Me & my: Digicon 3000

Godson: "The quality we have seen coming off the press is very high and fits in with Baker’s reputation"
Godson: "The quality we have seen coming off the press is very high and fits in with Baker’s reputation"

Late last year, Brentwood-based trade label printer Baker Labels spotted a gap in the market.

The company, which has supplied self-adhesive labels for more than 50 years, identified an opportunity to offer high-quality embellishments to its flexible packaging customers from its digital pouch production facility BakPac. 

As Jamie Godson, technical manager at Baker Labels, explains: “Mirroring the labels market growth over the past decade we felt there would be an accelerating need for speciality foils, varnishes and laminates to compliment the growing trend for shorter run flexible packaging designs.”

So, the company started shopping around for a machine capable of adding embellishment features to the flexible packaging products produced on Baker Label’s HP Indigo 20000 digital web press. 

It quickly settled on the Digicon 3000 wide-web flexographic finishing press, produced as a result of a collaboration between suppliers AB Graphic International and Edale.

Godson says the company did consider options from other manufacturers, but as the business had a long standing relationship with AB Graphic International and considered it a “trusted supplier of high-quality print finishing” the team at Baker Labels were “confident we were in safe hands for a sound investment”.

In January this year, the company took delivery of the new machine – the first UK install of this design for the flexible packaging market. As with all large press installations there were certain infrastructure changes that needed to be considered prior to the install taking place, says Godson.

“Everything from the height of the ceiling, power and cabling requirements as well as IT instalments that enabled us to quickly engage in efficient production processes once the press was settled in,” he adds. 

“Consumables needed to be tested and evaluated as well as tooling, lifting equipment and chillers but to name a few.”

Godson says the installation by Edale went smoothly and the press was up and running within a week. “Training then commenced during the second week with a couple of days refresher training given after roughly one month of the press bedding in.”

The Digicon 3000 is a wide-web finishing unit capable of converting web widths between 400-762mm. It has a dual function unwind station and hybrid flexo/gravure print unit which enables users to produce water-based lamination, cold foil, cast and cure, spot varnishing as well as slitting and rewinding. 

The fully servo-driven print unit gives users the ability to embellish a wide range of different print repeats suitable for common flexible packaging pouch sizing and the option of both UV and water-based drying systems opens up the opportunity to use specialist coatings.

Godson concedes that as with any new press there were a few initial teething problems while the company’s machine operators became more familiar with the new machine. He says the main issue surrounded the fact that as the company was predominantly a narrow-web print producer, Baker Labels’ machine operators needed to get used to the size of the new machine. 

Based on the company’s first-hand experience Godson says he would advise potential buyers of the Digicon 3000 to consider how the whole operation around the press will work to ensure efficient production is maintained following installation.

“Things like plate mounting systems, cylinder storage, material transport at unwind and rewind, wash-up facilities, etc. All of these things can make a huge difference in the efficacy of daily production,” he says.

The teething issues he highlights did not last for long and were easily overcome by the Baker Labels team, ably assisted by Edale.

“After the inevitable initial couple of tricky months the press settled down and is performing exactly how we envisaged,” says Godson. “The quality we have seen coming off the press is very high and fits in with Baker’s reputation within the UK printing industry.” He adds that the service package provided has been “very good” to date and any minor issues the company has encountered have been quickly dealt with.

Baker Labels has been delighted with how the machine has performed since installation with Godson saying the best thing about the press is it allows the business to add value- added benefits to its flexible packaging product portfolio. 

This in turn means Baker Labels has been able to boost turnover.

He concludes: “It has without doubt increased our reach when it comes to flexible packaging product offerings and although we are still in the infancy of the press lifespan it will inevitably boost turnover in conjunction with our other investments in the flexible packaging division this year.” 


Max material thickness 0.45mm

Min material thickness 0.05mm

Max running speed die-cutting 80m/min

Max running speed FAST Track semi rotary 150m/min

Max running speed full rotary re-register 150m/min

Min running speed 2m/min

Max material width 350mm

Min material width 150mm

Contact AB Graphic International 01262 671138 


Established in 1973 by Roy and Marian Baker, Baker Labels has supplied self adhesive labels for more than 50 years. The company specialises in fast-turnaround high-quality work produced using multiple printing processes, both digital and conventional, from its factory situated in Brentwood, Essex. In addition to supplying trade labels the business also supplies self-adhesive material through Baker Materials and digital flexible packaging with its BakPac division. The firm employs more than 100 people and has an annual turnover of circa £16m. 

Why it was bought...

The company identified a growing demand from customers for embellishments such as speciality foils, varnishes and laminates on short run flexible packaging products.

How it has performed...

It has more than matched the company’s expectations. So much so when asked if the company would recommend it, Godson responds with an unequivocal “Yes. Would I buy another? I’d need to ask the boss.”