SMP Group install Kolbus AB300 to fulfil increased box making demand

South East London based SMP Group bought their first Autobox Boxer, BX200, box making machine back in 2016. They have made millions of boxes since then as it continues to operate on a continuous 24-hour, six day a week, schedule.

With the current machine already running flat out, and demand for box making increasing, SMP looked to purchase a new box maker. With more automation, higher speed, and larger format then the existing machine, the Kolbus AB300 was judged to be the ideal candidate. Adding an Automatic Feeder AF300, with self-rising scissor Lift, and a MC300 Multicut module, further increased the number of box styles and eliminated the need for an operator to handle large and awkward sheets.

Left to right: Stephen Jepp, (SMP Finishing Department manager) and Arran Sethi (UK Director of Sales, Kolbus).

The new Autobox AB300 has enabled SMP to produce short to medium run lengths of boxes in a near infinite range of sizes, quickly, and without the need for tooling or long set times. It can produce wraps as big as 2600 mm wide (deckle) and unlimited length  (chop) for a wider, larger format range of boxes.

The combination of the Autobox AB300 and the Multicut MC300 have inline capabilities of slotting, slitting, double creasing, removing waste and hand holes, in a single pass. The Autobox AF300 automatic feeder lifts the top sheet from a full pallet. The top suction cups drive the board into large squaring wheels to align the sheets perfectly for the first step in converting by the AB300. Adding the Autobox AF300 fully automatic feeder streamlines the handling  of large stock board which can also be cut to length and width. It is set up in minutes and controlled by one simple touchscreen.

Stephen Jepp, Finishing department manager, SMP Group, said, “We have been operating the Boxer for many years now and it has been one of, if not the, quickest return on investment we have ever had. Although we bought the original machine to support our existing machinery, it quickly became our busiest. Since install, we have put thousands of boxes through the Autobox AB300. The operators love it and can already see the benefits of having an automated, larger format, quicker machine. Jobs are being completed considerably faster, making for even more satisfied customers.”

He continues, “We have always had excellent service and support from Kolbus Autobox. We have our machinery serviced each year and if we ever experienced a breakdown, spare parts were quickly and readily available. After all it’s only 1.5 hours up the road to pick up parts, and we can speak directly to the people who build the machines. We have enjoyed working with a UK manufacturer.”

A further consideration for any customer looking to buy a new box making machine is that with energy costs rocketing an increasingly important aspect of all Autobox machines in the AB range is their low running cost. Using the machine’s kinetic energy, the AB300, for example, only uses 0.4 to 0.66 kWh – less than most household appliances.

Arran Sethi, Director of Sales, Kolbus UK, said, We have built an excellent relationship with SMP Group over the years. They work our machines hard and have a very demanding operation. Any downtime is significant to them, but they know that they can rely on us for engineering and spare parts  aftersales support.”

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