Operators at ABOX Packaging in Kaufman, Texas, are thrilled to be putting the company’s Heidelberg Dymatrix 106 CSB (integrated cutting, stripping and blanking) die cutter through its paces.
When the new die cutter was installed in late 2009, company president Keith Thompson weighed in with positive comments about the outstanding user-friendliness of the machine that was responsible for an overall increase in productivity of around 25 percent. The Dymatrix die cutter runs from 500 to 2000 sheets faster per hour, depending on substrate thickness, than the plant’s existing competitive die cutters, both of which required offline blanking. With the Dymatrix 106, Thompson said at the time, “we can die cut, strip, and blank, and go direct to the gluer. There’s no more manual scrapping or offline blanking. The Dymatrix 106 CSB is incredibly efficient.”
Gains like that are crucial for ABOX as it strives to keep its productivity in step with the year-to-year growth in sales volume it has achieved since Thompson acquired the company in 2003. Other desirable features include the Dymatrix’s DySet photo-eye registration, class-leading flat sheet path, automatic non-stop pallet feeding and delivery, minimal downtime, and flexibility in handling substrates up to 2,000 gsm paperboard and 4mm corrugated.
Now ABOX operators—all of whom had worked on competitive die cutters for years before being introduced to the Dymatrix—are having their say.
“I had run competitive die cutters all my life, so the Dymatrix was a big change for me,” said first shift operator David Harris. “At first, I was uncomfortable with the Dymatrix because of how different it was, but after a couple of months I got used to it. Many of the automated features make setting it up and running it much easier. Now that I understand the machine and appreciate how easy it is to use, I like it better than our other die cutters. We didn’t know what we were missing until the Dymatrix arrived.”
Shorter runs, frequent job changes and exacting demands on product quality call for flexibility, ease of use, and the potential for high profitability, no matter how small the run. Heidelberg’s Dymatrix die cutting systems are designed to answer that challenge, offering impressively fast makeready times, optimum net outputs and outstanding quality. But don’t take our word for it.
“Before the Dymatrix was installed, we did our blanking offline, which added time and labor to the process of moving the diecut forms to gluing and assembly,” reported second shift operator Mike Giles. “The integrated cutting, stripping and blanking features of the Dymatrix help us work more productively and efficiently.” Furthermore, Harris added, “Our existing die cutters lacked computerized control, which was a whole new thing for us. The user interface on the Dymatrix is incredibly easy to work with and the controls are easy to understand. Now that we’re used to it, we strongly prefer the Dymatrix over our other die cutters.”
That may be because Heidelberg designed the Dymatrix die cutters with real people in mind, a fact not lost on the operators at ABOX. “We no longer have to bend over or stand on tiptoe, and the access windows are nice and large,” Giles said. “All the controls are easy to reach and arranged so that the operator has a clear view of what is happening.”
Above all, the Dymatrix delivers precise, reliable die cutting within minimal tolerances. Thanks to a patented register system, each sheet is die cut, stripped, and blanked at exactly the same position. The unique moving upper platen prevents vertical motion of the sheet and promotes smooth, horizontal sheet transport with a minimum number of nicks.
“Sheet travel through the Dymatrix is amazingly smooth,” confirmed die cutting supervisor Travis Jones. “We don’t have to use as many nicks when preparing the sheet. This shortens our makereadies and lets us reach production speeds up to 9000 sph on most of the substrates we run, from 12-pt. paperboard all the way to e-flute corrugated.”
The servo drives of the Dymatrix’s high-performance sheet feeder ensure reliable sheet feeding, while double sheet detection makes sure sheets are supplied to the feed staion one at a time, regardless of the thickness of the stock. ABOX takes further advantage of Heidelberg’s optional DySet technology, which delivers a significant competitive edge by guaranteeing exact sheet feeding, essentially eliminating front lay trips, at high production speeds—even with unjogged piles.
“The automatic nonstop feeder with guiding system is a really nice feature,” Jones acknowledged. “It’s a genuine time-saver that frees us for other tasks during queues and uploads. We get very few wraparounds (jams).”
On a die cutter, of course, the stripping is only as good as the tooling, and on the Dymatrix 106 CSB, a tool frame kit and centerline positioning system permit the use of universal and standard tools for stripping. Dedicated tools can be precisely adjusted both in and against the direction of sheet transport.
“The cutting and blanking tools are easy to reach and can be changed quickly and easily,” Giles explained. “It’s nice to have access to all of the stations without risking damaging the windows. The hydraulic chase is also quicker to lock down the die, making it faster and easier to changeover from job to job,” he added.
We could go on and on enumerating the advantages of Heidelberg’s line of high-performance Dymatrix die cutters, machines ergonomically designed, flexibly built and optimized to satisfy a wide range of production demands. Instead, we’ll leave the last word to first shift operator David Harris, who stated simply,
“It’s the best machine I’ve ever worked on.”
ABOX Packaging is a printer and converter of custom folding cartons for an array of industries including medical, food packaging and office products. The plant, located 27 miles southeast of Dallas, comprises 200,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing and warehouse space.