BOBST has set up a certification program for die-makers manufacturing tooling for its Autoplaten die-cutting presses. Optimally-made cutting tools ensure maximum quality, productivity and reliability on die-cutting presses.
Swiss-based Lasertec AG is the first die-maker to complete the certification, and the company looks forward to consolidating and expanding its market position.
“In recent years, BOBST has really developed the Autoplaten die-cutters to the highest levels. It is extremely impressive what BOBST die-cutters can do across all blank formats today,” stresses Stefan Traub, CEO of Lasertec AG. However, to ensure a constant production performance of up to 12,000 strokes per hour, converters need high-quality, premium cutting tools. Without high-quality tools, production losses of up to 20 percent may sometimes be taken into account, and the investment in a BOBST die-cutter would be harder to justify economically.
BOBST has recognized this potential for process optimization and is now offering die-makers a special certification program that allows them to provide optimal cutting, stripping and blanking tools to their customers. With the new generation of Autoplaten, the requirements for toolmaking have increased enormously. That’s where the certification program comes in. The goal is to reduce setup times for the Autoplaten user to the absolute minimum, to keep the quality level constant for the whole order, and to extend service life as much as possible. The certification helps die-makers to optimize their internal processes, speed up delivery times, and at the same time consolidate and expand their marketing position. The program is designed for die-makers who can make stripping and blank separating tools as well as pure cutting dies. BOBST will adjust the number of certified die-makers to the size of a country’s respective market.
Die-cutting, to a Swiss-quality standard
To get the certification program on track, BOBST asked a long-term partner onboard first. Lasertec AG is not only a customer, but also produces tools for BOBST Headquarters’ Competence Center. Thanks to this close cooperation, Lasertec AG knows exactly what requirements BOBST places on the tools. Stefan Traub points out that it is always worth looking out for opportunities to improve even further: “Although Lasertec is known in the industry for uncompromising quality and timely deliveries, it makes sense to go through this kind of program. There are always adjustment screws worth turning.”
We don’t just sell cutting dies, but reliability too
“The Lasertec Group has two sites in Switzerland (Reinach near Basel and Schlieren). This configuration allows us to serve the market with tools in a timely manner and with the desired quality”, CEO Traub says. The company’s customers include packaging manufacturers who process folding carton and corrugated board, commercial printers and plastics manufacturers who need molds for plastic packaging. Astounding for a high-priced country is the fact that Lasertec AG’s export rate stands at around 25 percent. “Our customer with long run productions abroad recognize the added value, which is what they get when they buy our tools, and they’re ready to pay for it. We don’t just sell tools, we also sell production reliability.”
Like all links in the printing and packaging industry value creation chain, die-making is subject to a lot of price pressure and competition. “Prices decrease, but at the same time everything is expected to go even faster. This scenario doesn’t allow for any errors. The situation also makes certification a good idea,” says Traub. As a first step, the Reinach site – where 16 employees produce cutting dies, counter plates, stripping tools and blanking tools of the highest quality – was certified.
The certification process
During the certification program, the structure of the company is investigated. Thanks to dedicated training programs, the employees’ expertise is raised to a state-of-the-art level, the technical infrastructure and processes are evaluated, and quality control is checked to its very core. Technologically speaking, cutting die production may have little room left for improvement. Improvements are mainly found in stripping and blanking tools, which contribute to additional efficiency increases of the BOBST Autoplaten. For this purpose, BOBST has the Hybridsetter in its portfolio. It automates the production of upper stripping tools with consistency and high precision. It is part of a whole package of hardware, software and consumables that makes dynamic stripping more efficient.
As the first official certified die-maker in the program, Lasertec AG has helped to demonstrate how the certification process will work in practice, to the benefit of all parties.
It was clear to BOBST that the Reinach site fully met the requirements of the certification. For example, as part of their production process, Lasertec AG has a quality control routine that makes sure the tool will fit the Autoplaten. This assures the customer that every tool will have short setup times, consistent quality from the first stroke to the last, and a long service life. For long runs, uptimes of a million strokes are not unusual. The certification applies to the individual; in the Lasertec Group’s case, this means two employees have followed a dedicated training program, which will be followed by annual workshops with BOBST tooling specialists.
Stefan Traub is extremely positive about BOBST certification. It is a confirmation that the company is on the right path, and it offers the possibility for continuous development. And he also expresses pride: “For us at Lasertec AG, the certification is a type of accolade that will allow us to maintain and expand our market position in a tough competitive environment. We also see opportunities to increase our export activities.”
BOBST’s die-maker certification not only provides an extra badge of quality for die-makers, it also allows them to have access to the latest technology, process and equipment updates. Ultimately, this may help to enable companies to develop innovative solutions that could well improve die-making even further in the future.
Source: Company Press Release.