Trade print service provider CMYKhub will be the first in the Asia-Pacific region to install a DigiLase 4.0 / DigiJet 330 finishing solution, with A B Graphic International (ABG) set to ship the flagship combination model directly from its Labelexpo Europe stand to the company’s Melbourne production facility.
CMYKhub launched labels in March after investing in an HP Indigo 6K Digital Press at PacPrint in 2022 and Glen Francis, Manager for Customer Experience and Communications, says the interest from its customers has been ‘amazing’.
“I don’t think we’ve ever sent out so many sample kits to our resellers as we have done with labels, and orders have been growing steadily, month on month,” he reports.
“As with any new product line at CMYKhub, we have introduced options slowly, building up the service as we better understand exactly what our customers want, but we confirmed almost immediately that the market for custom labels, particularly in short to medium runs, is where demand is really growing exponentially.
“Print buyers in that space demand creative solutions, produced to the highest quality standards, to achieve the cut-through and shelf appeal they need…and they want them fast.”
For CMYKhub, the challenge is to meet the demand from print service providers for an almost endless array of label options, but to do it in a way which is not only profitable for their own business, but provides good value and plenty of potential margin for their resellers.
“Quite clearly, the answer is digital,” Glen says. “CMYKhub already has a growing library of dies to finish standard and some regular and longer-run custom jobs, but with short to medium runs making up a large and fast-growing proportion of orders, expanding our digital capacity made good commercial sense.”
That, he says, is where the new ABG DigiLase / DigiJet system comes in. Combining a DigiJet 330 digital embellishment model with DigiLase 4.0 digital laser cutting, it provides a ‘one-pass’ solution for a wide range of embellishments and customised finishes in a variety of sizes and formats.
“We are always looking one step ahead, and with our label production it was simply logical to investigate what would be on show at Labelexpo,” he says. “The team from Currie Group were able to share with us what ABG had planned, and this combination solution immediately stood out to us for its flexibility and productivity. There was simply no question in our mind that modular systems like this are the future of finished labels.”
The DigiJet component of the new line has been configured to provide multiple, high-quality embellishment options – including spot varnish, cold foil and tactile screen effects – all in a single pass and with absolutely no tooling.
It handles a wide variety of stocks, including textured stocks, and can produce tactile varnish and cold foil from one foil, embellish textured stocks, apply foils of various thicknesses and apply both solid varnish and fine detail, all on the one label.
“It’s just so flexible; no-one in the Australian label trade space is doing what this machine can do,” Glen says.
The DigiJet modules are complemented by the DigiLase laser cutting unit. Specially designed for shorter runs, they can cut intricate shapes to suit an almost endless array of customised label solutions with superior accuracy.
“DigiLase is fast and fully-automated, driven by sophisticated ABG Connect software that automatically calibrates the laser path, power and speed according to each material and shape, for fast and easy job set-up and changeover and optimal results, every time,” Glen says, adding that the new system integrates seamlessly into our prepress partner company DFLOW’s SynergyTM workflow, using QR Codes to read the job workflow for fully automated job setup.
“The systems work beautifully with our workflow, providing an intelligent solution which is tried, tested and reliable. That’s important to us, as we are a busy, multi-shift production environment so any bottleneck has a knock-on effect to the whole operation,” Glen points out.
Maximum productivity and efficiency, with fewer touchpoints during production, of course results in higher throughput and – critically – maximises margins for both CMYKhub and its clients, while meeting market demand for ever-quicker turnarounds.
“Trade services is a challenging market and there’s no room for delays or inefficiency,” Glen says. “These new investments, together with our HP Indigo 6K Digital Press and existing Digicon Series 3, allow us to outperform the market on turnaround, with typical delivery times of three to four days on most jobs without compromising on quality or value.”
While this high praise and the growing stable of ABG and Currie Group equipment at CMYKhub’s plant might suggest that this latest investment was something of a ‘fait accompli’, Glen is quick to correct that assumption, saying the company researched several options before settling on the LabelExpo machine.
“This is not our first ABG solution from Currie Group, so we are familiar with the quality of the range and with the support provided by Currie Group,” Glen admits, “but we always look at our options; that’s just due diligence.
“After researching the digital finishing options in this market at a range of price points, we felt we had to back ourselves and our customers with the best available technology that has been tried and tested in practice.
“ABG is a leading brand, and this is the fourth version of their laser technologies, so it’s proven technology from a market leader. Currie Group’s service team are fully trained to support DigiJet and DigiLase products in the market, and their service and support is legendary.
“Together, they make an unassailable team, backing a solution which will allow us to provide our resellers with the most innovative and profitable solutions on the market…with absolute confidence.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Currie Group, Mark Daws, Director – Labels & Packing ANZ. says “It’s always exciting to be able to provide CMYKhub with innovative, intelligent and reliable solutions to help them meet customer requirements. We’ve been partnering with the team for many years now and look forward to continuing that relationship for many years to come,”.
Meanwhile, the latest investment has rounded out CMYKhub's label department perfectly and has been enthusiastically embraced by its production team, which has recently been boosted by two experienced new additions to the business, Steve Bonanno and Dean Hill.
CMYKhub CEO, Dayne Nankervis says, "We believe labels is going to be huge for our business and provide fantastic opportunities for growth for our trade partners.
“We have already been so impressed with what they have done to add value for print buyers with our range of Scodix and Metal embellished sheet-fed products, so to allow them to add value to our label range in the same way is going to be fantastic.
“We can't wait to see what they come up with, and to discover what our talented team can do with the new DigiLase / DigiJet finishing unit to provide even more exciting options for them, and for their label customers.”