AG/CAD Delivers Complete Package for Box Manufacturer
Producing over seven million boxes and cartons a year, Advanced Packaging considers itself a typical 'brown box' manufacturer. Priding itself on its remarkably high customer retention levels over its 13 years in business, the Staffordshire company isn't resting on its laurels and has taken a decision to drive the business forward with an investment in a DYSS X5-1630T Digital Die Cutter from AG/CAD.
Located in a 35,000sq/ft facility in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Advanced has an average production run in the region of 5,000 boxes, although runs can potentially vary from one-off to one million. For standard runs in small quantities, the BRC certified company recognised its process of two passes on a slitter/scorer followed by a third operation on an autobox machine prior to the final gluing operation was laborious and time consuming. The time expended on this process was compounded by considerable machine set-up times. The 20 employee business searched for a short run solution and found exactly what it needed from Cheshire-based AG/CAD.
Commenting on why the company specified a digital die cutter, Advanced Packaging's Managing Director, Mr Carl Pender says:"Historically, we've never had an in-house design department and have largely relied on the manufacturers of our cutting formes to undertake project design work. We would be paying £150 to £250 for a cutting forme just so we could make a prototype or sample. Chasing new business using this process was costly as we would be outlaying the initial design and cutting forme costs and yet not always winning the business. The same forme costs were also incurred for short run diecut work, which added disproportionately to the overall job costs on a small order, plus we had to consider the additional set up times and the fact that our diecutters couldn't then be used for longer run jobs. We needed to streamline our production of smaller order boxes whilst achieving greater flexibility and adding value. The system we purchased can now produce prototypes, samples and short runs with very little set up and virtually no cost other than materials and machine/operator time."
Referring to why the company opted for the DYSS cutter, Mr Pender continues: "We looked at several cutter suppliers and conducted trials designed to check that creasing on these machines wouldn't break through the inside papers on our corrugated boards, particularly along the flute direction. The AG/CAD team pulled out all the stops and developed a special creasing tool for us to deal with this issue. That level of service and commitment really impressed us. The new-design creasing tool on the DYSS helps spread the load on the board and this prevents the tool from breaking through the liner which would have potentially meant customers rejecting jobs."
Maintaining an exact and consistent depth of crease both along the flute and cross flute requires precise depth control. This is guaranteed by the integrated Tool Calibration Sensor on the DYSS that measures the creasing tools as well as cutting blades to a very high precision. The superfast 3m x 1.6m DYSS X5 machine was supplied with a complete tooling package that included a high speed reciprocating knife, and a complete range of creasing wheels to handle micro flute through to BC, plus the critically important new creasing tool as well as a specialised creaser for polypropylene.
"By investing in this complete turnkey package for our business, we can confidently tackle all packaging materials that come through our door. It was an important investment to get right, but AG/CAD provided us with a bespoke solution and guided us through everything, which took all the worry and uncertainty out of our purchasing decision. This service has been followed through with the installation, training and aftersales support on the machine which have all been excellent."
Revolutionising The Business With KASEMAKE
The DYSS X5-1630T was also specified with K-CUT PRO software, which provides all the features of AG/CAD's renowned KASEMAKE CAD software. This gives the company access to hundreds of re-sizable FEFCO packaging designs and PoS displays. Referring to this, Mr Pender says: "The DYSS cutting machine has eliminated our reliance on dies for short runs and prototypes, and likewise the KASEMAKE CAD software and the parametric features have eliminated our need for external design services. The KASEMAKE package is very comprehensive and we can rapidly generate our own designs as well as transfer customer files straight to the DYSS for immediate processing. By eliminating external design services, the KASEMAKE package is saving us over £500 per month whilst the DYSS machine is saving us considerably more by reducing our need for cutting formes."
DYSS is Streamlining the Business
The DYSS and supporting KASEMAKE software has made huge steps in streamlining production for Advanced Packaging. Whilst long production runs will still continue the time-honoured methods of conversion, small runs will never be the same now.
The design and production of a cutting forme for a typical small run of say 50 custom boxes or cartons could potentially take several days, and that would be before actually running the job. Now, the company can completely turn these small runs or prototype projects around in hours rather than days, putting Advanced Packaging in a great position when providing samples or pitching for new business.
"The DYSS and KASEMAKE combination has given us in-house structural design capability and in-house sample making whilst eliminating so many costs out of our business. Our external design and cutting forme costs have fallen sharply, as has our material consumption. The registration camera and nesting facility on the DYSS maximise our board utilisation and this is saving us 10% on stock board lines. This is reducing our costs by an additional £400 per month. We are saving at least £1000 per month by installing the DYSS and this doesn't take into account the reduced lead-times, additional capabilities and the labour savings derived from staff operating one machine instead of several. However, we didn't just want to reduce costs, we wanted to drive the business forward and generate new opportunities and that is exactly what the new system is now helping us do."