Plate mounting time reduced by at least 75 percent for students of flexo
Manchester, UK – 11th June 2019 - An FTS plate mounter from JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of mounting and proofing solutions for the tag and label, flexible packaging, corrugated and gravure markets, has created a stir in the graphics communications department of Clemson University. Since installation in October last year, it has been achieving massive prepress time gains and become the equipment of choice for students studying flexographic printing.
The Heaford FTS mounter was installed at Clemson University by Gregg Gayle of US Flexo Solutions, JM Heaford’s representative in North America, to boost throughput following the recent introduction of a new seven-color Nilpeter FB3 press on site “If you have a state-of-the-art press you need a state-of-the-art mounter,” states Kern Cox, Senior Lecturer at Clemson. “Mounting had always been a bottleneck for us. Every four to six weeks per semester, there’s a flurry of prepress activity as deadlines approach for students to produce flexographic print pieces for their coursework. Plate mounting is definitely not a bottleneck now. The FTS mounter has cut mounting time by, easily, 75 percent. The continued support of JM Heaford and US Flexo Solutions has been instrumental in advancing the education of our students.”
According to Cox, the reduced plate mounting time is a factor in changing habits among students, but the ease-of-use of the Heaford FTS is more significant. “Students prefer the FTS mounter because it has a shorter learning curve and they can very accurately mount plates quickly,” he explains. “We still have a more manual version of mounter, a Heaford ELS model, which we encourage students to learn to use so that they develop the correct skills and techniques and fully understand the rudiments of what they’re doing. We find that understanding the equipment helps the students to become better problem solvers. Nevertheless, they very quickly gravitate towards the FTS once they realize the quality they can get with ease of use.”
The FTS mounter at Clemson features a user-friendly design and laser guides to help position and mount the plate quickly and accurately. It uses high-magnification cameras situated below a cushioned table to line up the register marks through a viewing slot on the table. Once the plate is positioned on the table and alignment verified, the action of sliding the table back and forth takes over the mounting process, this reduces the risk of plate damage, eliminates RSI from manual rolling and prevents any incidence of human error.
“The robustness of the FTS is phenomenal. With so many students coming brand new to the mounters, they suffer a lot of abuse,” adds Cox. “The quality is very important for the students – their grades depend on accuracy and we enter work into a number of competitions, so the solid precision build of the FTS is really appreciated.”
Around 100 students per year train in the flexographic printing process at Clemson, which involves creating their own portfolio of printed pieces. The hands-on modules of the curriculum aim to give them a thorough grounding in every task of the process so that they can recognize the need for proper tools and procedures and can understand the benefits of different technologies for improving production efficiencies and quality. Graduates of the school go on to work in every corner of the graphic communications world, including Sales and Service, Purchasing, Estimating, Marketing and Web Development, as well as more the technical and production-based roles where their practical equipment skills are used every day.
Plate/tape demounting system with unique tape mounting capability now adopted on four continents
Manchester, UK – 15th April 2019 - JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of mounting and proofing solutions for the tag and label, flexible packaging, corrugated and gravure markets, says its recently introduced multi-tasking Sleeve Productivity Station (SPS) has received a response beyond expectation from world markets. Following a soft launch in 2018, the solution is already installed on four continents and reflects the global drive towards improving efficiencies among companies of every size.
Installed in such geographically diverse markets as Canada, Mexico and Korea, the majority of SPS installations to date complement Heaford AutoMounter technology, where customers are eager to exploit time already gained. While the AutoMounter is performing its automated plate mounting, the dual-purpose system allows operators to multi-task and remove plates and tape on completed jobs and prepare sleeves for the next plate change.
Key to the success of the SPS is a controlled, measured and user-friendly mechanism, which requires minimal operator training. In demounting, plates and tape are “driven off” using a consistent, even force protecting against plate damage that can commonly occur in the demounting process. With plate costs conservatively estimated at €200 for a single standard-sized flexible packaging plate including material and imaging, this benefit is cited by customers as a significant incentive for investment. The returns are boosted further by improvements in employee wellbeing through eliminating the entirely manual process of plate/tape demounting and, with it, the risk of RSI.
The innovative design of the Heaford SPS offers a further unique capability. Due to its precision build featuring a sleeve mandrel that is customized to press specification the system can be used for accurate tape application. Using pressured laydown on the driven mandrel, tape is adhered onto the sleeves under a consistent pressure without air pockets or creases.
“The rapid take-up of our Sleeve Productivity Station highlights the fact that customers are increasingly realising the massive gains to be made from production streamlining and are looking for more ways to maximise efficiencies,” says Sally-Anne Heaford, Managing Director of JM Heaford Limited. “Most of the new installations to date have been made alongside our AutoMounters, the system offers opportunities to improve ease-of-use, accuracy and repeatability across the board. Functions such as taping and stripping are sometimes overlooked when a company is on an efficiency drive, but the productivity gains from deskilling the process and multitasking are considerable. When you factor in the financial savings from eliminated plate damage, the ROI of less than a year makes the purchasing decision unquestionable.”
The Heaford SPS is offered in vertical and horizontal taping formats. Videos showing it in operation can be viewed online here.
Manchester, UK – 17th January 2019 - JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of mounting and proofing solutions for the tag and label, flexible packaging, corrugated and gravure markets, is launching 2019 with a new face for customers in the Americas. Nicholas (Nick) Myaard joins as service engineer for the US, Canada and Latin American markets.
Based in Michigan, Myaard was previously engaged in a similar role for a leading flexo press manufacturer. A strong background in electronics ensures he has the appropriate skills for installation and support of the full range of Heaford technologies in the diverse Americas markets.
“We’re delighted to have Nick on board,” comments David Muncaster, Director of Operations and Business Development at JM Heaford. “With more than 1,700 Heaford machines installed in the Americas, and that number continually growing, it’s essential that we seek out the right talent to ensure that we continue to provide the level of service and support our customers deserve. That’s not just a matter of finding the relevant technical experience, it’s also about the personal skills and attributes that support the Heaford philosophy that gives our customers the confidence to keep coming back to us.”
According to Nick Myaard, Heaford’s leading reputation in the industry, along with the diverse product range and variety of customer applications among Heaford’s base are some of the most appealing aspects of his new role. “I really relish the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the industry and indulge my practical problem-solving to the full. At Heaford there’s nothing off the shelf or one size fits all; it’s about developing tailored solutions that add value for customers of whatever size or setup, with a strong focus on R&D and a number of exciting new products in the pipeline the future looks exciting.”
Three mounters demonstrated scalable solutions for streamlining production in any label printing operation
Manchester, UK – 7th November 2018 - For JM Heaford, the decision to take three mounting machines to Labelexpo was a clear success that resulted in all three being sold off the booth during the show. Chosen to demonstrate that efficiency and productivity gains are available for any size or scale of operation, the mounters drew a record number of visitors to the booth leading to sales to the USA, Canada, Colombia and Mexico since the show.
Heaford’s showcase product at Labelexpo, the Label AutoMounter, gave demonstrations of fully automated plate mounting designed to cater for larger label producers with round-the-clock operations and multiple presses. Taking less than one minute to mount any plate, it eliminates the need for skilled operators with overall control maintained via a simple, multi-lingual graphic interface and ability to store and recall over 100,000 jobs. The Heaford AutoMounter at the show was sold to E-Z Stick Labels, Sante Fe Springs, CA for use with a state-of-the-art press bought at the show.
Heaford’s market-leading FTS plate mounter was sold to an existing customer, Custom Label in Hayward, California. Offering semi-automation, ease-of-use, repeatable accuracy and speed, the FTS replaces a Heaford ELS model that the customer has been operating for almost 20 years. Having experienced the precision, reliability and low cost of ownership of the ELS, the customer decided to take the next step to the FTS model to coincide with a new press investment also made at the show. The company confidently expects to achieve payback on purchase of the FTS within a few months.
Designed to eliminate the need to mount plates “by eye”, the EES plate mounter on display was bought by Northern Label Inc, MI. With past experience of Heaford build quality, accuracy and longevity, the Michigan label printer took the EES plate mounter away with them as the show closed.
“The temptation at high-profile shows like Labelexpo is to focus all your energies on your biggest and best, the headline-grabbing products such as our AutoMounters, but this would be to disregard the needs of the vast majority of the market,” comments Sally-Anne Heaford, Managing Director of JM Heaford. “At JM Heaford we have consistently maintained a commitment to developing technologies that add value for customers of every size and production setup. Clearly, our strategy of expanding the booth at Labelexpo and showing our range of solutions for tag and label producers was a resounding success.”
JM Heaford Directors Sally-Anne Heaford and David Muncaster were joined for the duration of the show by Nick Vindel, Latin American Sales Manager, US based service engineer Gary Zima, and Gregg Gayle of US Flexo Solutions, Heaford’s exclusive US representative. US Flexo Solutions organised a competition during the Show designed to highlight the ease of plate mounting using the AutoMounter. As anticipated, everyone who tried also succeeded in mounting a perfectly registered plate, and the winner drawn from a hat was Paul Roux, VP of Development at Syracuse Label & Surround Printing.
“For US Flexo this Show was a testament to teamwork and cooperation” comments Gregg Gayle. “Of course, the Heaford mounters make my job easy. The fact that two of the three mounters on the booth were bought by return customers reflects the precision and reliability that comes from the build quality and components used. One of those customers was upgrading and adding capacity after using one of machines for almost 20 years – you can’t say better than that!”
Manchester, UK – 9th October 2018 - JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of mounting and proofing solutions for the tag and label, flexible packaging, corrugated and gravure markets, has made two new appointments to meet continued growth across all major markets. The recent appointment of an additional service engineer and new design engineer will help meet current demand while also maintaining the company’s long-term commitment to the diversifying needs of its customers.
Osama (Ozzy) Ismail has joined the Heaford team as a Service Engineer covering global territories. With a degree in electrical and electronics engineering, he is a member of both the Institute of Engineering and Technology (MIET) and the Chartered Management Institute (MCMI). Ismail comes to JM Heaford from Cobble Van De Wiele Ltd, a leading manufacturer of tufting machines for the textile and flooring industry, where he held the position of Senior Field Customer Support Engineer.
A graduate of electrical engineering from Reading University, Alistair Moore previously held the roles of Design Engineer for Gencoa, a supplier of systems for the vacuum coating markets, and Development Engineer for specialist component manufacturer, Truflo Marine. As a Design Engineer for JM Heaford, he joins the team tasked with maintaining the continual development of Heaford products to provide tailored engineering solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of its customers.
“We operate in such a dynamic market that we have to constantly review the skill sets and technology we require to maintain the momentum of growth and product relevance. Our ability to provide world-class customer service is critical to our customers and in turn to our business. This means ensuring all our service engineers are experienced in the most up-to-date servo drive technology and PLCs, along with having the rounded skills and knowledge to support our complete installed base of machines, many of which are still going strong after 30 years in service,” explains David Muncaster, Director of Operations and Business Development at JM Heaford. “In a similar way, our product design focus is not only about advancing the high-automation machines that grab all the headlines. We’re also continually looking for developments that will add value for customers of every size and production setup.”
Booth 3712 shows technologies to simplify and streamline production in any label printing operation
Manchester, UK - 30 Aug 2018 - With continued focus on streamlining print production, JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of mounting and proofing solutions for the tag and label, flexible packaging, corrugated and gravure markets, is highlighting its breadth of solutions to meet the requirements of label producers large and small at Labelexpo Americas (September 25 – 27). On Booth #3712 the company will be demonstrating the measurable benefits of systems from start-up and entry-level systems through to fully-automated flexographic plate mounting.
Exhibiting three plate mounters, the Heaford booth at Labelexpo Americas, illustrates that any scale of label production can take steps to improve efficiency and productivity.
Heaford’s showcase product is its Label AutoMounter launched at Labelexpo Europe last year. Taking less than one minute to mount any plate, it has a maximum cylinder/sleeve width of 700 mm (27.5 inches) and a repeat range of 150 – 610 mm (6 – 24 inches). The automated processes of the AutoMounter eliminate the need for skilled operators and make it ideal for larger label producers running round-the-clock with multiple presses to ensure consistent plate mounting each and every time. Overall control is maintained via a simple, multi-lingual graphic interface, and the system can store and recall over 10,000 jobs.
Booth 3712 will also show a Heaford FTS plate mounter, offering semi-automation, ease-of-use, repeatable accuracy and speed. Showing with the rotary plate cutter and pivoting tape roll holder options, the Heaford team at Labelexpo is available to explain how savings on press downtime and labour costs are giving customers payback on purchase within a few months.
Completing the trio of devices at the Show is the entry-level EES plate mounter, proposed for start-ups and those looking for the next step up in mounting speed and precision. Designed with the same emphasis on build quality, accuracy and longevity for which Heaford equipment is renowned, it minimises press downtime by eliminating the unreliable practice of mounting “by eye”.
“Maximum automation is of course the best choice for reducing human error and boosting productivity, but you don’t need to be running multiple narrow web presses to be able to gain tangible benefits from stepping up your plate mounting technology,” comments Sally-Anne Heaford, Managing Director of JM Heaford. “Our exhibits at Labelexpo show that there are many incremental opportunities for improvement that can make a huge difference to ease-of-use, accuracy and repeatability. Each Heaford system has been designed with these aims in mind and all the models we are showing at Labelexpo Americas have become bestsellers in their class for this very reason.”
JM Heaford Directors Sally-Anne Heaford and David Muncaster will be available throughout the Show alongside Nick Vindel, Latin American Sales Manager, US based service engineer Gary Zima and Gregg Gayle of US Flexo, Heaford’s recently appointed exclusive US representative, to meet customers, conduct demonstrations, and discuss with interested parties the gains to be made from investing in Heaford systems.
K-Group focused on modern technologies for quality print production
Manchester, UK - 21 Aug 2018 - JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of proofing and mounting solutions for the labels, flexible packaging, corrugated and decorative markets, has appointed the K-Group of Companies as its exclusive agent in Pakistan. The agreement follows a steady increase in sales enquiries from the country and reflects a growing demand for quality flexographic production.
Founded in 1997, the K-Group now has a team of six sales engineers and five service engineers and is well-established in Pakistan as the supplier of many leading technologies in the gravure and flexographic industries. These include systems from Windmöller & Hölscher, MPS Systems, Jkampf, Garant-Maschinen, NGR (Next Generation Recycling), AciGraf and Zecher. In the new agreement, K-Group will supply Heaford proofers for Pakistan’s rotogravure-dominant market and mounters for its growing flexographic market.
According to Kafil Shaikh, CEO and Director of the K-Group of Companies, JM Heaford is a perfect fit for the company’s portfolio, “We’re focused on representing the world’s most renowned manufacturers of reliable and well-engineered machines in order to bring modern technologies, capabilities and a greater competitiveness to local and multinational companies located in Pakistan. We’ve done extensive research and there’s no doubt that Heaford is the brand of quality in mounting and proofing.”
The Heaford mid- and wide-range of CM+ moving camera mounters are expected to be especially popular within K-Group’s target markets. Covering all common sleeve widths from 1300 – 1800 mm (51 – 70.9 inches) and with a repeat range of 1130 up to 1400mm (44 – 55 inches), they feature a cantilevered mandrel design for fast loading and unloading. Two 100x magnification motorised cameras with position-control electric drives allow for easy set-up and quick adjustments via on screen icons where multiple positions can be set manually, taught or imported and stored, providing for a mounting accuracy of up to 10 microns.
Shaikh believes the trend towards flexography is accelerating due to the increased availability of high-quality materials and equipment, but that there is widespread need for better information and education. “The industry is at a crucial stage currently,” he says. “If print providers make the wrong choices when first engaging with flexo production, it could jeopardise their whole operation. We aim to provide our customers with timely insight, advice and the very best quality equipment so that their move into flexo is a success. We won’t be satisfied until Pakistan is a centre of flexo excellence!”
Having engaged K-Group’s services after initial meetings at the 3P Pakistan trade show in March, Graham Harrison, International Sales Manager at JM Heaford feels very positive about Heaford’s opportunities for growth in the country: “I see great potential within the Pakistani market as the country continues to invest in the flexographic printing sector. We identified K-Group as the ideal partner to support this growth through their commitment to investing time and expertise in helping customers become efficient and competitive producers of high-quality flexographic print.”
Local expertise benefits customers and market development
Manchester, UK - 10 Jul 2018 - A “remarkably successful” Latin Pack 2018 - CHILE has confirmed for JM Heaford that its strategic focus on building local service and support in Chile is benefitting customers and boosting market share. Visitor footfall and customer engagement during the inaugural Label Pack show (June 7-8) reflected increased sales momentum and growing awareness of Heaford technology since appointing Packaging Xpert as its agent in Chile.
JM Heaford’s commitment to local initiatives and industry events has opened up a range of new opportunities for the company. As well as being an active participant in the successful launch of Latin Pack, Heaford was invited to present a keynote address on developments in mounting technology during the event. The company has also enjoyed steady sales success with installations at most major converters including BO Packaging, Impresos Industriales and Edelpa, among others.
According to Nick Vindel, Latin America Sales Manager at JM Heaford, the company’s advances in Chile are strategically significant: "Although Chile is relatively small by population, there are many established and growing companies now investing in better technology to improve efficiencies and workflow. You can see this from the number of new systems in the last two years, including modern mounters such as our FTS model. It is the synergy between high-quality products and the local focus of Packaging Xpert that has allowed us to increase our market share in Chile.
“We have over 45 installations in Chile and have been in the market for about 25 years, so companies clearly continue to trust in our brand and our evolving technology,” continues Vindel. “Packaging Xpert build on this further. Directors Fernando Alvarez and Herman Zepeda bring with them extensive experience ‘at the coalface’, both having previously worked in packaging print production themselves, so they understand the needs of customers intimately,” adds Vindel.
In the last two years, JM Heaford has installed six machines in Chile. Antonio Nuñez is Operations Director at Edelpa and recently specified a Heaford ELS 700 mounter for mounting sleeves up to 700mm for the company’s new Bobst presses: "We have a total of five Heaford systems in our flexographic and rotogravure divisions now. We chose them because we know the technology well and have total confidence in the overall quality of the engineering, as well as the consistent performance they deliver.”
Rigoberto Toro, Operations Director at BO Packaging, who installed a Heaford MW 1300 DX for up to 1300mm wide sleeves, servicing multiple Comexi presses, comments, “We decided to purchase a Heaford system because it’s so easy to use while also exceptionally precise. Our operators are very happy with the decision.”
Represented by Packaging Xpert for two years now, JM Heaford’s involvement in regional initiatives and industry events has received wide recognition across all sectors. Fernando Alvarez, Founder Partner at Packaging Xpert and Project Manager of the trade association CENEM (Centro de Envases y Embalajes de Chile) explains: "JM Heaford is one of the most important manufacturers that we represent. In Chile they are without doubt the market leader, preferred by both wide web and label flexo printers, and widely recognised for quality, robustness and technical support. In rotogravure, the latest proofing presses in the market have all been JM Heaford. We believe that in the next few years we will see a shift in the market: on one side, the updating of printing technologies alongside an improvement in the economic conditions of the country. At the same time, we project that there will be a strong increase in the export of foodstuffs that require packaging.”
Herman Zepeda, Joint Partner at Packaging Xpert adds, “I am very proud of my relationship with JM Heaford, equally as a customer when I worked at Alusa and Polytec Guatemala, and now as their representative. Their contribution to the industry is immense. I remember only too well how slow mounters used to be and how many re-mounts were commonly required due to incorrect register. Heaford’s Microdot technology revolutionized the process by slashing mounting times and dramatically reducing overall press downtime. Today Heaford continues to be ahead of the field, innovating with products such as the new AutoMounters, which offer a unique market proposition as well as the signature Heaford precision – at +/-5 microns it is truly unmatched in the industry.”
FTS and ELS models demonstrate speed and accuracy for plate mounting operations
Manchester, UK - 14 Jun 2018 - JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of mounting and proofing solutions for the tag and label, flexible packaging, corrugated and gravure markets, is exhibiting as part of the Gallus Innovation Days later this month. Taking place at Gallus headquarters in St Gallen, Switzerland, June 26-28, the company is highlighting Heaford solutions that offer label producers the best-value quick and precise semi-automatic plate mounting.
With its industry-leading FTS and ELS mounters the focus of JM Heaford’s appearance at the Gallus Innovation Days, the company aims to demonstrate the ease-of-use, accuracy and build quality that form the cornerstone of all Heaford technology. The FTS 700 and ELS 600 are permanently within the Gallus Demonstration Centre for use during press trials and for potential Gallus customers to see operating. JM Heaford is inviting visitors to try out the equipment themselves to experience first-hand their ease-of-use and their speed and accuracy of mounting.
The Heaford FTS has been frequently described as “game-changing” technology since it was first launched onto the market five years ago. It allows non-skilled operators to quickly learn how to mount a plate accurately in less than one minute. The simple procedure involves placing a plate on the table and aligning the register marks with two cameras via a viewing slot in the cushioned table. Once the operator has done this and verified alignment, the cylinder is lowered so that the plate adheres to it, and then it rolls back and forth over the plate to eliminate any air.
The ELS also available for demonstration during the Gallus Innovation Days shares the same build quality, accuracy and durability for which Heaford equipment is renowned. It makes a great entry-level investment for the ambitious printer in eliminating all the expensive press downtime caused through inaccurate mounting “by eye”. The 600 mm-wide ELS 600 model consists of a modular platform that can be fitted with a range of additional options and upgraded over time. It is available as cylinder and sleeve version and features quick-release camera focal adjustment.
“With its slogan ‘Solutions for Printing Champions’ the Gallus event is a great fit for Heaford this year in showcasing technologies designed to provide a competitive edge for any size of organisation,” comments Graham Harrison, International Sales Manager at JM Heaford. “At Heaford we work to the same build quality and precision parameters for all our solutions to ensure that, whatever the level of operator expertise, we can help printers of any size become champions in their field.”
Booth 419 demonstrates simplified operation and bottom-line benefits of AutoMounter technology.
Manchester, UK - 30 Apr 2018 - Maintaining its focus on new solutions for streamlining print production, JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of mounting and proofing solutions for the tag and label, flexible packaging, corrugated and gravure markets, will be highlighting automation opportunities at INFOFLEX 2018 (May 7th – 8th) at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis. Exhibiting on Booth 419, a wide-web Heaford AutoMounter will be demonstrating features and technologies developed to deliver consistent, high-speed accuracy at the push of a button. This year’s INFOFLEX is also the first public event for Heaford following the appointment of new representation in the USA.
Now installed across five continents, Heaford AutoMounters are commonly achieving return-on-investment in less than a year. The booth at INFOFLEX will feature plate mounting demonstrations illustrating the key characteristics of the technology for delivering a quick return. These include ease-of-use, quick setup, and high-speed precision.
In standard widths up to 1800 mm and a repeat range up to 1350mm, the AutoMounter configuration features an innovative approach to the conventional. With a cantilever mandrel mounted above motorised cameras and patented printing plate manipulators, developed to give plates stability due to their unique curved design, the design gives the operator unparalleled access while also keeping the footprint to a minimum by eliminating the need for complicated front and rear table systems. Set-up is straightforward and quickly adjustable via on-screen icons allowing multiple positions to be set and stored, with the ability to store and recall over 100,000 jobs.
The operator is required only to roughly position the plate on the manipulators so that targets/register marks are visible, and then press the foot pedal. At this point, the AutoMounter takes over entirely. Using dual axis, independent, closed-loop controls, the printing plates are accurately positioned and adjusted according to print repeat, plate thickness, and tape thickness. Each plate is mounted with a positional accuracy of +/- five microns in less than one minute.
US Flexo Solutions is now responsible for sales of all Heaford flexographic mounters and proofers in the USA, with ongoing support from the dedicated Heaford installation, service and parts teams, including JM Heaford’s US-based installation and service engineer.
According to Gregg Gayle, founder of US Flexo Solutions, the speed and hands-free accuracy of the Heaford AutoMounter are key to providing immediate productivity benefits that lead to superfast return on investment: “Heaford has the winning formula because the automation is paired with registration that is fast, reliable and repeatable. The plate is mounted perfectly first time, every time. It means that the press is never waiting for remounting of plates as mismounted plates are a thing of the past – as are all the costs, waste and lost time associated with them.
“But perhaps even more significant is the fact that literally anyone can operate the AutoMounter with the same results, providing a consistent, repeatable process,” concludes Gayle. “Essentially, with the AutoMounter, Heaford have succeeded in de-skilling the plate mounting process, freeing up skilled prepress personnel to be more usefully engaged elsewhere. Our first US users are delighted with the competitive edge they have gained through these efficiencies – so much so they plan on ensuring it remains a well-kept secret!”
Gayle, along with JM Heaford Directors Sally-Anne Heaford and David Muncaster and Heaford’s US based service engineer Gary Zima, will be at the INFOFLEX Show to meet customers, conduct AutoMounter demonstrations, and discuss with interested parties how they can calculate precisely the gains to be made from investing in Heaford automation.
Long-term Heaford specialist becomes “go to” representative for Heaford flexo technology in the USA
Manchester, UK - 20 Mar 2018 - JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of mounting and proofing solutions for the tag and label, flexible packaging, corrugated and gravure markets, has appointed new representation in the USA. Effective since the start of the year, US Flexo Solutions of Newark, DE, is now responsible for sales of all Heaford flexographic mounters and proofers in the USA, with ongoing support from the dedicated Heaford installation, service and parts teams.
The move gives JM Heaford a dedicated and exclusive resource for its vast installed base and future market in the USA, while retaining the hands-on skills and experience of Gregg Gayle, a leading authority in the US flexographic industry. US Flexo Solutions will continue to work with JM Heaford’s own US-based installation and service engineer.
"We’re excited to be extending our successful long-term relationship with Gregg in the knowledge that the arrangement provides substantial benefits to customers," comments Sally-Anne Heaford, Managing Director of JM Heaford. "We anticipate a simplified and more streamlined service for customers whatever their requirements. That means faster turnaround on pricing and equipment specification, right through to installation, training, parts and maintenance. Also, because US Flexo are focused exclusively on Heaford technology for mounting and proofing solutions, customers will get in-depth knowledge, seamless service and diligent customer care."
As founder of US Flexo Solutions, Gregg Gayle brings extensive experience to the new role. He previously worked for the Agfa Graphics Packaging Division and before that Pitman, when the companies were distributors representing Heaford. He has also held product management roles with DuPont Cyrel and Agfa. Having started his professional career machining tools and dies for his own business, Gayle says that his expert eye for a well-manufactured product has been central to his ongoing affiliation with Heaford.
"Heaford is US market leader in flexo mounters and proofers for a good reason – their quality is truly second to none. They’re also uniquely focused on their core business and committed to continuous innovation for efficiency and safety," says Gayle. "This is a fascinating and challenging time in the industry as flexo continues to refine and redefine itself through ever-better quality. As the dots get smaller and edges get sharper, the auxiliary equipment needs to follow to maintain the momentum of development. Registration has to be fast, reliable and repeatable and that’s where Heaford excel. They’re well ahead of the curve."
JM Heaford has been very active in the US since the company was founded in 1983, and American printers have been among the early adopters of Heaford’s most significant technological developments, such as the first microdot mounter and proofer bought by James River (now Printpack). To date, over 1,000 Heaford units have been installed into the US across the range of technologies, from seven-inch label plate mounters to a 14-feet wide cylinder gravure proof press.
"We have a long established and very valued relationship with the US market," adds Sally-Anne Heaford. "This agreement will ensure that continues to flourish as we and US Flexo Solutions invest our resources in the US."
Quimica Anders will offer ongoing support and next-generation technology to wider market
Manchester, UK - 13 Feb 2018 - JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of proofing and mounting solutions for the labels, flexible packaging, corrugated and decorative markets, has appointed a new agent for Ecuador. Quimica Anders Cia Ltda., which has already been representing JM Heaford in Peru since 2004, has now taken over responsibility for sales and support of Heaford mounters and proofers for the Ecuadorian flexible packaging, narrow web and corrugated industries.
With sales of Heaford mounters and proofers into Ecuador dating back to 1994, JM Heaford currently has more than 20 installed models and is widely recognized as the market leader, according to Nick Vindel, Latin American Sales Manager with JM Heaford. This appointment, he says, comes at a crucial time in terms of local industry trends and Heaford's own strategic product development:
"We have been working very successfully with Quimica Anders in the Peruvian market for many years, increasing our market share and sales, and we feel that they are the right company to drive sales forward in this growing market," explains Vindel. "Quimica Anders has a very progressive and proactive technical sales department, headed by Alexander Piedra, which has the knowledge and expertise to support customers, both in their day-to-day needs and for the longer term in helping them improve the efficiency of their mounting operations and workflow with our equipment. Alexander has been active for more than 14 years in the market and is well known and respected by all, not only among the converters who already have Heaford equipment, but also in the flexible packaging and label markets where we aim to grow our sales."
Quimica Anders Ecuador was established in 2004 and today is certified to ISO 9001 - 2015, serving eight market segments in the country. At its headquarters in the capital Quito and regional office in Guayaquil the company maintains a demonstration suite of latest of products from its growing client portfolio, including Macdermid Graphics Solutions, MDC Daetwyler, Lohmann, Apex, Trelleborg, Recyl, AVT, DOW, AFS and Flexo Wash.
According to Piedra, Ecuador is currently experiencing a period of growth among converters across all market segments: "This is an opportunity to take customers to the next level with Heaford technology. It allows us to offer the combined advantages of first-time accuracy, faster turnaround and job throughput and, thus, greater production capacity.
"Initial feedback from the installed base in Ecuador has been extremely encouraging," continues Piedra. "The existing Heaford users have only positive things to say about their experience. For example: 'Heaford is synonymous with reliability and quality' - that's what we were told by the general manager and founder of NeyPlex CA in Quito. You can't get better than that - it promises great things to come in Ecuador."
Apprenticeships and service awards reassert Heaford's focus on quality manufacture
Cheshire, UK - 23rd January 2018 - Predicting 2018 to be a year of ongoing record growth, JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of proofing and mounting solutions for the labels, flexible packaging, corrugated and decorative markets, has confirmed its long-term commitment to the industry through investment in new talent and recognition of its longstanding expertise. The appointment of two new apprentices alongside recognition of four long-service achievements is part of the company's plan to ensure continuation of its core focus on product quality and innovation to meet the changing needs of its diverse range of customers.
Under the close tutelage of Director of Operations and Business Development, David Muncaster, the two new Heaford team members have both started four-year apprenticeships incorporating formal academic training in their chosen fields. Having studied electrical and electronic engineering to date, Hakim Ali will now train to qualify in mechatronics. Gwilym Heaford will build on experience across a range of engineering fields, including an award in Industrial Environmental Awareness, to qualify in mechanical engineering.
"This is an awesome opportunity," comments Ali. "Not only do I get to learn what I consider to be a really exciting field of engineering today, but I'm doing it in a proper business environment, experiencing all the real pressures and demands of meeting needs day-to-day and learning from the experienced guys that have a huge amount of knowledge. I can't wait to be contributing more to new product developments as they happen!"
The experience and knowledge of Ali's new colleagues recently received formal recognition by the company when awards were presented to four long-service achievers. Between them, Phil Lewtas, Graham Littler, Paul Robson and Nigel Heaford have served more than 100 years with JM Heaford; both Production Supervisor Paul Robson and International Sales Manager Nigel Heaford joined the company as young apprentices themselves. The four attributed this longevity to, among other things, the working atmosphere and the satisfaction of receiving customer thanks, as well as the challenge of supplying to "an industry that is constantly pushing its own barriers". During their time at JM Heaford, the group has contributed to several key technology developments, such as the introduction of microdot mounting to the flexographic market. For Senior Design Engineer Graham Littler, these have included the personal success of numerous patents, including the award-winning FTS mounter and AutoMounter technology.
"We always try to maintain a balanced intake of new talent, for the benefit of our customers, of our own reputation and of the industry as a whole," comments Sally-Anne Heaford, Managing Director of JM Heaford. "It's not always easy to attract young talent prepared to commit for the long-term but we see it as an essential step in ensuring continuity of our knowhow, manufacturing standards and ongoing service to our global install base. Hakim and Gwilym follow in the footsteps of a number of successful apprentices over the past few years who have stayed with us and flourished. For their time investment, they will be rewarded with some of the best hands-on training available from seasoned professionals in an industry that guarantees to keep them on their toes for the duration."
“Quality” visitors from more than 70 countries look for guaranteed ROI
Cheshire, UK – 31st October 2017 - JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of proofing and mounting solutions for the labels, flexible packaging, corrugated and decorative markets, has received its highest ever volume of serious sales enquiries from a Labelexpo show at this year’s Labelexpo Europe. Follow-up since the event to date has confirmed more than 90 percent of discussions initiated during the four days in Brussels as “live” queries.
Demonstrations on the booth at Labelexpo launched the Heaford Label AutoMounter to international visitors from more than 70 countries and underlined the extensive appeal of the technology for a wide range of business types and sizes. Its consistent plate mounting in less than one minute per plate was widely commended, with a key differentiator being repeatable five-micron accuracy irrespective of operator experience or skill.
The best-selling Heaford FTS mounter served as inspiration in designing the Label AutoMounter unit. Two cameras are positioned below the cylinder and plate manipulators to ensure easy access while also keeping the footprint to a minimum. Operator intervention is limited to just simple loading of the cylinder into pneumatically operated headstocks and loose positioning of the plate over curved manipulators. The AutoMounter then takes over, precisely positioning the plate using dual-axis closed-loop controls, and then completing the process by means of an integrated lay-down roller.
Parties showing interest in the Label AutoMounter came from the widest range of labelling businesses. In addition to mid-sized label manufacturers, small independents, larger organisations and global groups were equally in attendance. As a result, JM Heaford is now in active consultation with a broad range of international customers and prospects for this latest addition to its AutoMounter product family.
“Large, small or mid-sized, and regardless of geographical market, we found that guaranteed return-on-investment is the one common factor that all prospective customers are looking for,” says Sally-Anne Heaford, Managing Director of JM Heaford. “And I’m confident in stating that we have achieved this with our AutoMounters due to the simplicity of design, the speed with which they are in operation and yielding a return, and the immediate savings they deliver. Our first wide-web AutoMounter installs are on track to achieving ROI well ahead of schedule. It is for this reason that several multinationals have taken note and are exploring the potential for installing multiple units across group sites.”
Among the meetings at Labelexpo, JM Heaford reports that an unusually high volume involved South American label manufacturers, with a particularly large contingent from Brazil. Nick Vindel, JM Heaford Sales Manager for Latin America, believe this level of interest was stimulated by the existing and growing strong presence and reputation of Heaford technology in that market: “Heaford build quality and precision has achieved high status in Brazil, and a recent flurry of new FTS mounter installations has strengthened that reputation. After a long period of political crisis, there are now positive signs of improving conditions so Brazilian label makers are looking for ways to ensure long-term survival by reducing set-up and downtime and by improving process standardization.”
JM Heaford continues the roll-out of the Heaford Label AutoMounter at a series of conferences and trade shows in coming months, including in the Americas and Asia. For anyone unable to attend, the company extends an open invitation to arrange a demonstration at its main facility in Cheshire UK. A video of the AutoMounter technology in action can also be viewed on Vimeo and YouTube or by clicking here.
Automated plate mounting offers reliability and repeatability for streamlined label production
Cheshire, UK – 5th September 2017 – Focused on new solutions for streamlining print production, JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of proofing and mounting solutions for the labels, flexible packaging, corrugated and decorative markets, is launching its latest innovation for narrow web printers at Labelexpo Europe (September 25-28). Exhibiting in Hall 7 (Stand 7D33), the new Heaford Label AutoMounter takes centre stage, showcasing its combined technologies for ensuring first-time, consistent accuracy and dramatically reducing press downtime.
Based on the same technology platform as its AutoMounter for flexible packaging launched at drupa last year, Heaford’s new Label AutoMounter has been designed to eliminate the need for skilled operators in plate mounting by combining a series of failsafe automatic procedures with unique machine ergonomics. With a maximum cylinder width of 700 mm (27.5 inches) and a repeat range of 150 – 610 mm (6 – 24 inches), it offers automatic plate mounting, within a five-micron tolerance, in less than one minute per plate.
The company has drawn on the success of its best-selling FTS mounter in designing the internal configuration of the Label AutoMounter unit. Two cameras are positioned below the cylinder and plate manipulators to ensure easy access while also keeping the footprint to a minimum. Operator intervention is limited to just simple loading of the cylinder into pneumatically operated headstocks and loose positioning of the plate over curved manipulators. The AutoMounter then takes over, precisely positioning the plate using dual-axis closed-loop controls, and then completing the process by means of an integrated lay-down roller.
Overall control is maintained via a simple, multi-lingual graphic interface, and set-up can be by co-ordinates imported, manual programming or using teaching mode. The system can store and recall over 10,000 jobs and the Label AutoMounter also allows manual override. A sleeve dedicated model is also available.
To complement the core operation of the Heaford Label AutoMounter, it can also be specified with additional options, such as a Precision Plate Cutter for enabling precise plate joins with a gap of 0.3mm, which can provide a cost-effective alternative to continuous print sleeves. Heaford team members are available on the stand at Labelexpo to discuss and demonstrate the range and purpose of options in relation to specific production requirements.
Following the successful launch and market uptake of the Heaford wide web AutoMounter for flexible packaging, with sales on five continents, Sally-Anne Heaford, Managing Director of JM Heaford, is buoyant about the company’s label solution. “Feedback from early users of our AutoMounter has been very positive; customers are on track to beat the return-on-investment forecast that we provided for them upfront, which was based on their existing production requirements,” says Sally-Anne Heaford. “In reality, they are discovering that once they have got used to the extra time they gained in make-ready, they discover more opportunities to increase productivity and overall output. With today’s trend towards more job changes and shorter runs in label production, our Label AutoMounter can make a significant contribution to supporting the advantages of flexo over digital.”
The JM Heaford stand at Labelexpo Europe also features a range of the most popular and relevant Heaford models for international visitors to the Show. In addition to the headlining Label AutoMounter, the main line-up comprises:
FTS 700 2CM – A 700 mm maximum-width plate mounter fitted with two motorised cameras, allowing for multiple plates to be mounted across the cylinder. Plate positions can be stored and then recalled, and the cameras will automatically position themselves correctly for start-up. It is available as a cylinder or sleeve version.
FTS 500 – A 500 mm-wide manual mounter with user-friendly design for guiding the operator in quick and accurate camera-positioning and mounting. It is available as a cylinder or sleeve version.
ELS 600 – A 600 mm-wide traditional plate mounter. The ELS 600 consists of a modular platform that can be fitted with a range of additional options and upgraded over time, as required. It is available as cylinder and sleeve version and it also features quick-release camera focal adjustment.
EES 500 – An entry-level plate mounter designed purposely for start-ups and emerging markets. This model is available only as a cylinder version.
About Heaford - Headquartered in Altrincham, UK, JM Heaford Ltd was founded in 1983 as a manufacturer of gravure proofing equipment. The company’s ethos of providing flexible, tailored design and production solutions saw it diversify with the addition of flexographic proofing and mounting devices. Among these were the world’s first machines for mounting flexo plates using microdot technology. A recipient of several international awards for design and manufacturing excellence, Heaford continues to manufacture from its Manchester base, assisted by agents in more than 100 countries. It has a US subsidiary company with a US based service and installation engineer. The company prides itself on a high calibre of workmanship which delivers machines that are “second-to-none in every facet of their construction”. For more information email email@example.com.
Flexo efficiency offers timely opportunities as market improves.
24th August 2017 – JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of proofing and mounting solutions for the labels, flexible packaging, corrugated and decorative markets, has confirmed a new strategic partnership in South America with the appointment of Maquinarium Representação Industrial as its agent for the Brazilian market.
Under the directorship of Fernando Albuquerque, Maquinarium takes over sole responsibility for sales of all Heaford systems for flexible packaging and labelling in Brazil. Albuquerque’s extensive experience in these sectors includes many years working for Comexi do Brasil, and his company is already well-established with a supplier portfolio including Uteco Converting, Corona Supplies, TESA, LR products, SET and Empron.
According to Albuquerque, latest market developments suggest this is a good time to welcome Heaford into the Maquinarium portfolio. “The four-year period of political crisis in Brazil seems to be drawing to a close and there are positive signs of improving conditions. It is especially encouraging for peripheral and auxiliary equipment such as Heaford’s, which through reducing set-up and downtime and improving process standardization can offer the means to survival in a tough market.
“I have followed the activities of JM Heaford in Brazil for many years, and have only ever heard positive reports about their equipment for its reliability, durability of build and advanced technology,” concludes Albuquerque. “Having JM Heaford as one of my principals at Maquinarium is without doubt a great addition and a great responsibility.”
Nick Vindel, Latin America Sales Manager for JM Heaford is equally positive about the prospects for the new association: “JM Heaford has been present in the Brazilian market since 1984 and we continue to be committed to this vast market, which has an estimated 3500 active converters and more than 4000 flexo presses. Fernando’s knowledge and contacts in the flexible packaging industry, combined with his drive and determination make him an ideal representative for the Brazilian market. JM Heaford continue to offer local technical service, and now we also have an enthusiastic and motivated company for our sales and marketing activities in Brazil. Together we can continue to support our existing customers while also actively driving forward our new technologies to support the long-term success of the Brazilian flexo industry.”
For more information go to: www.maquinarium.com.br
Largest combined investment confirms Reflex as number one user of bestselling Heaford labels solution.
Cheshire, UK – 3 August 2017 – JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of proofing and mounting solutions for the labels, packaging and decorative markets, has received orders for four machines from Reflex Labels in the UK. The investment follows positive experience of the technology following an initial FTS installation in 2015 and a comprehensive evaluation of its efficiency gains and benefits since that time.
With the programme of installation already underway, Reflex has now received delivery of the first two FTS mounters at its site in Barwell, Leicestershire, which specialises in labels and printed laminates for sachets. The remaining machines – one for Mansfield and one for Boston, Lincolnshire – are scheduled to be in operation before the end of August.
According to Paul Sefton, Operations Manager at Reflex Labels, sustainability is at the heart of operations here at Reflex, which is the driving force behind the choice of Heaford: “We invest in technology for continuous improvement and our day-to-day experience of the FTS has provided hard evidence that it delivers considerable efficiency improvements,” comments Mr Sefton. “It mounts plates more than twice as fast as a conventional mounter. Then, when you factor in its accuracy, easy operation and the minimal human intervention required, it all adds up to a huge advantage for production on the kind of scale we are handling at each Reflex site.”
The four machines in the new order are identical in specification, while differing from the first FTS installation at the company’s facility in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which included a specialised micro-gap cutter to provide consistent plate joining accuracy for continuous design printing without the need for ITR (in-the-round) sleeves. The FTS uses high-magnification cameras situated below a cushioned table to line up with the register marks through a viewing slot on the table. Once the operator has positioned the plate on the table and verified alignment, the machine takes over the mounting process, eliminating any further operator contact to reduce the risk of plate or cylinder damage and prevent any incidence of human error.
For Reflex, the faster, more accurate mounting systems means that each FTS can service multiple presses at the same time, which is a key benefit. “There’s no risk of production delay while we wait for plates to be mounted,” adds Mr Sefton. “The mounted cylinders can be ready by the press to change from one job to the next with minimal downtime.”
Claiming return on investment within a year for the FTS mounter, Heaford maintains that the lack of manual intervention required in operation has additional cost benefits over and above the speed of changeover. “The costs that accrue due to plate and tape damage in a large set-up can be eye-watering, both in terms of consumables outlay and lost production time,” explains Nigel Heaford, sales manager at JM Heaford. “The FTS is purpose designed to mount plates with total precision every time in a fast operation. Even in the hands of an inexperienced operator the machine performs to the highest accuracy while minimising any risk of plate damage. When it comes to production on the scale they do it at Reflex, the FTS will continue to prove its value in their drive towards efficiency and sustainability.”
From its ten BRC-certified UK sites Reflex practices a strategy of investing in new high-quality production equipment and processes to produce packaging for some of the world’s best-known brands. Its exhaustive range of packaging services covers labels and labelling systems, flexible packaging and shrink sleeves, including specialist and value-added processes such as HD flexo, foiling, holographics, braille and personalized labelling. The company has an ever-growing range of energy-saving initiatives and pursues a reduce, re-use, recycle policy with the goal of achieving zero landfill waste.
For more information go to: http://reflexlabels.co.uk
Cheshire, UK – 15 June 2017 – DewaFlex, JM Heaford’s agent for France, has confirmed the permanent appointment of a new sales manager to handle growing demand for Heaford products in France. A steady rise in enquiries regarding Heaford flexo proofing and mounting systems has served as catalyst for the decision.
The formal appointment of Niels Soenen follows a provisional period during which he has focused on increasing awareness in France of Heaford technologies for improving efficiency of flexo print production. In particular, the new position recognises increased sales activity regarding the FTS narrow-web mounter and an overall upsurge in interest from smaller French label printing companies.
“You could say that the name Heaford has been a well-kept secret in France,” comments Soenen. “We have found many flexo printers operating Heaford models round the clock without even realising they have one. Because they are so robust and reliable, running day-in, day-out without an issue, their operators have never needed to contact the manufacturer. It’s a great endorsement of build quality and customer satisfaction, but my role is to continue spreading the word about the other Heaford machines that can make a significant difference to the productivity and efficiency of label printing operations.”
Established in 2013 and operating in France and Benelux, DewaFlex is commercial agent for a number of leading suppliers to the flexo industry including Zecher anilox rollers, Axcyl sleeves, Doyle dust suction systems and Alpha rewinder tables. The company also has its own range of anilox cleaning products and services. In addition to sales, installation and servicing for all its products, DewaFlex strengthens its offering to customers through providing independent consultancy on flexo production projects.
According to Pieter Dewaele, Owner/Director of DewaFlex, the timing of this appointment coincides with generally positive signs from across the flexo industry in France. “Even though there is still a lot of shift within the French label printing and flexible packaging industries, we are nevertheless seeing strong indicators for Heaford,” explains Dewaele. “They produce very innovative, yet stable machines, which are ideal for taking the next step in production. Following some of the latest trends, there is also a real need for mounting machines that are both very accurate and fast. Heaford is addressing this through its semi-automatic and fully automatic offerings.
JM Heaford’s Managing Director Sally-Anne Heaford explains the significance of this appointment for the manufacturer: “The sustained flow of new business enquiries and completed orders confirms that French labels printers in particular are getting wise to the suitability of Heaford models for their specialist high-quality applications. It’s thanks to the focus and professionalism of DewaFlex and, of course, our proven manufacturing standards that they are gaining competitive advantages through Heaford applied design.”
Altrincham, UK – 5th April 2017 – JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of proofing and mounting solutions for the labels, packaging and decorative markets, has appointed David Muncaster to the new role of Director of Operations and Business Development. Muncaster brings an extensive background in multiple print sectors with specific expertise in process improvement and strategic product development.
Most recently EMEA Director of Packaging Development for Goss International, Muncaster has worked in the printing industry for 30 years in a variety of engineering and customer-facing roles encompassing production control, project management, procurement and sales. The new position at Heaford allows him to combine all disciplines in his broad remit to deliver continuous capability and productivity improvements for customers.
Drawing on his considerable market knowledge and manufacturing process expertise, Muncaster will direct product development in line with emerging trends and technical advancements. “The key to success will be in identifying those developments with the potential to make a substantial difference to our customers’ businesses and then innovating our own offering quickly and efficiently,” explains Muncaster. “This is both the challenge and the charm of the role. With an already vast installed base, as well as prospective new customers in all market segments, it presents the opportunity to make a contribution to the ongoing success of a highly-respected British brand.”
With over 4,000 proofing and mounting machines installed in more than 110 countries, Heaford’s extensive range of solutions has become an industry benchmark for the gravure and flexographic sectors since the company’s establishment in 1983. According to Managing Director, Sally-Anne Heaford, while the company has a solid base and significant market penetration, the appointment of Muncaster recognises the speed of change in these industries today: “A new dedicated resource focused exclusively on enhancing operational efficiency and forward-thinking developmental improvements will benefit our company and most importantly our customers. With his proven record in commercial and technical roles, as well as his open approach and keen attention to detail, we are certain that David will be able to fulfil his new responsibilities while preserving the Heaford hallmark of excellence.”