About 18 months ago, Birmingham, UK-based independent box manufacturer Jaffabox decided that its Martin and Tecasa casemakers, although still producing good quality boxes, were showing their age in terms of throughput speeds and needed to be replaced. The company had recently installed a new corrugator from BHS Corrugated, which moved it from being a large sheet plant to an integrated box plant and this meant that opportunities now existed for Jaffabox to supply customers with higher volume requirements.
“With current market trends to higher quality print and closer tolerance folding accuracy, we decided to replace the older machinery with the fastest and highest quality casemaker that was available,” says John Amyes, Technical Director. “Casemakers from all the leading suppliers were evaluated and after seeing machines running in production at a number of sites in Europe it was determined that the MHI EVOL was the one that met all our specification requirements and was a machine that we could have confidence in as a long term investment for the future.”
He continues, “It is one of the fastest machines of its type in the world and its speed, combined with the quality of the boxes it can produce, should help us retain the reputation built up over many years of supplying customers with quality products, delivered on time at a competitive price.”
In order to fully automate the EVOL, Jaffabox have also installed a Corrpal high speed automatic palletiser, Alliance pre-feeder and the first ‘new design’ Mosca Uatri bundle tying machine to be installed in the UK. To complete this latest multi-million pound project, the company has also installed a second Mosca pallet press and a new Avanti materials handling system.
This new generation Mosca Uatri is the first in UK.
With over 300 machines already installed around the world, the EVOL flexo folder gluer was launched by Mitsubishi in 2003. The machine has gained a reputation for being a high performance, quick-set casemaker, capable of running at speeds of 350 blanks per minute. With a maximum sheet size of 950 x 2555mm and a minimum sheet size of 250 x 690mm, the machine at Jaffabox is a four colour printer and is equipped with automatic pre-feeder and robotic palletiser to ensure the highest levels of output.
Having received a series of upgrades over the last couple of years, the EVOL is even more attractive for converters. With the remit of shortening set-up time considerably, an upgraded inking system has resulted in reduced ink wash up time and leads to enhanced efficiencies. “The latest machines benefit from a reduction in ink loss,” explains Giovanni Bettini, Sales and Marketing Director for MHI Europe. “The EVOL is well known for its efficient inking system, but the new generation of machine has a superior ink control system that has been proven to show as little as 100cc of ink loss per colour unit per job. Another significant feature of the new inking system is that it uses less than 6.5 litres of water per wash-up, which is a significant environmental plus for the converter.”
Once the blank has been printed and die-cut, it moves to the folding and gluing section, an area of which Mitsubishi is proud. “Folding accuracy is one of the key selling points of this machine,” states Mr Bettini. “The boxes pass through our folding system without hitch, and our sophisticated machine design ensures the highest levels of fold accuracy for any flexo folder gluer in the market. We are delighted to have been chosen by Jaffabox, a really well invested, privately owned corrugated board plant. We now have four such machines in the UK, with a further 11 machines in Europe. The speed and accuracy of the EVOL makes them most appealing to box plants throughout the world.”
The EVOL at Jaffabox is equipped with an Alliance pre-feeder.
A global premier
The company took the bold step of transitioning from a sheet plant into a board plant back in 2015, with the installation of a corrugator. The 1.8m, 250m per min heavy duty ‘Quality Line’ single wall corrugator from BHS Corrugated has been designed to provide customers with an easy to use and maintain corrugator which can comfortably handle light weight recycled papers through to heavy Kraft and semi-chem papers at high speeds. Jaffabox runs a wide range of papers, with liners ranging from 70 to 300gsm and fluting ranging from 70 to 175gsm. It is installed with minimal foundation requirements.
“It was a pretty bold move,” recounts Frank Amyes, Managing Director. “Becoming a fully fledged board plant is always a big step, but we did our home work and worked closely with our chosen suppliers.”
He continues, “The operators are making good, flat board and we are now totally in control of our own board supply. Adding the corrugator has allowed us to enhance our product range and also reduce box manufacturing lead times for our customers around the UK. We have also found that due to the quality of the board we are making, we are finding an advantage in the marketplace when we are selling our boxes.”
“Adding the corrugator to our business has really allowed us to spread our wings,” says Mr Amyes. “The quality of the board is great and our converting department operators have all said they have noticed an increase in machine throughput thanks to the superior board.”