An investment in precision
Karl Knauer's ultra-efficient die-cutting department
Second phase of upgrading successfully completed
“In essence, what applies to die-cutting also applies to our process strategy. We're taking away everything that isn't an essential part of adding value to products, and this is taking us closer to achieving a perfect, lean end result,” explains Michael Deronja, Managing Director at Karl Knauer KG. In terms of Karl Knauer’s strategy focus on die-cutting, this means investing in a new generation of machines by 2023 and, in doing so, reducing the number of lines from five down to four. By the time the die-cutting department upgrade is complete, productivity, i.e. sheet output, will have increased by 20 percent and there will be two state-of-the-art 3b format and two size 6 format machines available for use. “We replaced the machine at the heart of the die-cutting department with a new Bobst EXPERTCUT 145 PER die-cutter back in 2019 as part of the first upgrade phase and now, in phase 2, we’ve successfully installed and commissioned a second new machine, the Bobst MASTERCUT 106 PER 3.0. And last but not least, the final phase will see a third new die-cutter in place by 2023."
Optimal speed and minimal changeover times result in greater efficiency
Although it all sounds pretty straightforward, it has required enormous investment in terms of financial, logistical and human resources. The second new machine for the die-cutting department may only weigh half of the EXPERTCUT 145 purchased in 2019, but still weighs an impressive 32 tonnes. The delivery and installation of the new system took around five weeks and required utmost concentration from the Bobst team and the team at Karl Knauer. Now that the machine is in place and has successfully completed its test phase, the new heavyweight at Karl Knauer is ready to impress with its unmatched performance capabilities. According to both the company and the manufacturer, the MASTERCUT 106 PER 3.0 has set a new standard within the packaging industry with its speed of 11,000 sheets per hour; not only in terms of productivity but also with regard to cost-efficiency. On top of this, it offers innovative functions that significantly simplify set-up and operation as well as precision and reliability-related processes. Intensive training was necessary for the Karl Knauer die-cutting team to be able to use all of the machine's features and options. This took place alongside the installation and commissioning process.
Tight production schedules and further upgrading
As well as providing familiarisation and training sessions for members of the die-cutting department, Bobst also supported establishing the job set-ups for upcoming projects. By doing so, the system enables optimised, significantly shorter set-up times to be achieved. And this is important because, as is the case everywhere: time is money and there is rarely an abundance of it. Even at Karl Knauer AG, the day could do with having more hours in it. For once the MASTERCUT 106 PER 3.0 is reliably up and running, the dismantling of its no longer needed predecessor is set to go ahead in July 2021. And then it will be time to prepare for the final phase of upgrading. By 2023, the third new machine will also be in place at the Biberach site and will prove that short runs can be as cost-efficient as volume orders in Germany.