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Proteus Packaging’s Success with Speedmaster XL 145 Prompts Addition of Dymatrix Diecutter

May 18, 2011
KENNESAW, GA—May 16, 2011—Proteus Packaging is on a roll. When the folding carton converter became the first U.S. company to purchase and install a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 145 VLF press in 2009, it started something of a trend. That trend recently saw the firm install a 57” Dymatrix 145 diecutter with Heidelberg Logistics.
 
Privately owned Proteus Packaging boasts an 80-year history of folding carton innovation as a tier-two supplier to the pharmaceutical, nutritional, health and beauty, and automotive industries. In 2007, foreseeing the need to provide even more efficient and effective service to its customers, the company relinquished its outdated, multi-story space in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward in favor of a single-story, 246,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing and office building located in Franklin, WI, and laid plans to streamline its workflow and upgrade its equipment.
 
The company installed the six-color Speedmaster XL 145 VLF press with inline aqueous coater to replace a pair of 25-year-old, 50˝ machines whose performance Wayman described as “too sluggish to keep up with today’s market demands.” Installation of the Dymatrix 145 marks another major milestone in the company’s evolution. Next up is a seven-color Speedmaster XL 105 with coater, due to be installed shortly, to bring the same state-of-the-art technology and high productivity to the segment of Proteus’s business that does not require large format.
 
When You’re Hot, You’re Hot
“We installed the Dymatrix because of the sheet size and to add to our diecutting capacity,” said Tim Wayman, executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer. “Our industry is always about matching size,” he continued. “We always knew we would add 57˝ diecutting once the VLF was up and running. The Speedmaster XL 145 gave usmore sheets/hour while increasing our overall throughput. The combination of the XL145 and the 145 CSB will give us more blanks per sheet at a higher rate of speed.”
 
Citing consistent year-to-year growth and the prospect for more of the same, Wayman makes no secret of his view that a strategy of acquiring the best available technology is critical for a company like Proteus, given mounting competitive pressure from other converters, commercial printers and trade finishers eager to gain a foothold or expand their presence in the folding carton market.
 
That said, “The new Dymatrix is living up to ourexpectations, and then some,” Wayman continued. Early on, the company compared 21 diecutting jobs previously run on competitive equipment and determined that “We were between 15 percent and 25 percent more productive on exactly the same jobs with the Dymatrix.” More recent results continue to be very good: “Prior to the installation of the Dymatrix, our higher-volume work had already started to develop,” Wayman explained. “As we started live production, our focus was to learn the machine functions so many of the layouts were transfers from the 50” format. As our operators’ confidence has developed, we have started to build layouts that fully utilize the 57” format. The results have been equally impressive.”
 
Gentle Giant
Among the many high-performance features of the large-format Dymatrix 145 making a positive difference at Proteus, Wayman cited a “smoother blanking function that is certainly helping us run faster”; and a moving upper platen that “seems to yield significant improvement in both quality and production speed” by eliminating unnecessary vertical movement of the sheet. In terms of user-friendliness, the highly automated Dymatrix 145 has been a welcome addition to the company’s diecutting department for several reasons, Wayman said. He noted the automatic loading, unloading and clamping of the cutting plate and chase, distributed controls, and touchscreen status display. Overall, the ease of use is such that just a single operator is needed to tend the running of Proteus’ Dymatrix 145.
 
The 57” Dymatrix 145 meets the most demanding requirements in large-format diecutting. It offers:
 
• Highly efficient diecutting and embossing for size 6 formats
 
• Electronically controlled braking brush in the delivery section that enables higher production speeds and perfect alignment of blanks
 
• High-performance, nonstop sheet feeder designed for simple operation and high productivity
 
• Patented gripper bar system for precise registration
 
• Reliable stripping and blank separation
 
• Moving upper platen for diecutting accuracy and minimal makereadies
 
• Fast, trouble-free changeovers
 
• Maximum flexibility and top productivity
 
• Heidelberg Logistics to automate material handling among its storeroom, press and diecutting machine
 
This Could Be the Start of Something
Installation of the Dymatrix 145 “took about two months, and was very well planned,” Wayman said. Prior to installation, operators from Proteus undertook initial training on a 40” Dymatrix at Heidelberg’s Tech Center in Kennesaw, Ga. Post-installation, Heidelberg technicians provided on-site training at the Proteus facility.
 
“We are consistently impressed by Heidelberg’s thoroughness and professionalism in handling both the installation of its equipment and subsequent training,” Wayman added. “Our local Heidelberg technicians provide fast, expert service when we need it. Their attention to detail and follow-through are just outstanding.”
 
Proteus Packaging aims to provide superior customer service by exploring cost-reduction opportunities and implementing packaging improvement processes. In that respect, the company’s collaboration with Heidelberg should secure its prospects and continue to bear fruit long into the future.
 
“The Speedmaster XL 145 VLF press marked our first entry into the world of Heidelberg. The new Dymatrix 145 is the second step, and the Speedmaster XL 105 will be our third,” Wayman said. “With Heidelberg’s expert assistance, we look forward to continued success in this highly competitive market.”
 
Source: Heidelberg.
 

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