And We Need It By Yesterday
Rotary die makers are finding that package printers and converters want their dies bigger, better, and faster.
IT'S NO SURPRISE in today's world when a customer asks for a new die, he wants it practically yesterday. Short of putting a drive-through window in their manufacturing plants, rotary die vendors are feverishly working toward finding new technologies and processes to help speed up turnaround time, from conception to delivery at the customer's front door.
It takes two to tango
The implementation of faster turnaround time doesn't lie just in the hands of the rotary die vendor alone—the customer also plays an intricate role in the production cycle. Jean Wichmann, sales representative for Action Rotary Die, said her company found that sitting down with the customer to talk out the details is an important step in the die-making process.
"Our customers are asking for shorter lead times for even the most complex applications. Communication between the printer and die vendor is essential. Missing information can bring a rush order to a halt," Wichmann said.
Although she stresses the importance of a strong vendor/customer relationship, she also said her company operates at the highest performance level possible to ensure quick turnaround times.
"We make sure our manufacturing processes are working at the most efficient levels, with well-maintained machinery, trained and dedicated personnel using the latest programming software available, and by using electronic file transfers," Wichmann said.
Kocher + Beck USA is another company trying to speed up turnaround times, and they are doing that by adding more equipment and staff to their plant. "We recently installed two more machining centers, and went to three shifts to handle our customers' requirements for next-day or two-day deliveries," said Rick Clark, regional sales manager for Kocher + Beck USA.
Gary Smith, vice president of sales for RotoMetrics, said his company also added extra staff and equipment to decrease their turnaround time, but they didn't stop there. "Technology is more important than ever and has led us to implementing a new integrated global order management system which helps streamline operations every step of the way, from receipt of order through delivery," Smith said.