we’re conducting 7 major pre-print projects at present – some involving upgrades of older machines to ‘as new’ standard; others involving new generation of disruptive pre-print technology which will change the economics of pre-print globally.”
Looking ahead, there are several blueprints in the pipeline. “We are working very closely with our parent company Pamarco to develop new ink-circuit designs that will enhance both companies’ products further. Their 70 years of experience in the anilox market mean that we can draw on a huge pool of talent and experience to really enhance our offerings to the industry” says Antony.
”Will Absolute’s performance continue? Antony believes: “The harder we work, the more successful we will become. And with future expansion in mind, to support our installations, develop new products and keep standards to their own exacting heights, Absolute have recently employed new staff for our design team and worldwide service support.”
Already, Absolute have made a great start to the year, garnering an impressive group of customers with their equally comprehensive range of design solutions, products and services. If the present trend continues, Absolute are set for an extremely productive 2016!
2015: Year in Review with Antony Whiteside
2015 was the year Absolute established itself as the premier supplier of Carbon Fiber chambers to the industry – an achievement due to considerable investment in several aspects of the business.
Bill Gempp joined us mid-year as VP Sales the Americas and his vast experience in the industry combined with his professional approach made him the perfect candidate for the position. His effect was immediate: Our customers and agents now have a senior ‘go to’ person in North America who is 100% dedicated to their needs, assisting them in all aspects of both their decision making process and in coordinating effective after sales.
We also recruited two additional Service Engineers to work under Steve Erickson, our North American Service Manager. This will increase our ability to react quickly to customer requests and ensure that our installations run smoothly.
At HQ, our previous investment in 5 axis machining capacity allowed us to massively increase manufacturing performance whilst improving the consistency and accuracy of the component produced. Additions to the Engineering Design Team allow us to increase volumes yet still dedicate resources to New Product Development and specialist products for OEM’s. In 2015, we developed a further two chamber designs specifically to OEM requirements, providing a bespoke carbon fiber product that is unique to them but has all the DNA of Absolute. This gives them a rapid development process and a guaranteed outcome that is perfectly designed to complement their specific equipment.
Absolute’s customer base continues to grow and this year has seen a significant increase in customers who are not only using us to upgrade their existing equipment, but are increasingly specifying us on new equipment. Several successful Independents and large integrated groups are standardizing on Absolute as their ink system of choice across the board. Of course, Absolute is ideally suited to this, as our Design Team utilise the most advanced 3D design packages, so coordination with other Design Teams globally is very straightforward. Our range of 14 standard chamber and UniBlade designs means that, regardless of width (we provide blades up to 251”), we have a perfect profile for your specific anilox.
InkSave has also had a great year with continued installations worldwide. Customers see real tangible benefits in upgrading an existing machine with a wash-up and ink recovery system, saving 1000’s of pints of ink and 1000’s of gallons of water that would otherwise be wasted! Installations in areas where water is a valuable resource have also increased.
During 2016, we will continue to work hard with early adopters in the sector to produce measurable performance improvements over traditional equipment, with a goal of making all of our products the industry standard. If you have a requirement for a new inking system application or a new idea that you want to develop, call us – we would be delighted to help!
New VP of Sales Bill Gempp joins Absolute to expand US markets
Welcome to our new Vice President of Sales Bill Gempp who from now on will be looking after our customers in North and South America.
Bill was virtually born for the role, having lived in Maryland and the heart of corrugated boxes all his life. He started his career in 1994 with his father’s business, Southeastern Corrugated Suppliers (SCS), which represented manufacturers of machines and other products to the packaging industry. During his 10 years at SCS, Bill worked for major clients such as Hitek Equipment, JB Machinery and Sun Automation Group.
His service obviously impressed! In 2004, Sun Automation Group invited Bill to join their Sparks, Maryland-based offices as Sales Manager covering America’s Southeastern states.
In 2009 Bill joined Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as Eastern Sales Manager based at its US offices in Hunt Valley, MD. His responsibility for sales in the eastern half of the US included one of the corrugated industry’s most famous and popular flexo-folder-gluers - the Evol.
Bill, his wife Karen and their 2 daughters Courtney and Natalie now live in Monkton, just minutes from ‘corrugated valley’ or, to use its proper name, Hunt Valley in Maryland (northern Baltimore County) where he was brought up. Surrounded as he is by corrugated box machinery suppliers, his expertise in this field is second-to-none, especially when dealing with North and South American customers.
With Bill Gempp on our team, Absolute is looking forward to increasing our involvement in the US markets by providing additional support to both our Independent and Integrated customers, by working closely with our Manufacturers Representatives, and by strengthening our support for both AICC and TAPPI.
Antony Whiteside is delighted to have such an experienced Vice President on board. “Bill Gempp has a wealth of expertise in the corrugated packaging industry and his input will certainly help consolidate and grow our presence in the USA!”
New asymmetrical chambers reduce work and wastage
Leading suppliers of the most successful carbon fibre chamber systems on the market with over 5,000 installations worldwide, Absolute have now produced a range of asymmetrical chambers which will revolutionise flexo printing still further - eradicating back doctoring (back-blading) issues and dramatically reducing ink loss.
The main problem when using standard symmetrical chambers is that, unless the anilox is perfectly clean, water-based ink can shift its position in the cell during rotation.
When the doctoring blade is uppermost in a chambered blade system, surplus ink is wiped away by the retaining blade, creating back doctoring across the width of the chamber, wasting ink and making a mess.
If, on the other hand, the retaining blade is uppermost, residue builds up on this blade before running to the end seals and dripping down. This is often confused with seal failure.
Cleaning the roller thoroughly is of course vital to ensure correct transfer volumes, but this cleaning process is time-consuming, expensive and labour intensive.
Now, with its range of asymmetrical profiles, Absolute has the solution for these problems. The flatter angle of the retaining blade allows ink to re-enter the cells yet prevents dripping, minimising or eliminating the back doctoring effect. The result? A cleaner process with less waste, increased efficiency and smoother, quicker production.
Another concern: you must have the optimal doctoring angle to wipe the cell surface totally clean, and this requires several different profiles to complement different anilox diameters. Fortunately, Absolute have produced different versions of the asymmetrical range to cover most Anilox diameters for applications including corrugated pre-print, corrugated post-print and tissue.
Managing Director Antony Whiteside is confident the range will prove a welcome boost for the packaging industry. “After developing our asymmetrical system, we’ve been trialling it ourselves with great success. Regardless of the materials printed, these chambers drastically cut ink loss and waste, keeping pace with modern processes.
‘Now it’s time to pass on the benefits to our customers who have come to expect quality applications and the best possible value from us.”
IFP specifies Absolute
Leading independent flexible packaging company Irish Flexible Packaging has upgraded their 8 colour flexopress to Absolute woven carbon fibre chambers as part of a continuing capital investment programme.
IFP, based in County Wicklow Ireland, specialise in innovative packaging for the Dairy and Bakery sector, where the ability to consistently produce high quality flexo print is a prerequisite for suppliers.
Gary Hale, Operations Manager of IFP commented “We considered several suppliers before deciding on Absolute. Even then we only purchased one unit initially in order to validate and quantify the claims made. However, after only one month we could already see the improvements that the Absolute system was producing when compared to the original Aluminium chambers.
Now that we have installed all 8 units, I can categorically state that Absolutes’ Chambers will pay for themselves within 12 months of purchase due to the savings from ink leakage and extended doctor blade life.”
Antony Whiteside of Absolute confirmed “Even though we have supplied over 5,000 chambers worldwide there are still many companies who have yet to use Absolute blade systems.
IFP were cautious and chose to buy one unit initially. We were perfectly happy with this plan as we have complete control of the procedure. From an initial visit by our Design Specialist through to installation by our Service and Support Engineers, we were confident that the performance of our chambers would ensure that we produced a result IFP would be satisfied with. Once this was proven, Gary was confident to proceed with upgrading the remaining units. A great result for everybody involved.”
5 axis for Absolute
Absolute has announced a further investment in equipment to keep up with demand for their range of woven Carbon Fibre chambered doctor blade systems. The latest purchase is a new high accuracy 5 axis fully robotised CNC milling machine. The total project will cost $600,000 and will be in production in July 2014.
Antony Whiteside, of Absolute commented” This machine will allow us to manufacture a higher quantity of chambers to an even higher standard previously, and is a reflection of Absolute’s commitment to providing the very best product to our customers.
New offices and additional factory space have already been added to our UK manufacturing facility. Significant investment has also been made in new product development. This will result in the launch of additional products that are specifically designed to optimise the flexo process and the whole ink system.
Investment in people and equipment is the key to our expansion. We have agreed a long term plan that will ensure that the whole Absolute Team develops and has the products and resources to continue to grow rapidly. The next decade will be one of great change for our industry, and we fully intend that the Absolute Team will be at the forefront of that change.”
Keith Reiter to represent Absolute in the Mid West USA
Absolute, supplier of Carbon Fiber dual and single blade systems have appointed Keith Reiter as exclusive Agent for the corrugated sector in the Mid-West USA.
Keith, who has extensive experience in the corrugated sector stated “Absolute have been supplying carbon fiber blade systems for 14 years and are recognised as the market leader with literally thousands of installations in both Independents and Integrated plants across North America. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to join this well established organisation”
Antony Whiteside, Managing Director of Absolute stated “Keith is a great addition to our Agency network. Our customers need to know that when they deal with Absolute they will be supported from initial enquiry to completion of the project with experienced, professional individuals. We know that Keith will fit perfectly with the other members of our Team”
Keith Reiter can be contacted directly on email@example.com or +1 847 910 0679.
Absolute score the double with Best
Best Carton, one of the key suppliers of corrugated product in Israel, have again specified Absolute for the replacement of traditional corroded aluminium chambers with carbon fibre chambered doctor blade systems. The chambers will be fitted to both TCY and United post printers.
Cobi Gottfried of C and C Equipment, Absolute's exclusive Agent in Israel worked closely with Best Carton on the deal. This is the third major order Cobi has obtained for Absolute in the last 12 months, and he commented on the success:
"Best are synonymous with high quality post print, and this second order proves that they are happy with the product and service from Absolute.
Absolute Expands East
Absolute Engineering have just shipped a further ten woven carbon fibre chamber systems, designed specifically for a Fisher Krecke flexoprinter, to Saudi Arabia.
This order comes on top of a previous order installed earlier this year for eight systems for a second Fisher Krecke 16-S flexo printer within the same facility.
The installation will be carried out at Indevco in Jeddah. Indevco are an international manufacturing group that employ over 8,500 people in over 60 countries worldwide. This particular plant has been investing in upgrades which can demonstrate a quick payback on the investment by producing savings in downtime and press performance.
Antony Whiteside of Absolute commented "We are very proud to be associated with Indevco. Their core values relating to customer and employee support and product innovation align with those of Absolute, and I believe this is why we work so well together.
Historically Absolute's sales were concentrated in Europe and North America, but increasingly we are focussing our efforts on other key markets around the World such as the Middle East."
New England Wooden Ware selects Absolute
New England Wooden Ware has upgraded their six color Hycorr to Absolute woven carbon fiber chambers.
David Urquhart, President of NEWW stated “The machine is designed to produce a high quality graphics product. We looked for a chamber system that could guarantee high quality doctoring and consistency over the 113” width. The Absolute units provide us with this.
We initially tested one unit, and on the basis of this performance, had no hesitation in approving the purchase of the remaining five units. While the doctoring performance was key to our decision making process, the fact that the operators found the units so quick and easy to use is also of significant benefit.”
Absolute post 25% sales increase in 2009/10
Absolute Engineering, supplier of woven carbon fibre doctoring systems, has just announced a 25% increase in sales for the 12 month period to June 2010.
Growth has been achieved because of two major factors; firstly, Absolute concentrated on developing a “standard “range of upgrades for the most popular equipment such as BOBST, Ward, United, EMBA, Martin and Gopfert. This allowed the company to prove to potential customers that they had a successful track record with an identical machine.
The second factor leading to the sales increase was new products such as the I-MAX ink saving system. Absolute have achieved major success with this, and have just completed another installation on a BOBST Masterflex, where the customer has seen a massive reduction in ink loss.
Commenting on the project Antony Whiteside of Absolute confirmed “I-MAX is ideal for customers who are focusing on short job runs, and clearly a lot of these customers have purchased Masterflex lines for this purpose. I-MAX allows them to achieve ink savings of around 85% compared to traditional chambers. The translation of this into real savings and a remarkable payback make it easier to justify, even when it is hard for plants to obtain funding”
Absolute produce their biggest chambers ever
Absolute Engineering, supplier of woven carbon fibre doctoring systems, has just completed the installation of four 5,640mm (222") chamber for a Jumbo Gopfert post printer.
These are the biggest chambers Absolute have made, and incorporate a 100mm (4") section carbon fibre crossbar to complement the unit.
The existing units were no longer fit for purpose, as the original coating had flaked off and the chambers were now badly corroded. This corrosion had also spread under the blade clamp, resulting in leakage and reduced blade life. These issues led the customer to look for a solution that would resolve these issues permanently.
By upgrading to the Absolute system the customer, a major integrated corrugator group, was already experiencing increased blade life, better ink returns and improved output due to reduced downtime.
Antony Whiteside of Absolute commented "Carbon fibre is especially appropriate for the Jumbo chambers as the combination of lightweight construction and incredible stiffness ensure that we don’t suffer from the sagging issues of aluminium or the vibration issues associated with stainless steel. We believe this is why more and more corrugated customers are selecting Absolute as their preferred supplier."
SAICA and Absolute upgrade to improve performance!
SAICA UK Thatcham and Absolute Engineering have completed a project to upgrade two BOBST 160 post printers.
One line had existing aluminium chambers that were badly corroded, leading to excessive downtime and cleaning, whilst the second machine still had the original rubber roller system, and did not produce the required print consistency.
SAICA approved the investment in order to improve both the quality of the print produced, and reduce the downtime associated with a combination of an old inking system and the modern requirement of short order change times.
Ashley Bell of SAICA confirmed “This project is part of an ongoing plan to improve our efficiency and quality by optimising the performance of our existing equipment with specific upgrades.
We have worked with Absolute over several years, and have experience of both their products and their after sales support, and so we were comfortable working with them on this important project. It's clear that specifying Absolute was key to the project meeting the KPI’s we set ourselves”.
Absolute supply a range of woven carbon fibre doctoring systems to users of high performance flexo printing equipment across the World. The products include the 2G dual blade system, the Uniblade single system, and the patented I-MAX ink maximising system.
Jumbo conversion for Absolute
Absolute Engineering, supplier of woven carbon fibre doctoring systems have just completed the installation of a 5100mm (200") Uniblade single blade doctor unit on a Rapidex flexo unit.
The unit, which was supplied complete with a carbon fibre crossbar to support the blade unit, is still light enough to be handled by one operator.
The installation at a UK converter has provided the customer with significant production and financial improvements.
Antony Whiteside of Absolute commented "The customer was struggling to produce a consistent colour tone and finish over such a wide width with a rubber roll applicator. In addition, the inks used are expensive, and so the cost of ink loss on colour change was significant. By upgrading to a blade unit, ink loss is cut dramatically"
Absolute introduced the Uniblade system 2 years ago, for customers who want to benefit from the advantages of utilising a doctor blade, without opting for a dual blade chamber.
Significant Carbon Fiber Chambers Progress
Absolute Engineering has made significant progress installing their unique woven carbon fiber chambers.
Absolute Engineering has made significant progress installing their unique woven carbon fiber chambers on post printers over the last 12 months.Great Northern Corrugated (GNC) originally installed 3 units on their Ward before proceeding to upgrade their United Flexus.
Bob Smith of GNC Racine commented "We can now run many of the jobs we used to skip-feed on regular feed. The doctor blade change has gone down from 30 minutes to 5 minutes, and because of the make-up of the chambers, cleanup is now an actual clean-up, the ink slides off with minimal effort ... the crews absolutely love them. I would recommend these chambers with 100% confidence."
Absolute have also achieved considerable success with BOBST/Martin upgrades, including NT1628, NT1636 and 924 print units.
Rick Young, Absolute's agent in North Central USA, is delighted with the momentum generated. "We have several customers who originally upgraded just existing equipment, but have now started specifying them on their new equipment.
This proves that Absolute chambers can give quantifiable benefits over traditional chambers"
Absolute have recently moved to a new factory in order to meet the increasing demand.
The plant includes test facilities to complete development of a new range of upgrades specifically for Corrugated. These new options will provide even more opportunities to generate cost reductions for any customer using current chamber technology.
Unique Carbon Fiber Chambers
Absolute Engineering has made significant progress installing their unique woven carbon fiber chambers on post printers over the last 12 months.
Great Northern Corrugated (GNC) originally installed 3 units on their Ward before proceeding to upgrade their United Flexus. Bob Smith of GNC Racine commented'' We can now run many of the jobs we used to skip-feed on regular feed.
The doctor blade change has gone down from 30 minutes to 5 minutes, and because of the make-up of the chambers, cleanup is now an actual clean-up, the ink slides off with minimal effort ... the crews absolutely love them. I would recommend these chambers with 100% confidence.''
Absolute have also achieved considerable success with BOBST/Martin upgrades, including NT1628, NT1636 and 924 print units.
Rick Young, Absolute's agent in North Central USA, is delighted with the momentum generated. "We have several customers who originally upgraded just existing equipment, but have now started specifying them on their new equipment. This proves that Absolute chambers can give quantifiable benefits over traditional chambers"
Absolute have recently moved to a new factory in order to meet the increasing demand. The plant includes test facilities to complete development of a new range of upgrades specifically for Corrugated. These new options will provide even more opportunities to generate cost reductions for any customer using current chamber technology.