Acme Corrugated – Smashing production record on Bobst flexo folder gluer

USA • The Pennsylvania-based corrugated converting plant’s production crew achieved a throughput of 186,439 boxes in an eight-hour shift on a Bobst FFG 8.20 Expertline machine.

According to President Bob Cohen, “We averaged about 23,350 pieces per hour for the shift on a machine whose rated speed is 24,000 pieces per hour! We were running at up to 98% of capacity, which is almost unheard of. With most machines that produce corrugated, if you run at 50% of the rated machine speed, you’re usually pretty happy.”

Acme Corrugated Box was originally started in 1918 by Cohen’s father, and in its early years specialized in collecting and re-selling used corrugated boxes. By the early seventies, they started manufacturing new ones. In early 2000, Acme moved to its present facility in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

The company relies on a fleet of Bobst equipment for their printing and corrugated jobs. “The reason that we prefer Bobst is because of the precision Swiss engineering. In 2007, we installed our first Bobst 1232. Even after ten years of operation, we get square boxes because the machinery continues to hold strict tolerances. That’s important today because most of the clients we deal with use automatic packing equipment and that equipment is usually very sensitive to variation,” said Cohen.

The record-breaking 8.20 Expertline is Acme’s newest FFG and was commissioned in April 2016. It is Bobst’s fastest running Flexo Folder Gluer, accepting sheets from 24.6 to 85.8 inches wide (625 mm to 2180 mm), in a wide range of flute types up to 0.32 inch (8.13 mm) thickness. Bobst’s Sequential Order Change feature allows changeovers in one to two minutes, with only two operators required. This machine joined the existing Bobst 1232, 924 and 1228 FFGs at the Acme facility. They have been specially configured to mirror each other. The operating controls are accessible to each crew allowing workers to easily move back and forth between the pair of machines.

The 8.20 Flexo press has four print units, although it is mostly used for one or two-color work. Because the record-breaking run was so close to the full capacity of the FFG 8.20, Mr. Cohen thinks Acme’s record will stand for a long time to come. “In most industries people never come close to 100% of rated machine speed, but we ran at 98% of machine speed, apart from set-up times. I don’t think anybody is going to beat that,” smiled Cohen.

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