Kilby Packaging, situated in the Midlands, needed to meet the growing demand for customised boxes in larger forms and shorter runs at their corrugated manufacturing operation in Kettering. Kolbus UK director of sales Arran Sethi was persuaded that the Kolbus Autobox AB300, a short-run corrugated boxmaking machine, would be ideal.
Kilby Packaging Management Director James Kilby had only used a twenty-plus year old Autobox machine with limited capabilities, so he needed convincing. He and Ivan Eldred, Kettering's Site Manager, decided to see a demonstration at the Kolbus Autobox manufacturing plant in Houghton Regis.
The Kolbus Autobox AB300 was tested with a particular emphasis on productivity. The variety of styles that could be manufactured, as well as the tight tolerances, accurate programming, and manufacturing speed, were all demonstrated.
Kilby and Eldred were quick to notice the significant upgrades made to this new generation Kolbus Autobox machine: The wider format, up to 2,600mm width and limitless length; the formerly fixed interchangeable slotting knives; no minimum first panel size, previously 80mm; center set and much greater hold down throughout the entire width of the machine. On a four-slot box, the machine could produce nearly 700 boxes each hour.
The Autobox AB300's capabilities exceeded Kilby Packaging's expectations, and the fact that it was designed and constructed nearby was an added plus. Autobox offered quick access to engineering help and a full stock of spare parts.
Installation and training requirements were communicated in advance to ensure that delivery went well. Operators were completely trained and running live jobs in less than a week.
"The machine hasn't stopped working for us since day one," Eldred remarked. We have no complaints. It is creating the largest boxes imaginable in the heaviest board grades, as well as volumes that we never dreamed would pass through an Autobox. The ability to create both standard Fefco styles and custom setups is incredibly valuable."
"Autobox is the leading name in short-medium run production machinery," Sethi stated. Customers in the United Kingdom benefit greatly from a robust, local infrastructure of experienced sales and support personnel. Throughout the process, we worked closely with Kilby Packaging to ensure they knew exactly what to expect. What I enjoy most about my job is visiting a recent installation and hearing the only negative comment is that they wish they had purchased more. At Kolbus-Autobox, we have a saying: sales sell the first machine, service and support secure the additions. We take delight in accomplishing just that."