U.S. PRINTING COMPANY IS LABELLED FOR SUCCESS
Koch’s headquarters, based in a modern 70,000 sq ft plant is capable of providing customers with the full range of printing and converting services necessary to the label manufacturing process. Employing approximately 200 people, 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 Grafix, a sister company, is located in Michigan.
Koch Label can be classified as a label converter as well as a label printer. The company dedicates a large percentage of its Southern Indiana plant’s floor space to gravure printing machinery and through its partnership with Kal Grifix provides all three types of printing to its customers, rotogravure, flexographic and lithographic.
On the label converting end of the business, Koch provides many in-house services such as slitting and rewinding, sheeting in-line on press, diecutting and guillotine trimming. Roll to roll converting is also an option available to customers.
Due to the recent installation of a nine colour 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 quality printing job was off the press, possessing the capacity to convert roll 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 standalone option would be a 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. Absolute 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 downtime necessary for the frequent size changes.
After researching the various sheeters available, Koch Label chose the MSP Sheeter manufactured by Maxson Automatic Machinery Company.
‘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 fulfil 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 this press.
‘We successfully run 75gsm paper at 500 – 600fpm (152-183mpm) on the Maxon,’ comments Scheller.
The company utilizes the sheeter to run both coated and metallized paper.
The optimize the speed of set-up during roll changes, Koch Label selected the Citation Shaftless rollstand. This rollstand has a self-loading design and a 6,000lb (2727kg) load capacity. The Citation shaftless rollstand enables the operator to simply move the roll into place. The backstand’s easily operated controls allow the operator to ten 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 rollstand is equipped with automatic tension control that should assure the appropriate amount of brake pressure is applied.
The web conditioning unit includes web sheeting, a decurl 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 sheetlength 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 sheetlength. Comprised of two maintenance-free AC motors and a micro-processor controller, the drive allows the company to sheet to a finished size, saving both labour 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 sheetlength accuracy of ±0.008 inch (±0.203mm),’ explained Scheller.
The cutter drive includes an autosquaring feature that eliminates the need to manually adjust for squarenesss. The cutter provides a squareness accuracy of ±0.020 inches (±0.508mm). 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 enhancing by the airfoil overlap. This patented device eliminates jam-ups at the point of overlap on light weight 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 claims to provide 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 saving. 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 its 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.