Tom Bulow-Kristiansen, sales manager of the labels division at Norwegian converter NorStamp, says, “The installation of a Martin Automatic splicer has made our prices more competitive by cutting waste and improving accuracy and quality." The Martin splicer, an MBSC model, is fitted to an ABG Omega ATR label finishing line at the company’s plant in Stokke, about 100 kms south of the country’s capital, Oslo. Bulow-Kristiansen adds, “Since we fitted the Martin to the ABG equipment, our blank label throughput has grown from 20 million to 48 million labels per year because we can run non-stop with higher production speeds. And, the quality has improved too because the Martin has given us better tension control on the web.”
The ABG equipment offers label-finishing techniques such as diecutting, and runs mainly reel-to-reel into an Omega ATR (Automatic Turret Rewind) at speeds of around 185 meters/minute. “The Martin allows us to run 3000 meter rolls continuously, which equates to about 15,000 to 18,000 meters a day. This has more than doubled our output. Less downtime, less waste, greater accuracy, and a consistent quality splice all make for better margins – the Martin has transformed our production here,” he adds.
The success of a Martin Automatic MBNT splicer fitted to an ABG Omega SR410 DC line at Skipnes Labels & Flexibles in Strömstad, Sweden, encouraged the converter to buy a second unit. The second MBNT is fitted to an MPS narrow web press that was installed when printing was added as a service onsite. Both Martin Automatic machines were sold and commissioned by Convertec.
The need for the first Martin Automatic splicer arose from the difficulty Skipnes was encountering with tension control on the ABG machine. Installed in the mid 1990s at the company’s Trondheim plant to handle RFID tags, the Omega line was moved to Strömstad in 2008 and fitted with the MBNT splicer to run 4000 meter rolls of blank labels that are diecut and fed into a Vectra turret rewinder, with the matrix removed and rewound. Poor infeed tension, owing to the lack of a dancer roll, had been causing a variation in label length, but according to the company, the Martin machine solved the problem and improved the accuracy.
Espen Johansen, site manager at Strömstad, says, “The Martin allows us to run non-stop on a 410 mm wide web, matching our process speed of 75 meters/minute. It saves about eight minutes per roll change, which adds up to almost one hour saved on every shift. We’re running mostly thermal stock on it at present and the extra efficiency allows us to work a single shift pattern.”