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Corrugated Sheet Plant Cartonnages du Dauphiné Sees 30% Productivity Uplift

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Cartonnages du Dauphiné, located in Champ Pres Froges, France, was the beta testing site for the BOBST EXPERTFOLD 165, taking delivery of the machine in November 2014. Compared with the folder-gluer it replaced, the EXPERTFOLD at the plant has raised productivity by 30% in its first year of production, with room for further improvement, and the company can now manufacture and sell a much wider range of box styles.

Pascal Olier, GM of Cartonnages du Dauphiné, said this past week that "a big part of the increase in productivity was from the faster setting times of the EXPERTFOLD. On some jobs, we have cut them by as much as half compared with the machine it replaced. That is important for a sheet plant like us because our folder-gluers have to make-ready many times a day. Also, this new machine runs more consistently, with better control of the box during the folding process, which improves quality and further increases productivity."

Several design elements of the new EXPERTFOLD deliver this faster make-ready, improved consistency, and higher quality. These include a Matic system for the automatic setting of carriers and job parameters, as well as an ACCUFEED blank alignment system that ensures precise entry of the blank to the folding section. The design of the folding section itself minimizes fishtailing and gap, its extra length creating smoother folding. This, along with innovative new creasing units at the entry, delivers the high folding quality that manufacturers need today. A high accuracy pre-breaker ensures excellent box performance on machine-erect lines, which many brand owners now demand.

"Having the EXPERTFOLD means we can satisfy the quality conformity requirements that our customers write into their contracts with us, and we can also better meet their deadlines. Along with this, the EXPERTFOLD has given us the ability to offer our customers new box types and sizes such as four- and six-point boxes and special types of boxes. With the EXPERTFOLD, our possibilities have reached new dimensions," explained Olier.

Cartonnages du Dauphiné serves the metalworking, electrical and electronic equipment, chemicals, food processing, and distribution sectors and is a classic corrugated industry sheet plant, achieving a turnover of just over EUR 7 million from its plant in the foothills of the French Alps. The company traces its roots back to 1931 when it was established as a family business in Grenoble. In 1986, the company was purchased by the French GIEPAC group and nine years later moved to new, 26'000 sq. meter premises in Champ Pres Froges, 30 km away. In 1998, GIEPAC became part of SAICA which, in 2010, sold the plant along with two others--Cartembal, which is located near Montpellier and Cartonnages du Beaujolais, which is near Lyon. The purchasers created a new French packaging group, Carsudest.
"With our sister companies we give the group excellent geographical, production capacity and product synergy. It means that Carsudest customers get access to the complete corrugated box product range and, because of our SME structure, we offer customers the flexibility and responsiveness they need today," said Olier.

The specialties of Cartonnages du Dauphiné are small and mid-size boxes, self-erect boxes, die-cut packaging--either delivered flat to customers or folded and glued, Point of Sale (POS) packaging, POS displays, and promotional packaging. Aware that one of their existing folder-gluers was struggling to meet the demands upon it, Olier contacted all of the major suppliers of this type of equipment, but soon discovered that BOBST had the most complete and interesting solution, which was to install the first EXPERTFOLD 165 line, then approaching its beta development stage.
"As well as the proposed technical features of the machine, it was comforting to know that BOBST has an excellent image in the market for supporting its customers. It was a perfect experience, almost as if it was not a beta machine but a fully industrialized one. The machine performed beautifully and the BOBST technicians and their R&D team were always by our side, no matter the problem or challenge. That's all we could ask for,"
Olier noted.
The folder-gluer, which is available in two sizes--EXPERTFOLD 145 and EXPERTFOLD 165--and in several variants, has been designed with the needs of both sheet plant and integrated manufacturers of fluted boxes in mind. In particular, the folder-gluer has been designed to be very robust, which means high levels of up-time and excellent control of the blank.
Because it is modular in design, EXPERTFOLD can be specified to meet the customer's current needs but grow with their business. The EXPERTFOLD 165 model is able to fold and glue substrates from N-flute to A-flute, including double wall and litho-laminates, and can handle blanks of up to 1,700 x 1,100 mm in size and up to 25 mm thick when folded. The flexibility of the line means that it can process blanks as small as 296 x 60 mm.

The feedback about the EXPERTFOLD 165 from the shop-floor has been very positive, said Olier. "The operators think it is a real pleasure to work with. They were very motivated to get a latest generation machine and they are very happy by how easy and fast the machine is to set and to run. They say it's because of the intuitive way the machine has been conceived. Everything is very open when they make-ready and everything is at a good working height. Then when they start running, the light barriers make it very safe."

Olier added that the EXPERTFOLD delivery unit has made packing easier. "The packers at the end of the line are especially happy with the delivery because the speed does not depend on the machine running speed, so they can pack without stress."

Olier said that the EXPERTFOLD 165 has been a ‘big plus' for the company as a whole. "The integration went smoothly, we now have reliable production, higher productivity, better quality, and we have been able to reduce our labor requirement. Smaller companies like us constantly need to improve our performance in terms of competitiveness, delivery times, and quality. The EXPERTFOLD 165 helps us do that.

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