Bobst digital inspection table drives quality control at The Cardboard Box Company

Packaging Solutions

UK corrugated sheet plant, The Cardboard Box Company, has become the first site in the world to take delivery of a pioneering digital inspection table from Bobst.

Designed to enhance print quality control and virtually remove production errors, the new digital inspection table from Bobst is a novel technology that incorporates digital projection for the proofing of printed sheets and die cut blanks, whilst providing real time visual representations to match product with digital proofs.

The installation at The Cardboard Box Company came as part of a dynamic investment drive to transform business performance and open doors to new market opportunities, including improved handling of complex substrates and high speed, fast turnaround jobs.

Ken Shackleton, managing director of The Cardboard Box Company, said: ‘The digital inspection table is a wonderful piece of British manufacturing that complements our print investment perfectly. We have invested in some truly fantastic assets over the past year that are already having a significant impact on the success of our business. The digital inspection table takes us to another level in terms of quality and customer satisfaction.

‘It truly is at the cutting edge of quality control technology and was an absolute must in terms of our investment plans. I have never seen anything like it before and for our customers, it demonstrates our commitment to getting jobs right the first time, every time. It also offers our customers reassurance in that the table makes quality checking much more precise and all checks are recorded and stored, plus they can be sent to the customer should they require them.’

Developed by Bobst, in collaboration with innovation partner, HE Inventions, the digital inspection table uses HD projectors to illuminate the product sample with quality control imaging, enabling the operator to easily see if quality standards are matched or compromised.

In addition, the layout file can also be projected on to the sheet so that print registration can be checked and adjusted, removing the need for overlays and print minis and moving the process from paper to digital.

Paul Willer, Bobst regional services manager, commented: ‘This technology changes the game in print quality control for the industry and brings enormous value to The Cardboard Box Company. It drives efficiency along the entire production line, helping the company to achieve outstanding final product quality, increase productivity, reduce waste and enhance operator skills. We have also incorporated the company’s own colour management system into the table to optimise its performance further.

‘It drastically reduces the time spent checking jobs and significantly limits the risk of operators missing any errors in the print. Furthermore, it enables faster job set up and more accurate quality control from beginning to end. As it is a paperless system, it eliminates sites’ library of tracings, freeing up valuable space on the factory floor.’

The digital inspection table offers a range of features, including warp analysis, automated quality tracking and performance management. These features are designed to provide a sophisticated methodical system, enabling and promoting higher quality production.

Salford-based HE Inventions collaborated with Bobst to develop the table. John Hardy, a company founder, said: ‘The table uses a technology called spatial augmented reality. It is an important upcoming technology that really has the wow factor.

‘Bobst shares our drive to lead the way in developing the future of manufacturing - and that has been key to the success of the partnership. The digital inspection table enhances human intuition with the capabilities of machines and is a fantastic example of research in practice.’


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