Folding and Holding It Together
Sophisticated and versatile folding and gluing equipment keeps converters out of sticky situations.
by Kate Sharon
IN PACKAGING'S DEMANDING market segments, there is no room for poor quality, low productivity, or high operating costs.
With that in mind, folder/gluer manufacturers have committed themselves to developing new equipment and refining older technology that enables converters to keep up with their customers' challenging and strict quality requirements, as well as provide them with the means to cut costs.
Makereadies and changeovers are two areas where folder/gluers afford converters the opportunity to save money. "In today's highly competitive market, companies are looking for ways to cut costs in order to better serve their customers," said Chris J. Lee, marketing director of Presswerx Inc. (Forney, Texas). "Some cost-cutting measures that should be considered are quicker makereadies and higher production speeds, while at the same time maintaining low spoilage."
To hasten makeready, Lee says, folder/gluers should be equipped with digital readouts that indicate the carrier positions once the job has been set. This capability enables operators to record all the carrier positions for reference when running the same job in the future.
Another cost-cutting measure, Lee suggests, is automated packing equipment. He asks, "What good is a folder/gluer designed to run a job in excess of well over 100,000 blanks per hour only to be held back because the packing personnel can only manage 35,000 blanks per hour?" Automated packing technology permits folder/gluers to be used at optimum speeds, thus increasing production rates and lowering labor costs.
There are other ways that converters can save a dime or two. According to American International Machinery, Inc. (AIM, Oak Creek, Wis.), while converters face many challenges to getting the most out of their folding and gluing equipment (e.g., operator turnover, below-par training, poor machine maintenance, insufficient documentation), increased efficiency can be a matter of implementing seven basic productivity steps: