The modular device was installed at the firm’s Coalville, Leicestershire site three months ago in response to customer demand.
According to Antalis Packaging head of business development John Garner, customers have increasingly been ordering short-run, bespoke packaging products, which was resulting in huge amounts of storage and also waste due to the minimum order quantities from mills.
“Typically, a minimum order of 100sqm might produce 200 boxes when we only needed 50,” Garner explained. “We wanted to increase our flexibility and reduce the quantity of product we were having to store.”
Garner and his team looked at a number of machines settling on the UK-made Kolbus Autobox AB. The device, which ranges in price from £70,000 to £300,000 depending on configuration, can convert a wide range of board up to triple wall corrugated.
“The quality of build is first class; there was a real feeling here that this machine was bullet-proof,” Garner said.
The device can handle widths from 100mm-2,600mm, with the flexo unit printing images up to 1,000x1,000mm and the multicut unit producing multiple out in length stock board products, Fefco-style 0401s, hand holes and pinned references. The setup for Antalis also comprises the optional standalone, high-output, semi-automatic Kolbus Pro Gluer box-gluing system.
Garner said: “The flexibility of the machine has exceeded all our expectations. Once our operators were fully trained, we were producing boxes for stock and to customer ordered specifications with minimum waste and downtime.
He added: “What helped this project to move forward so smoothly was the exceptional level of customer service we’ve received from Kolbus Autobox. From watching our machine being manufactured through to delivery and training, they have delivered gold standard customer support.
Kolbus UK sales manager, Arran Sethi, said: “It has been rewarding working alongside a new customer like Antalis. They were experiencing a rise in demand for quick-turnaround, bespoke packaging and wanted a solution which was both good for the environment and cost-effective.
"This Autobox installation has facilitated the transition for Antalis from box purchaser to box producer.”