Founded in 1971 and based in Norwood, NJ, Control Group® (www.controlgroupusa.com) delivers specialized printed packaging solutions to the pharmaceutical, healthcare, nutraceutical, cosmetic, and personal care markets. Customers throughout the U.S., Central and South America, Europe and the Far East rely on Control Group® for single source convenience, ingenuity in design solutions, digital pre-press graphic leadership, and lean, efficient operations, all supported by the highest levels of quality assurance. In the past ten years, the number of employees and manufacturing capacity at Control Group® have tripled in size.
For a year, Control Group® did their due diligence reviewing a number of laser and flatbed finishing systems. “We had exposure to a laser system five years ago, but found significant improvements, now,” remarks Jeff Levine, Control Group® co-President. “We conducted a good deal of testing and inspected cutting results from samples we sent to many vendors. Not only did we look for the best cuts; it was also important to see how responsive each vendor was—how quickly they reacted. The SEI-Matik team was very responsive. We also had successful exposure to SEI Laser from another piece of equipment we invested in a while ago.”
The final test was conducted during Labelexpo Americas 2018. “We were looking to see how easy it was to set up—even in a show environment. SEI Laser was able to set the materials and make adjustments to the diecuts very quickly,” states Bill Cheringal, Control Group® co-President. “Normally, we would have had to return to the tooling company two or three times to get it done correctly. However, Matik was ready in an hour.”
“Matik and SEI Laser were both very, very helpful,” adds Levine. “They ran multiple test runs in Italy and during Labelexpo. They returned with answers to our questions quickly. We never had to wait more than one day for a response.”
The Control Group® application that will get most of the SEI Labelmaster’s time is not a conventional finishing process. For one of their major programs, they print graphics on 17 mil flat plastic and die cut with a conventional rotary die. “The job is very intricate, with many holes and perforations. It’s a real challenge with a rotary die, although we have been successful with it. The Labelmaster allows us to do some finishing with a varnish along with, of course, the laser diecutting. It’s quite an advance from conventional rotary diecutting,” observes Levine.
The versatility of the SEI Labelmaster also influenced Control Group®’s decision. “Originally, we were just looking at the laser diecutting feature. However, looking deeper into the machine, we were really impressed with what the SEI Labelmaster offers with its print head and lamination. The semi-rotary print station will let us print digital spot varnish, with no tooling,” comments Control Group® COO, Jim Imburgia. “We had really never seen that capability built within this type of machine. We just realized that we could do other things than just our original application. Matik really sold us on the idea of versatility.”
One of the nice benefits of true digital finishing is that Control Group® will save the die and delivery costs as well as the time it would take to produce the die. “We can react quicker to customers. An overlooked opportunity is that it allows us to immediately finish a number of concepts without worrying about the cost of tooling,” says Cheringal. “We believe that the speed of the machine itself is compatible with traditional semi rotary and mag diecutting. And, from what we have seen, we are certainly going to have very competitive quality.”
The SEI Labelmaster will be installed shortly and in production in November.
SEI S.p.A. is one of the top laser system manufacturers in the world with over 5,000 laser systems installed globally in the past 35 years. SEI designs and manufactures integrated laser systems for converting, industrial, OEM and other cutting and marking applications. Driven by market demand and innovation, SEI provides technical and economic feasibility studies, process consulting, hardware and software development, installation, on-site testing, training, start-up production, preventive maintenance and service. www.seilaser.com
Founded over 40 years ago, Matik, Inc. is the premier North American distributor of SEI S.p.A. and other advanced European technologies. With headquarters in West Hartford, Conn., and several regional sales offices throughout the United States and Canada, Matik, Inc. offers the widest range of printing, converting and packaging equipment in the industry. Matik, Inc. also provides US-based parts and service support. www.matik.com