Drupa 2012 was an enormous success for Autobond. Now the family-run engineering company in Derbyshire, England, is celebrating this success with a full order book for at least the next six months and growing. "With many orders placed on our stand, and blessed with over two thousand enquiries to follow-up, the hard work only starts now", says Autobond M.D., John Gilmore.
"There's just no pattern to the countries where the orders are coming from. This was our ninth Drupa and it really was a truly international show. Orders have come from countries where you'd just never expect them to be spending. This week we shipped a machine to Italy, for goodness sake, with another Mini 105 going there next month. We got an order (and the money) from a printer in Iraq just this morning. The install engineers are drawing straws as we speak. Customers from L.A. to New Jersey have ordered. Everywhere from Australia through Palestine to Nigeria, people are parting with money. To listen to the news, you'd think there was no money left in Europe, yet we've orders from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and in England from the smallest commercial printers to the biggest book printers, we have multiple orders. Last week an existing customer in Portsmouth was astounded to find he'd have to wait 5 months for his new machine."
The company launched four new machines at drupa - the Micro 52 SD TP, the Mini 76 SD 'Multi', the Mini 105 TPHS, and the 52 SUV.
The Micro 52 is an entry level, fully-automatic laminating machine that is aimed at the short run, multi-colour B2 and B3 markets, with quick make-ready and tiny foot print. The heavy-duty laminator is capable of producing at a speed of 25 m/min (2,000 sph of B2 and 4,500 sph of SRA3) and has the option of a perfecting feature for two-sided lamination in one pass. The machine was developed as an easy-to-use, affordable option for printers who want to bring their lamination in-house, and for trade-shops to free up their larger, longer run machines.
The Mini 76 SD 'Multi' is a B1 sheet-fed quadruple-purpose laminator and encapsulator. Capable of single-sided and double-sided thin film lamination, the machine also enables double-sided thick film flush cut and encapsulation. This versatile machine has a production speed of up to 45 metres per minute and a servo-driven flying knife for sheet separation of 75 to 250 micron thick film.
The Mini 105 TPHS is a new high productivity thermal laminator capable of producing lamination on one side or on two sides in one pass. The machine has an impressive maximum speed of 130 metres per minute (10,000 B1 sph and 15,000 B2 sph).
The 52 SUV, an inkjet spot UV machine, was developed to meet the demand for B2 spot UV finishing. This offline machine has a maximum sheet size of 52 x 74 cm and features an automatic, continuous-run, top loading Heidelberg-Stahl suction drum feeder. It can also be run inline behind any existing Autobond laminator.
According to Gilmore, Autobond tries to stay at the forefront of finishing innovation by "spending a fortune on R&D." It is this, along with the reliability and high build quality that Autobond is renowned for, to which he attributes Autobond's tremendous success at Drupa. He says, "When times are tough, people look to see where they can save money. If they can spend on well built machinery that is built to last, it's a bit of a no-brainer. There is a lot of lightweight machinery out there. We, however, continue to produce machines with the same robust build quality that the print industry needs, using only German components from feeders and electronics, to motors, bearings, and pumps. In a nutshell, that's the reason for our success at Drupa."