Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gazzella Atlantique were looking to set a new level for the sophistication of semi-automatic stitcher-gluers. The analysis started because after almost 20 years, this type of machine was more or less the same.
It is true that the evolution of corrugated board ‘joining’ relegates the simple wire stitch to being a very small part of the market, particularly against the growing strength of glue systems, but it is also true that the need to stitch on a machine didn’t change a great deal.
For Gazzella Atlantique, the challenge changed into become a leading supplier for stitcher-gluer ‘out of line’ solutions. It means that everything that one considers ‘Out of Format’ for fully automatic lines is now their business.
Aligned to this idea, the company begun to develop a full set of tools create additional flexibility within the machine portfolio. For example:
- Quick change for shoes to be able to stitch or glue on any flap (from 30mm to 100mm.; right/left internal/external);
- Specific tools to stitch/glue quantity of any kind of box (L box; double/triplewall double layer; portfolio boxes);
- Changed the technology on the motorisation and control;
- Stitching heads able to run up to 1400 stitches/min.
- The main limit for all the semi-automatic machines is the productivity linked to the operator activity. Faced with a number of tasks other than just running boxes, the operator on any semi-automatic stitcher/gluer has to handle tasks such as enter/feed the pile of board, manually set-up the machine, check and validate any new formats. All these tasks can take up to 50% of the time really spent in production. It means more stress for the operator and less productivity.
Gazzella Atlantique decided to be one of the first companies in the world to propose the ‘Next Level’ for semi-automatic stitcher-gluers. With an automatic feeding system, automatic set-up, Test Mode©, fully automatic stacker and direct link for order management, a new generation of machine was born. In December 2021, the new TW7200 left the company’s manufacturing site in Angers, France, destined for its new home in USA.
With this TW7200 machine, the operator does not have to move from his platform. Any of the stitching/gluing heads, sandwiches, lateral guides, or conveyors that have to be set manually for a box, can be saved – and the set-up is completely validated by the TEST MODE© system.
Once the machine finalises the set-up according to the defined box, the operator introduces the first sheet and once the join (both glue or stitch) for the box is completed, is sent back to the operator who can easily and quickly verify and validate or adjust the set-up. The machine then sends the completed box to the stacker.
The direct consequence is a productivity increase of 42%, meaning a solid increase on ROI and a happier operator.