Autobond manufactures a range of inkjet spot UV machinery from 14” x 20” to 41” x 41”, available both as stand-alone digital embellishment machines utilizing a Heidelberg feeder, or more commonly configured in-line with new or existing Autobond laminators. Oran Gilmore, Autobond’s North American Sales Director states, “From inception Autobond always envisioned running in-line with our laminators to provide customers the ability to laminate, inkjet spot UV (either flat or raised/textured UV), with the option of foiling all in one system. In this way, our customers streamline these finishing processes on one system with a very quick make ready. Users really appreciate the productivity (at up to 60 m/min on flat UV), robust build quality, and minimal maintenance requirements. They also appreciate the relatively low cost of ownership and inexpensive varnish we developed with an ink partner specific for this system.” CPI, the largest book printer in Europe, recently installed Autobond’s Mini 53 TH-SUV-S, B2 portrait format (20.75” wide x 29”) thermal laminator with in-line inkjet Spot-UV to embellish book covers to supply its 3 digital Quantum production lines in their Bussière, France plant. This is what they had to say on how it impacted their business:
“The machine was installed two years ago, replacing a conventional Spot-UV screen varnishing machine, allowing us to reduce set-up times by a factor of 10! The Autobond can be set-up in under 15 minutes, is very reliable with minimal maintenance and downtime, can process any number of sheets, from one to 1,000s. It also has the great benefit of providing in-line lamination, saving considerable time by combining processes, the key to meeting today’s increasingly tight production lead-times.
It was quick and easy to train Operators with inkjet technology, as they were used to working in a digital press environment. After more than 3 million sheets processed since installation, customers and operators are very satisfied.”
The Equipment: Using Xaar inkjet technology from Cambridge, England, the system delivers outstanding UV image quality. Users can apply inkjet images from 360 DPI 1-6 DPD to 720 DPI 1-6 DPD. Effectively, this allows users to apply as little as 2 microns of varnish, for more traditional UV/foiling looks, to 24-micron application for more textured and ultra-high gloss finishes. The system is highly user-friendly allowing for the uploading of various file types (BMP, TIFF, PDF). An operator familiar with Adobe software products can easily be trained on the system allowing images to be manipulated to dial in registration, moving the inkjet printed image relative to the incoming sheet as little as a pixel at a time. Most jobs can be set up in around 10-15 minutes with 4-5 sheets for set up.
The Market: Autobond laminating, inkjet spot UV, and foiling machinery is geared towards a range of digital printers and traditional offset printers including those serving the following markets:
- Short-medium run commercial book market
- Print marketing such as business cards and presentation folders
- High-end packagings such as cosmetics, liquor, and other consumer packaged products
- Point of purchase and signage