Positioned as the only manufacturer in Utah to provide commercial printing, folding carton, and flexible packaging all under one roof, Aspen Press and Packaging recently recorded one of its best sales years in its twenty-year history. The Salt Lake City based company produces everything from straight-line and six-corner folding cartons to booklets and catalogs to pouches and shrink sleeves for the food, nutraceutical, health and beauty, cannabis, and high-tech industries. Seeing its work continue to migrate from commercial to packaging, Aspen recently installed a new Diana Easy 115 from HEIDELBERG to alleviate a bottleneck in its folding-gluing department. The Diana Easy is Aspen’s third folder gluer in production and first investment in Heidelberg folding carton converting equipment.
“We have a lot of customers who utilize our whole offering,” said Mark Mandel, CEO, Aspen Press & Packaging. “They like that we can produce not only their folding cartons but the inserts that go inside of them. All of that plus sachets or stick packs that are included in the folding carton.”
With increased demand for Aspen’s comprehensive services, its existing equipment could no longer keep up with its continued growth. The company was previously equipped with only two folder gluers. Mandel says, “We were swimming in unfinished cartons on the production floor. The productivity of our die-cutters was significantly outpacing our abilities to fold and glue.” Needing a swift solution, Aspen installed a new Diana Easy 115 in April. The Diana, with speeds up to 984 ft/min, is a significant speed upgrade over the company’s other machines and instantly increased Aspen’s throughput.
In addition to faster speeds, job set-up and makeready is quicker thanks to the machine’s operator friendly design and DigiSet function that helps the operator set-up a job for the first time by providing advice on where to position the carriers in each module. DigiSet also saves the settings for repeat jobs, which shortens the changeover process. The Diana has boosted productivity so much that it has helped Aspen improve its turnaround times for its customers.
Having recently completed its Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification to ensure its products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards – particularly for the pharmaceutical industry, Aspen strives to achieve only the highest in quality. One of the features that drew Aspen to the Diana was its solidly built design that minimizes vibration during the production run. “It’s very smooth,” said Mandel. “If a carton is not running through the machine, I have to look at the belts to make sure it’s running because it’s so quiet.” The lack of vibration during production runs has helped Aspen run the machine at the top-rated speeds and produce more consistent products.
Prior to purchasing the Diana, the company involved its entire folding-gluing team in the decision. “It’s important to Aspen that the team running the equipment has a say in the investments we make,” said Mandel. “When they’re involved in the decision, they’re going to make sure the equipment works when it hits your floor.”
While the company has worked with Heidelberg since it started in 2003 and currently runs three Speedmaster presses, Suprasetter CtP, Versafire EP, POLAR cutter, and Prinect Production Manager, Aspen has not previously invested in Heidelberg’s line of folding carton converting products. Aspen’s relationship with the manufacturer, in addition to price point and product availability, played a large role in its decision to purchase the Diana. “We know the quality of product that Heidelberg produces,” said Mandel. “We didn’t have to guess whether it was going to be a good machine.”