Think bigger – think automation!

Åtta45 is a leading printing supplier in Sweden’s graphic industry, offering comprehensive services from start to finish. In Malmö, they focus on creating wide-format display materials, while in Stockholm, they specialize in offset printing, magazines, brochures, and other graphic materials.

Their automation system is powered by a Zünd G3 3X-L2500 digital cutter and an Industrial ABB Robot with a 2x3m gripper for loading and unloading, ensuring efficient operations.

From manual to automated production

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck Sweden, the demand for face visors skyrocketed virtually overnight. The cutter was operating around the clock but couldn’t meet the soaring demand. So, a few weeks into the pandemic, Åtta45 asked for another cutting machine, which was promptly delivered.

With a new cutter in place and running, we started considering automation to make production more efficient, and the work more comfortable for our staff – and we contacted Robotfactory for possible solutions.”

Niclas Rennstam, sales, and production

Robot vs. board feeding system

After deciding for automation Åtta45 visited Robotfactory to discuss different options.

After evaluating the existing machinery at Åtta45 and considering the versatility that robots offered, the choice to go with a robotic solution instead of a standard Board Feeder system became clear.

Robotfactory presented compelling solutions and a well-crafted plan for implementation.

By the spring of 2021, the largest cutter received an upgrade with an ABB robot featuring a 2×1.25m gripper, perfectly designed for handling plastic sheets.

We’re really pleased with how quickly the robot adapted to our operations. Sure, there’s a learning curve, and it takes a bit of adjustment, but the long-term benefits are significant.

Robotfactory has been delivering outstanding service. They’re just a phone call away, even on short notice. Additionally, we’re lucky to have ABB right across the road from us. So, if any mechanical issues pop up, we can promptly resolve them.”

Niclas Rennstam, sales, and production

The next step was to think BIG!

As the demand for visors gradually decreased, we decided to rethink how we could use the robot. We realized it was time to explore the possibility of getting a larger gripper that could handle all sheet formats, from the smallest to the largest, and across various materials.

By the summer of 2022, we had replaced the smaller gripper with a spacious 2×3 meter gripper. This new addition was well-suited to handle all sorts of sizes and materials, from sandwich boards to plastics, composites, and cartons.

What’s more, our cutter now boasts an EIS and EIS load table, allowing us to cut from both the front and back sides. The industrial ABB robot seamlessly collaborates with both camera systems, ensuring a fully automated process.

The need for automation

”Hiring skilled employees can be a real challenge, which is why when we reached the point of expanding our cutting capabilities, it was only natural to think about automation.

Our goal is to be more efficient with our time and keep our machines running longer. Manual loading and unloading not only put a strain on our workers but also proved to be slower compared to robot automation.

We’re constantly searching for automated solutions, not just for our cutters but for all aspects of our production.”

Most important is the Staff!

”Taking good care of our staff is a top priority for us. Our team members are highly skilled, but dealing with large 2×3 meter sheets has been challenging and uncomfortable.

By implementing automation, we’ve not only improved the working conditions but also reduced the need for multiple employees to operate the cutters. Previously, it took two people, but now, we’ve streamlined the process to just one operator.

Our production runs from 6 am to 11 pm, split into two shifts, with two workers assigned to printing and cutting during each shift. The operator of the manual cutter used to require most of their time and attention, but with the automated cutter, periodic checks are all that’s needed. This change has not only made life easier for our team but also significantly boosted our efficiency.”

Who is Åtta45?

Åtta45 is one of Sweden’s largest printing suppliers in the graphic industry. They are a total-service supplier assisting with everything through the process from start to finish.

The Malmö branch of Åtta45 was previously known as CA Andersson but rebranded to Åtta45 in 2022. The name “Åtta45” reflects the official daily meeting times for employees, although it’s adapted due to production shifts.

With 250 employees and a revenue of 500 million SEK, Åtta45 operates across eight companies and maintains six production sites throughout Sweden, catering to customers across Scandinavia. Their clientele includes large corporations, retail chains, non-profit organizations, and various businesses.

In Malmö they mainly produce wide-format display materials, and in Stockholm offset print and production of magazines, brochures, and other graphic applications.

Åtta45 offers service all way from idea to finished produced product, and they are always up for a new graphic challenge – however, complicated it may be. They never turn down a job, however small or large it may be, and always strive to be a partner to the customer more than a supplier.