Sarow Kartonagen was founded by Werner Sarow in 1969 in the small town of Serres, north-west of Stuttgart in Germany. Starting out as a small business that inserted corrugated partitions into beverage boxes, the company grew over the following few years, adding pieces of converting equipment to aid expansion. In 1973 the company relocated to nearby Pinache where they moved into an 800 sqm factory, but this was destroyed by fire in 1975. The following years saw the rebuilding of the company, with first a 1,300 sqm factory, which was then expanded significantly over the decades. In 1991, the son of the founder joined the business – Manfred Sarow is now the General Manager and owner.
From two employees in 1969, the company has grown to a good size, now employing 55 people. In the last four years alone, sales turnover has jumped from €6m to €15m. They are converting about 80,000 sqm of board per day, specialising in the production of heavy duty and large format boxes, as well as die-cut sheets. The company produces packaging for a wide range of industries, including heavy industrial goods, metal and plastic products, as well as the wood working industry.
Big or small run
With a wide range of equipment installed at its factory in Mühlacker, the company has invested heavily over the last few years. “We have ploughed over €10m into our business since 2013, including our new factory, which we moved into during 2016,” explains Sarow. “Whether a customer wants one box or 10,000 boxes, our equipment park enables us to cater for all customers with a short lead time, all from under one roof.”
The plant is fully conveyorised with a plastic chain conveyor system, offering full automation of the board to and from the centrepiece machine, a BGM Containerline 1645. The company also has a wide range of short run boxmakers and manual workstations for conversion of the largest size boxes possible.
Looking at Baysek
In looking to enhance die-cutting of a wide range of heavy duty box styles, Sarow had a chance encounter with Dave Helbach and Alexander Kraft. “I took some pictures of samples when Dave and Alexander visited me – these pictures are dated 2013,” explains Sarow. “It seemed like an easy to run machine and I stayed in touch with them both, eventually placing the order for the machine at the CCE International expo in Munich in March. The machine was delivered to our factory straight from the show and was in and running within two days.”
Work mix considerations
During the consideration process, Sarow and his team analysed the work mix carefully, to see whether the C-170 from Baysek would be a good fit. “We mainly have very complex blanks that have to be punched with many holes or slots and most standard cutters struggle with this,” says Sarow. “The Baysek is ideal for this kind of job and as it is easy to set up and run – and simple to maintain – we did not need to employ new operators or plant engineers – we simply trained up existing operators to do the work that in the past we had undertaken by hand. The obvious advantage here is that we can automate a manual process, allowing us to improve margins, thanks to greater speed and output.”
Using the C-170, Sarow Kartonagen have been able to optimise the die-cutting process considerably. “New items are designed so that the pallet is utilized optimally and the finished order goes straight to the shipping department directly after the cutting and punching process,” confirms Sarow. “We have significantly increased the punching output volume, especially for items that are used as upholstery, dividers and insoles. The machine is also able to handle sheets made of recycled grades, meaning we can offer heavy duty solutions at attractive prices compared to those who offer such boxes in virgin fibre.”
Sarow concludes, “This has been a very positive move for us. We have had strong commitment from Alexander Kraft and Baysek, with the machine arriving within a matter of days of the closing of CCE. The commissioning process was handled by the owner of Baysek – Mark Helbach – with Ryan Hetzel, Technical Service Manager. It was then that we realised that Baysek was behind us 100%. With this investment in the C-170 die-cutter we will increase output, without the need for additional labour, all offering a very fast return on investment.
Mark Helbach of Baysek adds, “Manfred Sarow and his team were wonderful to work with, from the purchase of the expo machine, to the installation the following days in Mühlacker. Sarow Kartonagen recognises their difficult die-cutting jobs are great fits for the C-170. The skilled and knowledgeable team at Sarow picked up the operation process very quickly. The entire process was seamless.”
Left to right: Manfred Sarow, Owner and Michael Kayser, plant manager.