Page 53 - Packaging News Magazine Nov-Dec 2018
P. 53

November-December 2018
for unused boxes, and in runs as short as they want, then it’s a match. That is what the latest generation of box making equipment provides.
The Autobox system from BCS will produce any sized box in any run length. There are no formes, no dies, and set-up takes just 60 sec- onds. With that kind of flexibility it is easy to see why the Autobox is be- ing taken up in increasing numbers in Australia; in fact, according to local agent Neil Southerington, the local market is second only to Mexi- co in installations for Autobox.
There are two versions of the Au- tobox, the 2m wide by 3m long, and the 2.6m wide by virtually any length. The former is mainly used for the on-demand market, while the wider version tends to find more in- dustrial applications. Boxes pro- duced on these machines can be used for any sized product up to mattresses or fridges, and unlike much traditional box manufactur- ing, which sees two pieces being cut
With no formes, no plates, no dies, the costs and time to produce boxes are slashed, giving smaller producers... the opportunity to get their product to market quickly and affordably.”
and stapled together and then going through a printing process, the whole process is done in one pass.
Southerington says, “The Auto- box goes hand in hand with the growth in e-commerce, with its de- mand for short runs, on-demand in custom sizes. The price per unit is virtually the same for 20 boxes as for 200 or for 2000.
“The Autobox is making a real im- pact, and helping businesses get their product to their customers at a cost they can afford. They are not paying to have air shipped around, there is no waste, and they can order according to demand: if they want 40 boxes one day, 190 the next, 425 the following week and 2000 the week after, that is what they pay to get, with no penalty for set up costs. The same goes for the online printing option, which is inkjet so there are no plates to be made.
“I had one customer who with his previous system of standard sized boxes was losing a whole layer on a pallet to air inside the boxes. Multiply that layer many times and you can see the costs of shipping that air around growing. Custom boxes cut that out.”
The nature of the Autobox quick set box maker, with no tools required, no die forme and no skilled labour, is a hit with traditional box making companies, but also with end users or indeed any business that needs cus- tom size boxes daily and does not want to place a minimum order.
The 2m-wide machine specifica- tions show the capabilities, and there is 60 seconds set-up from job to job, with 100 box styles from the touch screen or office laptop already pro- grammed in. Printing image area is up to 280mm wide, in one or two co- lour print. It produces bespoke
LEFT: BCS’ Autobox solution: Custom boxes
on demand, as showcased at packaging converter Orora’s recent Innovation Expo in Melbourne.
custom boxes in volumes of up to 1000 boxes per hour, and those boxes are true slotted boxes, not slit.
Southerington says, “With no formes, no plates, and no dies, the costs and time to produce boxes are slashed, giving smaller producers, say a bespoke candle maker, the opportu- nity to get their product to market quickly and affordably. You are saving $200 on a die straight up, before all the other cost savings, and a set of flexo plates could cost you up to $800, while printing from inkjet has no plates.”
Abbe Corrugated Packaging’s Box on Demand packaging solution, powered by Italian carton/packaging machine manufacturer Panotec, has had strong uptake in Australia.
According to Abbe, its Box on De- mand comprises software and pack- aging machinery that scans objects and produces precisely tailored boxes to fit, without the need for void fillers.
It does this with the help of fan- fold material – continuous lengths of corrugated cardboard folded in a concertina style at 1,150mm-wide increments. The cardboard can be cut to fit any desired box size, elimi- nating the need for void fillers, preventing product movement that can lead to damage in transit, and minimising the packaging material used by logistics companies.
“Essentially, what happens is the product will be sized by a three- dimensional scanner, then the machine will automatically produce a box to the exact size required from the fanfold material,” explains Dan- iel O’Sullivan, sales director at Abbe.
“Fanfold uses the complete space on a pallet, so it can be freighted long dis- tance at minimum cost, and can be made to different specifications for var- ied applications by flute style, width and strength of material,” he added.
Box on Demand is a ‘custom box for custom products’ solution that is well suited to helping tackle the de- mands put upon the manufacturing industry and third-party logistics providers by the rising popularity of online shopping, according to Dick Heintz, business development man- ager for Box on Demand Australia.

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