Meet the game-changing addition to Acme Corrugated Box – a high-speed converting machine that offers faster customer order turn-arounds.
It’s one thing to replace existing production equipment at the end of its useful life. It’s another to add an entire equipment lineup – which Acme Corrugated Box did this summer with the addition of the Isowa Falcon FP50 Flexo Folder Gluer converting line.
Made by Isowa, the Falcon FP50 is the manufacturer’s fastest converting line for mid-sized boxes, boasting speeds of up to 350 boxes per minute.
“This is Acme Corrugated Box’s ninth piece of converting equipment, our second for standard-sized boxes, and a huge efficiency boost for our customers and our internal team,” says Ryan Stashko, Acme’s Manufacturing Services Supervisor Project Manager.
A RESPONSE TO DEMAND
Acme Corrugated Box began exploring the possibility of another mid-sized converting line in 2021 amidst an 80,000-foot facility expansion and an uptick in customer orders.
“We hit an impasse where the only way to keep up with existing orders and accommodate more orders moving forward was to scale up our production capability,” Stashko says.
Company leadership traveled to three different box plants nationwide to observe converting lines in use – and ultimately landed on the Isowa Falcon FP50. Beyond its speed, efficiency, and precision (with the Falcon, the first box run often measures perfectly – a rarity among converting lines), Falcon’s advantages keep coming. For one, its SuperFlex Plus Inking System is capable of printing four colors.
“As our third piece of converting equipment with four-color printing, the Falcon lets us take on more multi-color print orders and offers added backup in the event of machine downtime,” Stashko says.
The Falcon is one of six Acme Corrugated Box converting lines that offer flexo folder gluing in addition to diecutting. Even more, its vacuum transfer system eliminates the need for a transport belt, in turn eliminating belt maintenance issues.
Efficiency is achieved by more than just speed. The Falcon allows for job setup while other jobs are running. It can be opened and closed for easy access to mechanicals, simplifying and streamlining cleaning and maintenance.
In short, the Falcon decision was a fairly easy one. Once Acme Corrugated Box ordered its own Falcon FP50, members of our production team traveled back to the midwestern box plant where leadership had initially observed the Falcon in action. Under Isowa’s guidance, the Acme Corrugated Box team worked with that plant’s team to better understand the machine’s operations.
“The collaboration among the three parties – us, Isowa, and the Kansas plant – is greatly appreciated, and went a long way toward setting us up for success,” Stashko says.
PREPARING FOR TAKEOFF
Acme Corrugated Box’s Falcon FP50 arrived at our Pennsylvania facility in May. On June 1st, an Isowa engineering team traveled to Acme Corrugated Box from Japan – where the Falcon was manufactured – to handle rigging and mechanical assembly, which took a week and a half.
“Isowa’s team ensured proper setup and made sure the machine was calibrated properly,” Stashko explains. “At the same time, they kicked off training with our operations team.” Hands-on training was followed by classroom training on safety, then several days of application.
Acme Corrugated Box’s Falcon FP50 ran its first official box on June 21st.
So far, the Falcon is exceeding expectations.
“Any time we onboard a new piece of equipment, especially production line equipment, there’s an air of excitement,” Stashko says. “The excitement about the Falcon has been heightened by its practical benefits and the fact that there was a short learning curve and no major issues as we got it up and running. In fact, Isowa said ours has been one of the smoothest startups in Falcon history.”
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