Founded on the principle of growth through innovation, S. Walter Packaging Group (SWPG) traces its roots back to 1904 when prominent Philadelphia businessman Simon Walter established the company. His ambitions were fulfilled. Today, the premier packaging solutions company serves the needs of more than 40,000 large and small brands in the food and beverage, spirits, beauty and cosmetic, and other consumer product segments.
Headquartered in Trevose, PA, SWPG has continually enhanced its portfolio through strategic acquisitions. LPI (Letterhead Press, LLC.), based in New Berlin on the outskirts of Milwaukee, has been a distinct division within the company since its acquisition in 2017. It recently welcomed Chicago-based Pulver Packaging into the fold, taking the combined manufacturing footprint to over 300,000 sq ft.
Kurt Koloseike, President and CEO, S. Walter Packaging, explains, “Our value proposition across SWPG is speed, quality, price, and service. We deliver that value both through our traditional sourcing network and through our high-end manufacturing presence in the Midwest.” He adds, “We’re known for our expertise in custom packaging solutions, and our capabilities need to match this value proposition at all times. This is where the new BOBST die-cutters come in.”
Expanding die-cutting capabilities
The LPI division operates a range of older converting equipment from Bobst, including several die-cutters, folder-gluers, and hot transfer stamping machines. Needing to update its factory floor to increase productivity and stay at the forefront of the market, the company decided to kick off with two VISIONCUT 106 LER Autoplaten®, supported by a multi-functional MASTERPLOT 145 plotting and milling machine for die making, which was introduced in 2022.
The latest investment takes the total number of this specific Bobst die-cutter in the group to three, as Pulver Packaging installed the same model a couple of years before joining SWPG. Even so, the team still evaluated their options carefully before making the final decision. “We believe that every aspect we consider in our manufacturing process should not only result in financial and production advantages for our business but also ultimately benefit our customers. Upgrading our die-cutting platform was an integral component of our strategic approach to fulfil these objectives,” said Koloseike.
Long-standing partnership and dedication to quality
In addition to its dedication to quality and customer satisfaction, SWPG prides itself on the long-standing partnerships it has with equipment manufacturers, a sentiment that filters down to the factory floor. Like many of his colleagues, Plant Manager John Kelley has worked with Bobst equipment throughout his career. “When it comes to Bobst, we all share the same opinion. We know the efficiencies that their machines offer in production, along with their longevity, reliability, and robustness – they rarely break down. And then of course, there’s the great quality of the training,” said Kelley.
Summing up his experience so far with the Visioncut 106 LERs, which feature state-of-the-art sheet feeding, cut-to-print register, and automatic inline blanking, he noted, “With the new Bobst machines, there are so many benefits. Our make-readies have nearly halved, run speeds have doubled, and the workflow has been fully optimized. For instance, the automated blanking means they can easily handle all jobs, where before we often had to spend time hand stripping the more complex ones. This has truly accelerated our converting department with increased productivity and high precision die-cutting.”