QuadTech® Autotron™ 2600 decreases start-up times by 30% at Fuji Seal Europe

Sussex, WI--May 2004--Fuji Seal Europe, a worldwide packaging company specializing in shrink sleeves, has installed three of the latest QuadTech® Autotron™ Packaging 2600 Register Guidance Systems, at its Gillingham plant in Kent, UK. Each Autotron™ automatically controls registration and maintains print quality on the company’s packaging gravure presses.

As inventors of the shrink sleeve technology, Fuji Seal is focused on the quality of its products and turnaround times to customers. Utilizing the benefits of its new Autotron™ Packaging 2600 systems, the company has been able to increase the speed of its presses by around 10%, while maintaining the excellent product quality for which the company is renowned.

“This boost in productivity has enabled us to retain our competitive edge in a fiercely competitive market,” states Alan Henderson, Print Technician at Fuji Seals’ Gillingham plant. “The productivity increase is not only on-the-run. Our start-up times are also 25-30% quicker, due to the Autotron™’s ability to see and respond to register marks within a few turns of the press.”

The ability to quickly recognize register marks, on the widest range of packaging applications, is one of the key features of the latest QuadTech® Autotron™ Packaging 2600. The MiniCam™ sensors have been specifically designed to work with the most demanding combinations of inks and substrates. This not only includes the accurate registration of process, special and pastel colors, but also equally effective operation with transparent films, reflective foils, “invisible” coatings such as glues and varnishes, and inline processes.

“In addition to productivity gains, we have also been able to improve the color-to-color registration on problematic substrates,” confirms Mr Henderson. “Our QuadTech® equipment has been a worthwhile purchase and the savings we have made means that it will bring a good return on our investment.”

“We needed a registration solution which was flexible as well as fast and simple to set up, especially on a combination press. Here we often run two jobs at once controlled by the same Autotron™.

“Initially, set up was quite complex, but QuadTech was very responsive in finding a solution. We are currently proving a new interface which is ICON™-driven and very intuitive, using a touch screen. We expect further productivity gains from its use.”

The Autotron™ Packaging 2600 runs on the Microsoft® Windows NT operating system. Using the touch-screen interface, operators can access various levels of registration and press-performance information via the data logger screen. In normal running mode, a simple vector display indicates in real-time, the state of the register. This highlights when the colors are out of alignment, with correction taking place automatically to ensure the best possible results.

Alan continues, “Our in-house tolerance is sometimes as low as 0.25mil and the ability to clearly identify when we are in or out of registration is crucial. The vector on screen is very easy to follow, showing simultaneously the combined positions of the length and sidelay registers relative to the target values”

Fuji Seal manufactures shrink-sleeve packaging, for a variety of blue chip companies including Guinness, Coca-Cola, Cow&Gate, Heinz, Nestle and Cadburys Schweppes. In serving clients of this calibre, it is essential that each wrap be printed to the highest quality, reproducing brand identity to exact specifications. Printing onto a variety of films, Fuji Seal has won 38 packaging awards for its work.

The level of dedication to customer satisfaction extends throughout the company to the development of the substrates. “The Autotron™ Packaging 2600 has also played a role here. Recently, we were able to track down a problem that initially seemed to be with one of the presses.

“By analyzing the sophisticated reports from the Autotron™, we were able to identify that the problem was with the substrate. To combat the problem we stopped manufacturing and printing to concentrate on the substrate’s development. The result was a new, highly improved material on which to print and a better job for our customers.”

The QuadTech® Autotron™ systems are Atex approved, essential in a potentially explosive environment, such as the production room at Fuji Seal.

Alan concludes, “Our Autotron™ Packaging 2600 has many more facilities than our previous system. In addition, as we are now able to store job details, we can ensure consistent reproduction of repeat jobs.

“With the savings that we make in wastage and the increase in productivity, there is no doubt that the QuadTech® Autotron™ Packaging 2600 will quickly pay for itself, increase print quality and further aid our success and growth plans.”

About BALDWIN | Vision Systems (formerly QuadTech)

BALDWIN’s Vision Systems division is the world’s leading innovator of advanced color and inspection technology for the printing industry. BALDWIN | Vision Systems sells its automated control systems in more than 100 countries to the packaging and converting markets, web offset newspaper and commercial markets, and publication gravure market. BALDWIN maintains a worldwide network of sales and service operations, and is privately owned by BW Forsyth Partner, the investment arm of multi-billion dollar global manufacturing and engineering consulting firm Barry-Wehmiller.


Craig Du Mez, BALDWIN | Vision Systems
Phone: +1 414 566 7500
Email: craig.dumez@quadtechworld.com

Clare Porter, Bespoke
Phone: +44 (0) 1737 215200
Email: quadtech@bespoke.co.uk