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Australian converter makes impact with new Omet press

The Omet XFlex X6 was installed by local distributor Currie Group earlier this year

After 30 years in the same industry, a claim of expertise can well be justified.

Byron Hudghton’s three-decade label love affair has taken the Impact Labels veteran to the top of the tree as one of Brisbane’s best known and respected printing practitioners. 

It all began with his straight-from-school start as a working hand at Perth’s Supa Stick Labels before testing the waters at multi-branch Brisbane-headquartered QLM Label Makers. 

Experience overseas, augmented by a series of stints in sales, meant moving from the press floor into management before the ultimate proprietorial move creating the Impact brand.

The early corporate world proved a tough testing ground, according to the then-fledgling entrepreneur, who at the same time was earning his stripes on the Brisbane cricket fields. One needs only to delve enough into the annals of Queensland amateur cricket before the name Hudghton will appear in the team statistics of the colorfully named Narangara Redbacks, who play in the State’s Warehouse League. Its records list the name of Byron Hudghton and his impressive bowling and batting performances as well as his many seasons of weekend enthusiasm as a Redback. 

Hudghton founded Impact Labels a decade ago and credits its success to his insistence on a machine room equipped with the latest technology. Since its early years, he has built the business on the strength of his practical experience in label printing and a strong reputation within the industry for supplying high quality labels and tags to the food, beverage and chemicals industries via local and several export markets.

As a label printer by trade, Hudghton prides himself on knowing how to extract optimum throughput from the firm’s presses. As a senior Impact operative says: ‘It helps the firm to grow when the boss knows how to run the presses.’ 

Stepping stone
Having found himself pitched into the competitive label environment, Hudghton immersed himself into expanding Impact’s coverage of the medium-to-long run label market. An important stepping stone has been the installation of a new Omet flexo label press. 

Currie Group, the Australia-based distributor for a host of leading international label industry brands, supplied and installed the Omet XFlex X6 label press earlier this year. Hudghton confirmed one of the main reasons for choosing Omet was the Currie network’s on-the-ground support team of engineers throughout Australia.

The press is up and running and has already printed two million meters of film for wraparound labels, a category experiencing growth in demand. Beverage companies in particular are making the switch from self-adhesive labels to wraparound film.

‘The industry is discovering these can be printed at half the cost, given the 38-micron PP material is thinner than self-adhesive label material,’ says Hudghton, ‘so more fits on a roll and it processes faster on the labeling machines, enabling higher production speeds.’ 

Impact Labels also bought an AB Graphic slitter rewinder from Currie Group to go with the Omet press, and plans to purchase another in the near future.

Impact Labels has also invested in what it calls ‘the ultimate in intelligent solutions for print inspection’ with what is claimed the first digital strobe inspection unit installed in the country. 

‘Our new kit guarantees consistency and quality,’ affirms Hudghton. As a result, alongside the firm’s Gallus 340, which he colorfully describes as ‘the rock star of flexo presses’, Impact’s equipment is now state-of-the-art. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Henry Mendelson is Labels & Labeling's Oceania correspondent.

He covers labels and packaging printing developments in the Australasia region for the publication.

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