The installation of a JD BoxR gluer is opening up new opportunities for the Pennsylvania corrugator plant.


Continued growth at York Container, an independent corrugator plant in York, Pa., has prompted the recent investment in several new pieces of equipment as well as the rearrangement of the production floor to accommodate the equipment. In August, the company installed an Isowa IBIS flexo folder-gluer and a Tanabe JD BoxR 2300 specialty folder-gluer. The JD BoxR is York’s third specialty gluer. “We were bumping up against some capacity constraints as it related to our specialty folder-gluers,” says Steve Tansey, President, York Container. The company also has a J&L specialty gluer and a Bahmüller Turbox specialty gluer with the Topmatcher mutli-piece feeder.

Robust Design
The JD BoxR gluer incorporates many user-friendly features along with a modular design for maximum flexibility, according to Doeke Holtrop of JD Engineers, supplier of the BoxR gluer. Every part of the machine is integrated. “The servo driven feed section is longer than normal and the following section runs at the same speed — 99% of boxes go straight through,” Doeke Holtrop of JD Engineers explains. “Servo drives throughout mean that the machine can go from full speed to stop in a fraction of a second.”

Currently, there are eight machines installed worldwide. York Container is the first installation in the U.S. There were many features about the Tanabe, such as its robustness, intuitive touch screen controls and electronics that were attractive to York. “We produce a lot of specialty designs that are really hard to handle,” says Bob Schaefer, Plant Superintendent. “This machine was capable of duplicating what we were able to do on our other machines so it gave us greater capacity and flexibility for our design team and production and manufacturing. We can move existing work from machine to machine.”

Jim Knappenberger, Department Supervisor, says he often moves jobs from one specialty gluer to another. “I do that on a daily basis. The Tanabe covers a wide range of applications that we throw at it.”

Steve Mettee, Plant Engineer, adds, “We were looking at what our current specialty folder-gluers could produce for us, and as we looked, comparing manufacturer to manufacturer, the Tanabe could do everything that our current specialty folder-gluers could do and it did it in a cleaner, better way.

“As an independent, we bring a lot of value to our customers in terms of what we’re capable of doing. We don’t run just straight line jobs,” Tansey says. “If we were running straight line all the time, running this machine 13,000 pieces an hour would be no problem, but when you’re starting to do very narrow bodied crash lock or autolock bottoms and the kinds of things that we run for our customers, the complexity of those types of things will slow the machine down. I do expect that we will see additional capacity coming out of the machine by increasing the speed. We have very good operators. We’re very fortunate. The software has played an important role in helping them be successful.”

Not Your Typical Independent
The JD BoxR gluer was installed just five days after the installation of the IBIS flexo folder-gluer. This is York’s fourth flexo folder-gluer. On-site finished goods warehousing was moved to another location to make room for the two new machines and material handling conveyor and components were added. “I have to give huge commendation to the engineers (Tully and Mettee),” Tansey says. “They had to manage both projects simultaneously.”

York was founded in 1954. About 260 employees work at the 260,000-sq-ft corrugator plant. The product mix is about 65% traditional brown box and 35% multi-color packaging and displays. The company has two seven-color high board line presses — a KBA Corrugraph and a Göpfert Evolution — and an Automatän labeler.

“We are a very interesting shop in that we have the capability of doing a great deal of things,” Tansey says. “What is unique about York Container is that we have some very creative people in the design department and amazing operators on the machines who can turn those visions into reality. We’re very fortunate to have the equipment and the people who can run that equipment to make those things happen.”

Read the full article in the March/April issue of CORRUGATED TODAY, out in early March!