The new equipment improves quality, flexibility for the high-end label manufacturer.
Amherst Label recently invested in the CRON-ECRM HDI Flexo CTP system, designed for flexo applications. The digital imager replaces an older piece of equipment that was nearing the end of its useful life.
“We have yet to receive the letter stating we are in the last year of parts and service available for the old equipment, but we know it is coming soon,” said Scott Vander-Heyden, Vice-President of Manufacturing, Amherst Label. “We’ve experienced increasing costs every year to maintain the current imager and have incurred hours of down time due to maintenance issues."
In addition, Amherst Label wanted a computer to plate system that could handle flexo plates as well as the film output needed for its screen printing business. They needed the efficiency of imaging plates and film in the same system, without the fixer and developer chemicals required for processing films. “Eliminating chemicals from our daily footprint is one of our goals. We are LIFE certified and always looking for ways to reduce our VOC’s thus creating a safer environment,” said Vander-Heyden. (LIFE is the Label Initiative for the Environment certification program of TLMI, Tag & Label Manufacturing Institute.)
“We were successfully achieving our LIFE goals with our previous CTP system. However after about 4-5 months, we started having trouble with removing the debris. A service call would be required to get us up and running. That would last for a little while but then the problems would crop up again. The old equipment just couldn’t handle outputting to both materials. With the improved vacuum system the CRON-ECRM unit has, we believe this will not be an issue.”
Another big selling point is the quality and service Amherst Label is getting from CRON-ECRM. Previously, they could image up to 2540 dpi — today they image at 5080 dpi with the HDI Flexo CTP system and can option up to 9600. The result, noted Vander-Heyden, is much better quality in highlights and gradients, which is especially important in label applications, where customers expect smooth, perfect transitions every time. “We have always taken pride in our ability to produce a high-quality product,” he said, but this is going to improve it even further.”
As for service, “we have had a very good experience so far,” he said. “Everyone we have talked to has been very knowledgeable, honest, and up front about everything. I love how responsive their team is — even when our contact person was on a trip overseas, I still received responses back to my email requests within the day. Having technicians close by is also a big factor — not having to fly in techs from other states means they’re always there when we need them or have a question.”
“Amherst Label is a fantastic company and we are proud they put their trust with us.” said Marshall Hogenson, Director of Sales — Flexo, CRON-ECRM. “We are pleased that we can be there for this progressive, family-owned business as they continue to evolve and expand their offerings. We believe the HDI Flexo CTP system is the best of its kind in the market today, and with customers like Amherst Label, we are proving that we have something to offer that no one else can match — the best quality, with the best service, and the best overall total cost of ownership.”