Midlands-based Kilby Packaging wanted to fulfil the increasing demand for bespoke boxes in larger formats, and shorter runs, at their Kettering sheet plant and have chosen a Kolbus Autobox AB300 corrugated boxmaking machine to achieve this.
James Kilby, Managing Director, only had experience of a twenty plus years old Autobox machine with limited capabilities so needed convincing. He and Ivan Eldred, Site Manager, agreed to go to a demonstration at the Kolbus Autobox manufacturing facility in Houghton Regis. The Kolbus Autobox AB300 was put through its paces with particular focus on productivity. The range of styles which could be produced, the tight tolerances, accurate programming, and production speed were demonstrated.
Kilby and Eldred were quick to appreciate the considerable improvements made to this new generation Kolbus Autobox machine; the larger format, up to 2,600mm width and unlimited length; the interchangeable slotting knives which were previously fixed; no minimum first panel size, previously 80mm; centre set and much greater hold down across the full width of the machine. All this and the machine could run at over 700 boxes per hour on a four-slot box.
The capabilities of the Autobox AB300 more than met the criteria set by Kilby Packaging, the fact that it was designed and built close by was a bonus. Fast access to engineering support and a comprehensive stock of spare parts being what Autobox guaranteed. Installation and training requirements were given in advance so that delivery worked seamlessly. In less than a week, operators were fully trained and running live jobs.
Eldred said, “The machine hasn’t stopped working for us since day one. We can’t fault it. It is producing the biggest boxes in the heaviest board grades possible, as well as volumes that we never thought would go through an Autobox. The ability to produce standard FEFCO styles, but also bespoke configurations is extremely useful.”