Folding-carton converters and trade finishers are under ever-increasing pressure to respond to customers’ packaging requirements: faster and more responsive delivery, increased versioning, shorter run lengths and more creative designs. The need to increase value while remaining competitive and profitable drives the business. If that isn’t enough, there is also a need to show a continually improving sustainability record.
With an entirely analogue cutting and creasing process, the opportunity for continuous improvement is tough. There are limits to how efficiently and cost-effectively dies can be produced and machines made ready, even using the latest equipment.
Days can be lost waiting for tools followed by hours of expensive machine time and the high value labour costs consumed in the set-up processes. And the designs are constrained by the limitations of the traditional dies.
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The biggest attraction is that since it is all digital, there are no tooling costs. This means that we can replace time-consuming manual processes for prototypes and samples, as well as cost-effectively accommodate runs as short as one. This is truly revolutionary for our industry. We can now do the onesies and twosies as well as shorter production runs, prototyping, phase ins/phase outs, and presentations for customers. Since it is all digital, variable data is built in for etching and cutouts. The bottom line is that we can do things that everyone has always been told you couldn’t do. *From "Refining Packaging Cycle Time" by Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor, WhatTheyThink