Kingpin – A New Counter Locating Device

UK based C&T Channel Matrix, a leading manufacturer of creasing matrix, has developed a retracting locating pin for phenolic counters that brings significant time savings to the make-ready process as well as other benefits such as crease alignment and reduced contamination.

Kingpin is a patented system for locating counter plates that has been engineered specifically to save time during make-ready, resulting in reduced downtime, improved sheet throughput, improved creasing alignment, reduced risk of contamination and cleaner dies.

Simon Shenton, C&T Channel Matrix, Managing Director explains, “The development comes in response to our belief that the time is right for a more considered, engineered approach to cutting die technology, which has seen little advancement during the last 30 years.” C&T is part of the Plastics Capital Group, a publically listed Group specialising in niche plastic manufacturing. C&T has collaborated with other sister companies within the Group with specific expertise in product design and injection moulding. “This group wide expertise has been invaluable in the creation of this product which is revolutionising the process of counter transfer on press”, adds Mr Shenton.

The existing practice for positioning locating pins can lead to significant machine downtime. Using the conventional system, pins have to be inserted into the die board manually, then cork rings are inserted on the pins and then finally counters are mounted to the pins. Once the counters have been transferred to the plate, the die then has to be removed again from the die cutting machine and each pin and cork ring has to be removed manually. All of this is time consuming and contributes to machine downtime. Furthermore, the current pins can be unstable and this can cause misalignment of the counter on the plates, leading to poor creasing quality. Finally, it is very easy to forget to remove a pin or for pieces of cork or entire pins to enter the innards of the machine itself. This type of contamination can have severe consequences.

Mr Shenton explains, “Kingpin is a completely new concept. It replaces locating pins and rings entirely and instead a permanent pin is inserted into the die-board for the lifetime of the die. There is no need to remove Kingpin from the die as it self-retracts automatically into the die board upon transfer of the counter to the plate. When new counters need to be laid, Kingpin can be simply reactivated allowing the make-ready process to be repeated using the same die.”

The development and testing process has been extensive. C&T have worked closely with key end users and die makers in the UK such as the MPS Group (Multi Packaging Solutions) across various sites as well as the Lasercomb Group. “The feedback has been extremely positive, with all sites excited about the full commercial launch which is anticipated in June. C&T participated at MPS Group conference in May where the Kingpin product was presented to all cut/crease managers within the group. The feedback was excellent and all sites are excited about the prospect of using Kingpin in their dies”, confirmed Mr Shenton.

He concludes, “We are very excited to be launching Kingpin to the market. Its development is part of our commitment to our customers – we understand the pressures they face in trying to constantly find new ways to improve productivity. It will make a significant contribution to helping them improve efficiency in the make-ready process”.

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