The MSP is the ideal sheeter for converters and printers wanting to maximize productivity and control product quality. It is particularly well suited for digital and folio sheet sizes.

Sheeting: Precision Is What It’s All About

“In 1987, CML Industries purchased Precision Fine Papers, Inc., a Toronto based converting company providing precision cut paper and board to mostly Toronto-area printers. For the next fourteen years the company has grown and prospered,” Jim Durkin, President of Precision Fine Papers said.

“Precision Fine Paper’s goal is to further expand business in the Toronto area – one of the largest printing markets in North America. “Our customers are primarily large and medium size printers, but we also sell to packaging companies,” Durkin went on to say. “We were working overtime every weekend trying to keep ahead of orders and it was difficult to hire talented operators which compounded production demands.” Recognizing the need for expanding capacity necessitated an analysis of existing equipment and it was clear that a new sheeter was required to achieve that goal.

Precision Fine Paper began the search for appropriate equipment for their needs and talked with Maxson Automatic Machinery Company about precision sheeters. “We had been using two older and slower sheeters that required four guillotine trimmers operating five days a week to trim all four sides of a pile. This was not only time consuming, it resulted waste to the tune of $250,000 per year,” reported Durkin. “We knew we had to do something to solve those two problems.

cml1“We explained our needs, and Maxson accommodated,” said Durkin. “We did a lot of ‘what abouts’ in our discussions with Maxson people and we developed an almost custom-made Maxson MSP sheeter to suit our present production requirements as well as our future plans for expansion. Since we supply large-format printers, we needed a sheeter that could handle sheet lengths up to 80″. To satisfy this need, Maxson custom designed a cyclic drive system as well as conventional drive system for the MSP sheeter. When a job demands long sheet lengths, the cyclic drive system is engaged at the touch-screen control panel. The knife revolver will then hesitate on each revolution allowing the draw roll to advance the paper or board to the appropriate length. At the prescribed moment, the knife revolver turns and cuts the web. This feature can be disengaged for shorter cutoff allowing the knife revolver to turn in the conventional way with the advancement of the paper and turn of the knife revolver in synchrony. Adaptations for longer sheet lengths are also incorporated in the stacker.

A cyclic drive system is incorporated into the Maxson MSP Sheeter, allowing as short as 15″ and as long as 80”.

Precision Fine Paper also anticipated the later installation of auto splicing equipment for on-the-fly roll changes necessitating the installation of a reject gate after the cutter. Sensors will divert spliced or imperfect sheets from the tape section prior to moving to the stacker. “We wanted all these features right out of the box rather than have to think about retrofitting at a later date,” explained Durkin.

Precision Fine Paper has about 23,000 square feet of production and warehouse space and carries over one million dollars in inventory at any given time, so there was not much space. “Already pinched for space, we wondered where we’d put a new sheeter. There was maybe twelve feet of space between the two older sheeters. Because of its compact footprint, the Maxson MSP sheeter fit nicely in the space available,” said Durkin.

“The new sheeter runs faster than the existing sheeters and the whole pace has picked up in the sheeting area,” reported Durkin. “In fact, there’s a little friendly production competition now between machines. The MSP can sheet rolls 18-1/2″ in width if they have a 3″ core and 22″ if they have a 5″ core and a maximum trimmed width of 56″,” added Durkin. “Sheeting light weight paper has been a problem for us, so we have stayed away from 40 lb. Offset and 60 lb. Coated, especially gloss. We are confident that the Maxson sheeter will allow us to sheet these grades with no problems.” The precision of cut is achieved with state-of-the-art electronic cutoff control providing sheet length accuracy of ±0.015 inches and squareness accuracy to within ±0.020 inches. Because so much more work is being put on the MSP, Precision Fine Paper has retired one of the guillotine trimmers.

Also assisting in handling a wide range of paper and board weights is the patented Airfoil Overlap System that overlaps, or shingles, the cut packets as they pass through the tape section. Precision’s MSP is equipped with a variable overlap that permits alteration in the amount of overlap with just a simple adjustment depending on the type and weight of the product being cut.

Another labor saving feature are the three Citation, self-loading roll stands. Web stock as large as 72 inches in diameter weighing as much as 6,000 lbs. is simply rolled in place between two posts and the roll stand raises the roll. The Citation is designed to decrease roll changeover time and increase productivity. There are no overhead hoists and no risk of injury.

Since the machine is so simple to operate, the sheeter has enabled Precision Fine Paper to reduce the production staff by four people for an annual savings of about $140,000. Precision Fine Paper has projected pay back on the MSP sheeter within two years. “We are now positioned to add a third shift, produce more and expand the market. We are targeting the packaging industry and expect to increase that business by 20-25%. We are seeing increased business because of the rapid turn around, we are able to provide. We do keep 40% of our inventory in finished stock, however, even on orders that must be sheeted, we can take an order at noon and deliver it the next day thanks to the Maxson MSP.

“We were a little concerned about service, since we are in Canada, but we had no worries. Maxson has been consistently responsive to every phone call and has offered every kind of assistance in getting us passed the normal learning curves that come from working with a state-of-the-art machine with new technologies,” exclaimed Durkin. “If I sound like I’m happy, I am.”

Reprinted from Paper Industry Magazine, August 2001

Sheeter Supports Specialty Focus at Badger Paper’s Peshtigo Mill

After re-evaluating economic conditions, Badger Paper Mills, Inc. in Peshtigo, WI recognized that converting is a value-added element in the specialty market that must continually be expanded. Badger’s strategic plan is composed of a corporate reinvention that includes a close look at product mix, equipment, and market as well as forging a relationship with Maxson Automatic Machinery Company.

What are some of the key points to this strategic plan? Mark Neumann, Vice President of Sales, stated these points are evaluating economic conditions, Badger’s position in the marketplace, and potential areas of growth. “We produced excellent fine white paper products with recognizable names such as Copyright, and Ta-Non-Ka,” Neumann reported. “We asked ourselves, did we want to attempt to increase our market share by making more and more of a product that had already matured, or was our growth going to be realized by expanding into other areas.” A strategic plan was developed to replace commodity papers with specialty papers. “In 1996, we stated we wanted our specialty products to make up 55% of our annual sales by the year 2000. We nearly hit that number in 1998 when our specialty sales hit 53%. This was an increase of 16% over 1997, when specialty sales accounted for just 37% of total sales,” explained Neumann. “We continue to grow in specialty products and have carved out a specialized niche that satisfies quick response to smaller orders.”

Badger also embarked on ISO 9001 certification in 1996, which supports the quality and consistency needed to meet the demands of their customers. The entire organization supports ISO because of the value it brings. Badger has been the recipient of commendations from auditors several times.

To improve the manufacturing infrastructure at Badger, many capital improvements have been implemented according to Chief Operating Officer, Michael Bekes. “Badger Paper justified machinery upgrades in a number of areas,” Bekes stated. “There have been a number of modifications and improvements on both our Fourdrinier and Yankee paper machines over last three years. We have added state of the art computer control systems on both paper machines; a web inspection system; new digital drives; and improved chemical addition systems. These capital improvements have increased capacity and are producing a consistently better product.”

It would be amazing to get through a day without using one of a plethora of Badger Paper products – the sterilized wrap on a Band-Aid, a piece of ink jet paper, or the glassine type bag that houses new guitar string. Many products produced by Badger use a waxing process. With Dry Waxed Papers, the wax is applied to one or both sides of the sheet. Butter wrap, gum wrap, and those little ‘soufflé’ cups, which are used for ketchup at restaurants, are processed this way. Wet Wax Papers have a continuous wax film on one or both surfaces. Taffy wrap, bread wrap, and cough drop are examples of these types of paper. Michael Bekes explained, “Specialty products are often colorful products. Now, in addition to our 28 stocking shades, Badger also produces over 250 different colors to help customers match a need, our on-line Color Control System guarantee consistent color from run to run.”

Adding to the grade mix are new folio sized paper products and a need to expand the finishing department to handle this increased volume. Badger took a close look at mill-wide production streams and realized that the converting department had an obstacle concerning antiquated sheeting equipment. Production speeds were limited by the age and wear of the equipment and quality was somewhat inconsistent. Their decision to upgrade the part of their converting brought them to Maxson Automatic Machinery Company.


“We certainly did our homework concerning sheeting equipment evaluation,” asserts Mark Bruemmer, Finishing/Shipping Supervisor. “We projected numbers, calculated an excellent ROI and justified the purchase of a Maxson Automatic Machinery Company MSP Sheeter. This machine will pay for itself in a relatively short time. This new sheeter has also almost totally eliminated the need to out source converting of folio sizes. This gives us total control of our inventory, production schedule and saves money. Installation of this equipment has increased throughput of our folio sheeting by 250% and has smoothed out a significant production problem,” Bruemmer continued.

The Maxson MSP Sheeter is equipped with two Citation, self-loading roll stands. Rolls as large as 72 inches (1830 mm) in diameter weighing as much as 6,000 lbs. (2725 kg) can simply be pushed into place between two posts and raised into position. The Citation is designed to decrease roll changeover time and increase productivity. There are no overhead hoists and no risk of injury. “We have realized that additional roll stands will increase our productivity proportionately,” added Bruemmer.

“We are getting more familiar with the machine all the time and are running a wide range of basis weights from 20 lb. to 80 lb. (30 gsm to 120 gsm) on an assortment of paper grades. These include machine finished grades, WOGR papers (water, oil and grease resistant) and MICR (Magnetic Ink Character Recognition) as well as a virgin and recycled printing papers,” reported Bruemmer. “Because of the ease of material changeover and quick set up, we can respond to short runs and will accept a special size order in small quantities. We’ve had excellent training by Maxson technicians and we feel free to call for advice whenever we need it.”


The Maxson MSP Sheeter can handle webs up to 57 inches (1447 mm) and cutoffs as short as 11 inches (254 mm) and as long as 60 inches (1525 mm) with no sacrifice to the sheet length accuracy of ±0.015 inches (+ 0.38 mm). Cut off accuracy is maintained by a microprocessor controlled dual motor drive system. Using high resolution encoders to feed back to the microprocessor, which governs the two AC drive system, the knife revolver motor follows the proportional speed of the draw drum motor AC motor precisely. Since there are no adjustable mechanical components, length variation due to wear is eliminated. There is no need whatsoever to guillotine trim folio sizes.

Further, because the cutter is equipped with six, air loaded top slitters; the MSP can also deliver up to five piles of precisely cut material in smaller A4 sheet format. In the MSP’s delivery system, Maxson’s patented Airfoil Overlap System provides an improved method of overlapping sheets at high speed. This system provides jam-free performance, particularly when single web runs are necessary on lightweight grades.

“We’re convinced that we made the right decision by installing the Maxson MSP Sheeter. Badger realizes that converting is a value-added element and must be continually expanded,” summarized Bruemmer.

Reprinted from Pulp & Paper, October 2001

Sheeter Cuts Path to Quick Payback

After brokering envelopes for a number of years, JBM President, Greg Sheanshang ventured into envelope manufacturing. Starting small, the company was located in a 6,000 square foot space in Cincinnati, OH. Growth soon demanded more space and the company built a new 30,000 square foot facility in an industrial park in Lebanon, OH. With more space, Sheanshang set new goals to improve production flow and evaluate machinery and equipment to handle the ever-growing business volume. The new business spawned by these procedures and evaluations necessitated yet another expansion in 1996 to 61,000 square feet.

In 1989, JBM determined that purchasing a sheeter would provide much needed flexibility by converting inventory in their own facility, at their own pace rather than waiting for an outside converter’s schedule. “Back in the beginning, we needed tiny sheets,” said Sheanshang. “JBM relied on a ‘friendly’ competitor to slit and cut rolls we purchased from mills. We were also purchasing sheeted stock from mills, which was quite expensive. It was at this point that we considered the purchase of a sheeter.” Shopping the used converting equipment market yielded a sixties vintage sheeter which needed extensive refurbishing. “We bought it, but if we had to do it over again, considering the amount of money we poured into that machine, we could have bought new. Sheeting in-house did slash the up-charges associated with having converting done outside,” Sheanshang continued, “but the accuracy wasn’t there and we needed to guillotine trim everything, resulting in loss of revenue in waste.”

In the right direction

Despite the shortcomings of the used sheeter and the disappointment that it wasn’t delivering all the benefits in-house sheeting usually provides, JBM knew they were heading in the right direction. Investing in a new sheeter was the answer and they commenced a search for appropriate sheeters for their application. “We looked at the entire marketplace but there were a number of reasons we settled on the Maxson MSP Sheeter,” Sheanshang remarked, “A primary consideration was sourcing reliable, American-made equipment that we were sure would be supported with nearby technical assistance and quick delivery of spare parts.” The MSP Sheeter also satisfied JBM’s requirement for speed and precision with a machine capable of running at speeds up to 1000 fpm with sheet length accuracy of ±0.015 inches.

The Maxson MSP Sheeter was purchased and the installation was completed in December 1999. “We were well supported by Maxson Automatic’s installation and training staff,” explained Dana Fox, JBM’s Director of Operations.

“We have realized all kinds of pluses as a result of purchasing the MSP Sheeter,” Fox went on to say. “The first thing that became apparent was that the footprint of the MSP Sheeter was so much smaller than the old, used sheeter. We picked up quite a bit of floor space that is now being used for other purposes that are contributing to increased production.”

The Maxson sheeter brought a new efficiency to JBM’s use of personnel. After one month of training a single sheeter operator was running the machine by himself with excellent results. That single operator can also make size changes by entering instructions by keypad that controls the microprocessor. Operators previously assigned to the used machine are now occupied elsewhere in the production stream – another savings.

Condensed converting

“We also see huge savings in overhead since the MSP Sheeter’s speed is condensing our converting production time from three shifts over seven days to two shifts over five days,” concludes Fox. “Because the sheeter’s cut is so precise, there is no more need for guillotine trimming at all. We put those operators to work on other tasks, too. We sold the guillotine equipment and are seeing substantial savings in waste conservation. We used send a truckload of waste away every other day.”

Ninety-eight percent of JBM’s material comes in roll stock form from mills or paper merchants on a just-in-time basis. Since the MSP Sheeter is ideal for short runs, they save money by not having huge inventories eating up space in their warehouse and can accept orders of all sizes. “We have calculated that the MSP Sheeter will pay for itself in one year,” summarized Fox. “So many enhancements and benefits of this sheeter are being reflected in the bottom line.”

JBM Envelope’s MSP Sheeter is equipped with two air-shafted roll stands, capable of handling rolls up to 60″ in diameter and weighing as much as 5,000 pounds. “At this point, we are sheeting two rolls of either 24# white woven or 24# kraft paper. However, we are contemplating an additional roll stand which will increase our production by one-third,” Fox reported.

The MSP is equipped with two air-shafted roll stands capable of handling rolls up to 60 in. in diameter and weighing as much as 5,000 lbs.

Maxson’s breaker roll design web conditioning system ensures smooth passage of the web to the cutter section which is equipped with 4 pairs of easily adjusted slitters. Typically, JBM Envelope sheets one, two and three piles, and ease of adjustment and convenient accessibility becomes especially critical for swift setup changes and short runs. The cutter is also equipped with a trim removal system and a chevroned air loaded squeeze roll that acts to prevent wrinkles in the web prior to entering the knife section. Accuracy is controlled at this point by the dual motor drive system governed by a microprocessor that is constantly reading digital signals from the draw drum and the knife revolver servomotors during each revolution.

After exiting the cutting section, the sheeted material enters the patented Maxson Airfoil Overlap System where sheets are overlapped, or shingled, as they pass through the tape section and are conveyed on to the stacker. It is this process that substantially increases overall speed.

The MSP Sheeter is equipped with a cantilevered stacker and JBM opted for a 61″ pile option. As the cut packets pass to the stacker table, they are jogged into perfect, ice block piles.

It’s hip to be square

“Squareness and sheet length cutoff are so precise, we send sheeted product directly to the litho department for printing,” observed Fox. This was never possible before. The proof of cut accuracy shows once the printing is completed and the stacks go to the die cutter. If squareness is not maintained in the sheeting operation, any lines printed on the piece will be crooked. “We are always amazed that the sheeter turns out a consistently perfect product,” summarized Fox. “A production cycle, from time of order until delivery, used to be 15-17 days – now it is 10-12 days. We have just started our express service of 7 days on coins and drive-in envelopes.”

With the aid of their state-of-the-art graphics department, JBM assists customers with design work and pre-press. In-house litho presses produce one to four color work with over-production and more specialized printing going outside. The cut is so clean and dust free, they send sheeted stock to printers with total confidence that squareness will result in perfect registration and the product will be completely free of dust particulate which causes hickies during printing.

“Maintenance of the MSP has proved to be so simple, a knife change can take less than four hours. That compares to being off-line for two shifts with our old sheeter,” asserts Fox. “There are dollars saved in countless ways because of this sheeter.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results that have come from installing the MSP Sheeter,” summarized Fox. “We only wish we had done it years ago.”

Reprinted from Converting Magazine, February 2001

Precision Sheeting Ensures Profitability for Graphic Paper

Success is guaranteed when a company accurately assesses the needs of customers and responds by providing an excellent quality product at a competitive price. Graphic Paper is out in front of the curve, anticipating the requirements of the graphics arts printing industry for the New York City area. Graphic’s growth is a reflection of this prowess. The installation of a new sheeter from Maxson Automatic Machinery Co. will only allow the trend to continue.

Graphic Paper began eleven years ago with the acquisition of a converting facility in Jamaica, NY. Graphic’s expansion plans accelerated three years ago with the purchase of a 143,000 square foot converting and distribution facility in Central Islip, NY. Graphic Paper expects earnings increases to correspond with space expansion. Today, revenue leaped an average of 28% since 1998. An expansion project is scheduled in the near future that will increase space to 200,000 square feet.

graphGraphic Paper services the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut tri-state region with 50% of their business in the New York City/Long Island area. “There are many graphics arts printers on Long Island,” reports Leonard Aronica, Jr., CEO of Graphic Paper, “and, we are only 45 minutes from the city. What’s important to our customers is placing an order and having a quality product delivered right away.” Because of Graphic’s location, equipment and personnel, they can accept an order by 5:00 in the afternoon and deliver it the next day. “Our trucks are on the road by 5:00 a.m.,” continued Aronica, and we maintain a huge inventory of roll stock of all types of paper and board stock to ensure timely deliveries.

To maintain this kind of turn-around performance and increase output, Graphic Paper added a Maxson MSP Sheeter to their production line. “The new MSP Sheeter is a precision sheeter capable of running both paper and board at speeds up to 1000 fpm, depending on material, with absolutely no need for guillotine trimming, ” Aronica reported. “We are realizing great savings in production time and avoiding waste by eliminating this step. There was a time when paper waste could be profitable, but not any more. We want more paper to sell and less to throw away.”

The Maxson MSP Sheeter, which replaced an older machine, can fill a truckload each day running two webs. “Because of its versatility and precision, we’ve been assigning all kinds of work to the MSP,” continued Aronica. “We can run two webs of material as light as 45# offset and calipers as heavy as 18 pt. Solid bleached sulfate (SBS) board. We’re even sheeting some of the new synthetic papers made of polypropylene fillers that are tear proof and waterproof and are ideal for pressure sensitive labels, and maps.”

The Maxson MSP Sheeter is equipped with a dual motor drive system that provides press-ready sheets. Older sheeters with mechanical drives have intrinsic variations in sheet length; however, the dual motor drive on the Maxson sheeter provides a sheet-length accuracy of ±0.015 in. regardless of cut-off length or line speed. Sheet-length changes can be accomplished in about two minutes, by simply entering instructions on a keypad. “This is so important today because short runs, short cutoffs and special sizes, such as digital sizes, are what the customer wants. We’re down to an 11″ sheet length cutoff, in some cases,” explains Aronica. “We do it right, producing exceptional quality product.”

The MSP Sheeter is also equipped with an easily adjusted slitter rig providing four-pile service. Squareness accuracy is maintained at ±0.020 inches. Material changeovers are also swiftly accomplished with the aid of the Maxson Citation shaftless roll stands. A single operator can simply position the rolls between two posts and raise them into position. No overhead hoists are required so Graphic saves time and eliminates potential safety hazards.

Material changeovers can be swiftly accomplished by a single operator with the aid of two Maxson Citation Roll Stands. A roll is positioned between the two posts and raised into position.

Presently, Graphic Paper operates two shifts, but the goal is to acquire more mill work and expand to a third shift. You have to make the investment in machinery to make a profit. “The way to get a machine to pay for itself, and to increase revenue, is to occupy that machine full-time,” stated Aronica. “For this reason, we are expanding the board market portion of our business. More commercial printers are using board and we want to be a part of that marketplace.”

It is certain that Graphic will meet the goal because Graphic Paper understands the formula for success. Maxson Automatic Machinery Co. is pleased to be a significant part of the equation.

lReprinted from The Sheeting Monitor, June 2001

Midwestern Printing Company is Labeled for Success

How do successful label companies keep their customers coming back time and time again? They provide a quality product and a variety of in-house services to facilitate any customer needs they might encounter. One such label company that has reaped the benefits of this strategy is Koch Label. Located in western Indiana, Koch’s tendency to bring services in-house has provided the company with continued success.

Koch has been supplying labeling for the food, beverage, automotive, and personal care industries for over 56 years. Currently run by company President David L. Scheller, Koch most notably produces quality beverage labels for many brand names.

Koch’s Indiana headquarters is based in a modern 70,000 sq. ft. plant within a suburban business section of Evansville, and is capable of providing customers with the full range of printing and converting services necessary to the label manufacturing process. Employing approximately 200, Koch primarily targets label markets in the United States, Russia, and South America. In order to provide quality products and services to each of these markets, the company maintains an additional operation in Brazil, with a flexo division in Maryland. Kal Grafx, a sister company, is located in Michigan.

At Koch Label, the Maxson MSP Sheeter handles preprinted rolls of both coated and metallized paper and provides a sheet length accuracy of ±0.006 inches (±0.15 mm)

Koch Label can be classified as a converter as well as a printer. The company dedicates a large percentage of their southern Indiana plant’s floor space to gravure printing machinery, and through its partnership with Kal Grafx provides all three types of printing to its customers—rotogravure, flexographic, and lithographic. On the converting end of the business, Koch provides many in-house services such as slitting and rewinding, sheeting in-line on press, die cutting, and guillotine trimming. Roll to roll converting is also an option available to customers.

Due to the recent installation of a nine color roll-to-roll printing press, the company found that the need to bring off line sheeting in-house had come to the forefront. Once the printing job was off the press, possessing the capability to convert rolls of preprinted material into quality sheeted stock would be of great benefit. “We needed the extra flexibility of being able to print roll to roll and slit, or being able to sheet after printing.” notes David L. Scheller, President of Koch Label.

Although Koch previously possessed the ability to sheet in-line on press, sheeting as a stand-alone option would be a new capability that would benefit the company in three ways. As well as adding to overall operational flexibility, in-house sheeting would also offer the company the advantage of precisely controlling their sheet quality. Precise levels of accuracy were vital for Koch’s demanding cut to register applications. By bringing sheeting in-house, the company would have control over sheet length and squareness accuracies. In-house sheeting would also increase the company’s productivity levels tremendously. Sheeting off-line would allow the company to sheet shorter runs with minimal down time necessary for the frequent size changes.

After researching the various sheeters available, Koch Label chose the MSP Sheeter manufactured by Maxson Automatic Machinery Company (Westerly, RI). “We chose the sheeter based on performance and price. The sheeter has the ability to deliver quality stacks on papers without us having to repile,” says Scheller.

The MSP Sheeter is engineered specifically to fulfill the sheeting needs of printers and precision converters. The sheeter can be operated at very high speeds, allowing Koch the production capacity it needs to keep up with the sheeting demand off their press. “We successfully run 75 gsm paper at 500-600 fpm (152-183 mpm) on the Maxson. It does a nice job, we’re very happy with it,” comments Scheller. The company utilizes the sheeter to run both coated and metallized paper.

To optimize the speed of set-up during roll changes, Koch Label selected the Citation shaftless roll stand. This roll stand has a self-loading design and a 6,000 lb. (2727 kg.) load capacity. The Citation shaftless roll stand enables the operator to simply move the roll into place. The roll stand’s easily operated controls allow the operator to then chuck the roll and lift it into position. Roll changes are complete within four minutes, reducing downtime and providing safe and easy roll loading. The roll stand is equipped with automatic tension control to assure the appropriate amount of brake pressure is applied.

The Citation shaftless roll stand allows the Operator to complete roll changes in less than four minutes

The web conditioning unit includes web steering, a decurler section, and splice detector. These components assure that a correctly aligned, decurled web enters the sheeter and unsuitable, spliced sheets are rejected. The result is improved sheet length accuracy, reduced waste amounts, and overall optimized efficiency.

Sheet quality being such an important issue to the company, the MSP Sheeter is equipped with many built-in features to assure accuracy levels. As all of Koch Label’s sheeting is cut to register work, the sheeter utilizes a dual motor drive system to control the sheet length. Comprised of two maintenance-free AC motors and a microprocessor controller, the drive allows the company to sheet to a finished size, saving both labor and lead time in the sheeting production schedule. Operators can input size changes in seconds by utilizing the keypad to enter desired measurements. A high resolution scanner detects the registration marks, guaranteeing cut accuracy. “We can cut to register with a sheet length accuracy of ±0.006 inch (±0.15 mm),” Scheller notes.

The cutter drive includes an automatic squaring feature that eliminates the need to manually adjust for squareness. The addition of a slitter rig to split the web into two streams allows Koch Label to sheet down to a smaller format if necessary.

Productivity is enhanced by the airfoil overlap. This patented device eliminates jam-ups at the point of overlap on lightweight materials. Also helpful is the grid system, which allows Koch Label the option of continuously running the machine. When a full skid needs to be unloaded off the stacker, the grid extends to act as a temporary stacking area. After the full skid is unloaded and an empty skid is in place, the grid is retracted and piling reverts back to the skid, allowing the MSP to be run throughout the skid change.

The MSP Sheeter’s jogging system provides superior pile quality, and Koch is able to trim the labels to a finished format size without having to re-pile. This allows quality to be enhanced and time saved. Air at the pile is introduced to deliver the sheets into the stacker and improve the integrity of the pile.

Koch Label has benefited from their Maxson sheeter purchase in many ways. The company no longer needs to repile before trimming, has added to their list of services for their customers, and can now sheet off-line as well as in-line. All these factors allow the company more control over quality, production time, and on-time order commitment.

Constantly upgrading the services the company provides has allowed Koch Label to hold the competition at bay in the high-end label printing industry. In addition to customers from all over the United States, Koch Label looks forward to expanding their Russian and South American overseas operations through a service facility to be based in Brazil. Providing this winning portfolio of high quality services can only propel Koch Label to success now and for years to come.

Reprinted from The Sheeting Monitor, June 1997

Esleeck, A Mill with a Mission

Esleeck Manufacturing Company, Inc., is situated alongside the fast-moving Connecticut River in picturesque Turners Falls, Massachusetts, where it has been for more than 100 years. The company is currently led by William C. Blanker, Chairman of the Board and Charles H. Blanker, President.

Esleeck has always been a good neighbor and they take their obligation to the environment very seriously each year cleaning millions of gallons of water used in production. Esleeck recycles and re-uses all their manufacturing trimmings. More than half of their papers are 100% cotton and they have even developed a paper called Blue Jean Bond® that was developed by recycling – you guessed it – blue jean cuttings from blue jean manufacturers.

Esleeck Manufacturing Company produces for two markets. Communication papers which include watermark, bond and writing papers, as well as technical papers for engineering drawings and prints, and for the Graphic Arts industry.

esleek1In keeping with their dedication to producing a variety of exceptional quality paper and their desire to continue servicing and expand their worldwide customer base, it was decided to upgrade some of the production machinery in use. Mr. Blanker reported, “We needed to increase efficiency and production in a more economical way. We also are committed to our employees who contribute to our success. Because we have maintained profitability, we are able to reinvest in the company by upgrading equipment.”

Together with investment in state-of-the-art paper manufacturing machinery, as well as slitting and rewinding equipment, sheeting equipment came under scrutiny also. “We had four outdated sheeters which required regular maintenance and we had to guillotine trim everything,” said Blanker. “We looked at other sheeter suppliers before selecting Maxson, and found the Maxson MSP, designed to cut to watermark, was a good one to fill our needs economically that included the features we needed,” Blanker stated. Esleeck also wanted American manufactured equipment..

“One such feature is the roll stands,” Ray Gerrish, Finishing Supervisor pointed out. “Because of the four new shaftless Citation roll stands, a single operator can more safely load the roll stock in 50% less time than before.” The self loading, shaftless design eliminates the need for an overhead hoist when loading rolls. Once the operator moves the roll into position, the roll stand chucks grip the roll and lift it into position. The Citation roll stands have a 6,000 lb. load capacity and are capable of continuous service at speeds of up to 1,000 fpm.

esleek2The Maxson MSP also features a dual motor drive system that provides a sheet length accuracy of ±0.015″. “This means the cut off is so accurate that the need for guillotine trimming has been altogether eliminated generating another 2% savings on waste,” according to Gerrish.

Precision cutting of the MSP Sheeter has increased savings on waste by an additional 2% at Esleeck Manufacturing Co.

“Now we are sheeting a wider variety of paper and grades and dealing with the occasional ‘odd ball’ paper is much easier than before,” continued Gerrish.

Because of the ease of setup, and the precision of the operation, it is possible to quickly complete a relatively short production run of 10,000 lbs. and reweb for a production run of 40,000 lbs. “Before we installed the MSP Sheeter, we were reluctant to change cutoff size often because of the setup time. Because of the Airfoil Overlap System, seeing a jam is a rarity and static free speeds up to 1000 fpm can be achieved.” The air assist of the overlap system swiftly and smoothly moves sheeted material through the tape section and into the stacker particularly in single web or lightweight stock. Gerrish stated, “We can run 4 rolls of 24 lb. stock, slit it, and stack it with total accuracy.”

“We’re better equipped to handle short runs and have reduced our turnaround times by 50 percent,” Gerrish continued. “We went from a mechanical system to an electronically controlled system.” Mr. Blanker commented, “We used to do a lot more trucking and moving stock around. Now, we’re getting product out the door a lot faster.”

These time and material savings translate into profits and, Mr. Blanker added, “Business volume and increased profitability has been maintained in the last two years. The goal was to increase the sheeter business and, now with the Maxson MSP Sheeter, we can service our customers more efficiently.”

Reprinted from The Sheeting Monitor, December 1999

Envelope Manufacturer Cuts to Chase, Improves Competitiveness

Royal Envelope, which dates its origins to 1978 when its 10 employees supplied financial institutions with envelopes, has grown into a full service envelope manufacturer complete with printing capabilities. Now with 60 employees, the family owned business possesses the ability to produce up to 8 million envelopes a week. “The underlying reason for the company’s growth”, according to General Manager Matthew Pusatera, “is their commitment to do whatever it takes to satisfy the customer.”

It was this commitment that led Royal Envelope in 1995 to invest in a five color 40″ Heidelberg sheet fed printing press. Now nearly 70% of Royal’s sales volume is run through their printing department.

Although the majority of revenues are generated in producing standard envelopes, today Royal Envelope focuses on the direct mail market – specifically the ad envelope business. This segment of the market requires a higher end product of multi color specialty paper that is demanding in terms of quality and delivery. Using Customer supplied designs, Royal proofs the artwork, prints and makes the envelopes and then ships them to a mailing house. Performing the critical services in the process, Royal bears the responsibility of providing a quality product in a timely manner.

Fulfilling a customer’s satisfaction begins with securing sheeted stock, (70 lb coated paper is the most popular), purchased in sheeted form from paper suppliers or converted from rolls on an in house sheeter. After printing, the sheet stock passes to the cutting department where over 700 different type, style and size envelopes can be die cut to customer specification. Once the envelopes are cut to the required pattern, the order is scheduled on one of eight folders. The folding equipment is different to handle various sizes, diverse styles and assorted quantities. Some of the folders can apply printing in a flexographic manner or adhere a window to the envelope.

The Management determined that to enhance their company’s competitiveness in pursuing larger contracts and boosting profit margins overall, they needed to upgrade the sheeting equipment. “There were a few reasons for investing in a new sheeter”, Matthew Pusatera explains.

“First, most of the revenue goes through the Heidelberg and that press needs trimmed sheets. But because the existing sheeter was pre 1960’s vintage, it couldn’t produce press ready sheets unless we guillotine trimmed afterwards, which was costly in terms of waste and labor. As for the alternative, we were tired of buying sheeted stock for the press because it was a lot more expensive than buying rolls.”

envelope2“Another issue is that in the envelope business the standard sheet sizes (23″ x 35″, 25″ x 38″, and 28″ X 40″) are not suited for envelopes. Envelope layouts for die cutting are crazy, so our most common envelope sizes don’t lend themselves to the standard folio sizes. We wanted to be in a situation where we could stock rolls from our paper supplier that matched our layouts, sheet them to the right size, say 23″ x 29″, and have less paper waste. Not only would we be paying less per pound for paper but we would have less waste too.”

“Floor space was a consideration too. The old sheeter had two different six roll stands assemblies and was wide enough to stack only one pile across the machine. The two assemblies allowed for one set of rolls to be preshafted using an overhead hoist while the other assembly was in use. With a new sheeter capable of doing two pile work and using two shaftless self loading roll stands, we figured we could pretty much meet the production of the older sheeter with the new sheeter and use less space.”

Having identified justification for upgrading their sheeting operation, the owners first investigated buying preowned machinery. “We explored buying used equipment four to five months before contacting sheeter manufacturers. We couldn’t find a late model sheeter that fit our needs, recalls Matt Pusatera.

Matt recounted the stages of the purchasing decision. “Once the decision was made to buy new equipment, we did our own research to identify three manufacturers. After receiving proposals, we went to see the sheeters in the field and made a point of talking to the operators that ran them. We considered price in our decision and most offers were competitively priced. But we also favored a machine that was manufactured in this country. We didn’t want to risk waiting for a replacement part to be shipped from overseas, because I can not afford to have the sheeter down.”

envelope3Royal Envelope purchased a MSP Sheeter from Maxson Automatic Machinery Company (Westerly RI). Outfitted with two shaftless self loading roll stands, it also included a slitter rig to allow 56½” webs to be slit and trimmed to two 28″ wide sheets across the sheeter. The cutter’s electronic drive maintains sheet length to within +0.015″ tolerance, providing press ready sheets. Royal Envelope chose an elevated stacker to match the maximum pile height of their printing press.

The installation was choreographed with the removal of the older sheeter. It took 2½ days to install the sheeter and another 2½ days to train the operators. Put into service in February 2004, the MSP Sheeter has satisfied its intended need.

The sheeter, manned by a single operator, runs two shifts a day. It consumes two 50″ diameter rolls of paper within 50 minutes, delivering skids of sheets that are fed right into the press. Sheeting related problems in the printing department are down markedly as the internal quality controls insure square, accurate sheets free of dust. Material purchases, which can account for upwards to 70% of a job’s cost have been slashed by 20%.

By replacing the older sheeter with the precision unit, Royal Envelope is poised to compete for business twice the size it has been accustom to securing. Further, with additional sheeting capacity available it is positioned to offer its converting services to local commercial printers. In that way, Royal Envelope prospers as they continue their commitment to do whatever it takes to satisfy the customer.

Reprinted from The Sheeting Monitor, January 2004

Contract Sheeter Fills Quality and Service Voids

Company founders Norbert Schreiber and Mark Reinhardt were inspired in 1991 to form the contract sheeting venture Progressive Converting, Inc. (Pro-Con), Appleton WI. Having worked in the printing industry for many years, both men saw a definite need for a converter-to-the-trade that could offer fast turnarounds of high quality sheeted paper and board.

By 1993, Pro-Con had outgrown its original Neenah WI facility. It moved into its current, 115,000-sq-ft Appleton site, giving its employees a large, modern workplace with an additional amount of shop floor space, a daycare facility, and a break room. On a steady grow track ever since, Pro-Con built a second plant in Hazelton, PA in January 1996 and plans are now underway to add another 5,000 sq ft onto the Appleton site to accommodate additional sheeting business.

pro-conHow has Pro-Con become such a success? “It’s the hundreds of little things,” says Schreiber. “We have a system of constantly changing quality control methods to keep up with customer needs, and quality is always a given.” It provides quality assurance to customers by documenting every process from sheeting to distribution, including tolerance levels, spoilage and sheet cleanliness.

Pro-Con’s customers are primarily mills, merchants, and large printing companies in the U. S. and Canada. It provides specialty work such as precision folio sheeting and registration sheeting. Although the majority of their converting activity is centered on high end fine printing grades, Pro-Con converts bond, offset, enamel, poly coated, index, metallized paper, Tyvek, and board.

While the company’s main focus is sheeting, Pro-Con also offers contract services, such as slitting, rewinding, folio cartoning, and inventory/distribution and custom shipping labels.

Sheeter helps converter maintain breakneck pace

Recently, Pro-Con once again found itself in need of another sheeter. Its existing sheeters were running almost nonstop to keep pace with steady demand and new orders.

Pro-Con turned to Maxson for a machine that could be set up quickly, run continuously for extended periods of time and produce high cut quality. On time orders meant little if the cut quality was poor or if the sheeted stock isn’t piled in perfect “ice-block” condition, says Schreiber.

Maxson’s MSP Sheeter handles rolls up to 56 inches (1422 mm) and operates at speeds of up to 1,000 fpm (308 mpm). It sheets a wide variety of materials and can be equipped with a cut to register system capable of sheeting preprinted stock from watermark papers to holographic material. This unit’s compact design allows ease of use, easy set-up, and quick skid changes without compromising precision levels or quality levels.

“It provides an extremely clean cut and dust-free sheets,” says Schreiber. Pile quality is also continually superior , says Schreiber, due to the MSP’s Series 200 Stacker, which gives the pile their neat appearance.

The machine’s flexibility allows Pro-Con to run coated papers in weights of 60 lb, 70 lb, and 80 lb, as well as lightweight, coated label stock. On lighter weight papers the company runs the machine at 350-450 fpm (107-137 mpm); uncoated grades are processed at 700 fpm (213 mpm). “The machine is very efficient and provides a quick turnaround,” says Schreiber.

Pro-Con also purchased two Maxson Citation roll stands to enhance production. The roll stands, including one shafted roll stand, typically handle three webs of 60 lb paper at a time, increasing the company’s end product capacity off the machine threefold. “The MSP has been running hard 5 days a week, 24 hours a day since it was installed.” says Schreiber.

The Maxson MSP is capable of satisfying even the most demanding perfecting jobs, because it features electronic cutoff control with a dual motor drive system. The system provides a sheet length accuracy of ±0.015 inches (±0.381 mm), regardless of cutoff length or line speed. This allows Pro-Con to provide press-ready sheets off the sheeter directly to the customer.

“There is a difference with this drive,” says Schreiber. Our quality control methods have found it is very accurate, especially on cutoff length.” This user friendly drive allows size changes in just seconds via keypad entry. Using AC motors to match cutter speed with web speed, this system replaces the wear-prone components used in mechanical drives and eliminates waste traditionally associated with size changes.

Reprinted from Converting, November 1997

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