Indeed, as packaging needs evolve, ABX’s customers expect the highest-quality solutions from it, which the company is proud to offer utilizing its state-of-the-art machinery. Recent investments of more than $70 million include: new 10- and 12-color printing presses with high output rates, defect detection, expanded rigid lens (RLII) capabilities and quick changeovers; automated packaging robotic arms for bakery bag and personal care converting products; a fully automated high-speed bakery bag line; energy efficient upgrades across several facilities, and more. ABX offers combination UV/water-based flexographic and rotary screen printing for labels.
“Every investment we make also satisfies our continuous improvement goals for operational efficiency and scrap reduction,” comments Goldstein.
When it comes to considering important factors in modern presses, ABX knows that every market, customer and application is different, so the company thinks about what its customers need.
“Our customers are requiring more SKUs, shorter runs and faster turnaround times,” says Goldstein. “Accordingly, our efforts are focused on processes and presses that meet these customer requirements in a high-quality, efficient, cost-effective and safe manner.”
Another top priority at ABX is process control. “We are expanding our current process controls through capital investment and training of our workforce. Effective control of our processes positions ABX to deliver higher-quality products with lower overall costs,” notes Goldstein.
Goldstein recalls that 2020 brought some interesting dynamics to the company and industry. Strategically, the company went into 2020 anticipating growth based on a robust pipeline and strong economic growth in the US. While no one planned for the impact of the global pandemic, the company saw significant growth in portions of its health care markets—due to increased demand for PPE and other packaged medical devices, and a re-balancing in the food packaging segment, as many of its food customers’ experienced demand in retail products, as people were eating at home more.
“Additionally, the greatest opportunity for ABX is to continue to find new and different ways to offer sustainable solutions for customers in all aspects of our business,” continues Goldstein. “Our partnership approach with customers enables us to stay ahead of the trends and create innovative solutions that serve the evolving needs of our core end markets.”
ABX believes the company has a responsibility to do the best it can to minimize the environmental impact of its operations. Whenever possible, ABX utilizes post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin, post-industrial recycled (PIR) resin, or sustainably sourced plant-based feedstocks for extruding its films.
“Consumers now more than ever are expecting businesses to operate with more than just profit in mind,” says Goldstein. “Businesses that instill sustainability as part of their core values are willing to spend the time, money and effort for the greater good. Being a good steward of the environment translates into a mentality of being ‘all in it together,’ rather than just in it for ourselves. We understand that our operations as a manufacturer naturally require use of our Earth’s resources, so it is our duty—as we believe it is every company’s duty—to demonstrate a commitment to minimize our net environmental impact. It makes sense both ethically and financially, and research shows that consumers support companies that reflect those values.”
In fact, the company has a robust ongoing initiative to minimize internal scrap production, using closed-loop edge encapsulation on extruders, and all of the scrap it produces is recycled. ABX also uses reusable plastic cores instead of paper cores for much of its stock. The company’s facilities are also climate controlled and use high-efficiency lighting and closed-loop chilling on extruders, reducing water waste.
With regards to ABX’s sustainable innovations, the company has a line of recycle-ready films designed both in breathable and high-barrier configurations that are How2Recycle approved for #2 and #4 ASTM recyclability. The company also offers packaging made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, renewable resin, industrially recycled material, and other sustainable solutions such as Ocean-Bound Plastics. Two of its popular bio-based packaging options are Biovantage bakery bags and Marvelcote-A repulpable solution for lidding and multiwall bag applications.
“We are always partnering with customers to develop new sustainable solutions to bring to the industry,” stresses Goldstein. “Consumers support companies that reflect their values. And while product safety and cost are obviously very important, we see the trend for sustainability and environmental consciousness continuing.”
Goldstein says the company is excited to learn how to work together as one ABX in order to capitalize on the synergies of the new organization, truly bringing value added solutions to its customers.
“To be truly successful, we will adapt the best from both cultures to create our future. ABX will strive to create long-term value by unifying one cohesive entity that shares a common vision for a great future.”