Finishing — Caught in a Bind?
MBO's latest range of machines has taken note of both customer and consumer demands, Astins says. "Not only have we increased machine speeds by up to 15 percent, we're also offering quick make-ready; operator prompts; MC Control management and data reporting systems that center around our BDE board, controlling sheet monitoring, suction length and optimization of the infeed control; VIVAS infeed and alignment for greater sheet control at high speeds; Rapidset plates with 65 preprogrammed impositions; the unique MPC gatefold plate; and the Combiplate, which means there's no need to remove the fold plate when not required."
Also, pre-slitter shafts allow timed-cutting, perforating and gluing in almost any combination. "Likewise, our peripheral equipment to deal with the product once it has been processed includes a vast array of stackers and deliveries," concludes Astins.
Colter & Peterson offers a line of paper cutting and paper handling equipment that increases automation. According to Jeff Marr, vice president of sales, Colter & Peterson is working in tandem with a manufacturer that specializes in assembling customized solutions.
"We're coming out with a new size in our lifts and unloaders—a 48-by-48, which basically allows standard U.S. pallets to be handled," Marr notes. "Previously, many of the standard pallet sizes and equipment were set up around European specifications, and you couldn't fit a 48-by-48 unless you went to a very large-sized lift, which actually goes up to 60˝. It's taking equipment that's been popular in Europe, especially Germany, and making modifications to it so that it fits the standard U.S. format sizes."
Another vendor, Kolbus America, has pioneered computer-assisted makeready to reduce the time it takes to get machines running. An example of this, according to Tom Roche, chief marketing officer, is its Co-Pilot Program, which uses a PC that communicates with a PLC (program-logical board) that, in turn, interfaces with a machine.