Describe your business
We are a 25-staff packaging business that mainly does trade printing on our 40-inch Komori Lithrone, and trade finishing. Through Graffica, we previously bought a 40-inch SBL diecutter, SBL guillotine and an SBL window facer. We’re a family business, based in Campbellfield and we were established about 30 years ago.
What have you bought?
It’s called a Smooth 106 – it’s a diecutter from Taiwanese firm SBL. It’s the new machine and is a completely new design. In 2003, we bought one of their 105s and it has been really good. It has 20,000 hours on it and hasn’t had a breakdown.
What does the new machine do?
It does all of our diecutting. We have had this particular machine elevated, so it suits litho-laminating work.
Why did you choose this product?
We were running two shifts and wanted to come back to one so that meant putting in another machine.
Did you consider any other products?
We have bought three machines from the same company and none of them have given us problems.
What features do you particularly like?
We have the ‘thin plate system’ on the cutter, which makes makeready times on existing jobs very quick. Instead of using a common cutting plate for every job, we put a thin 1mm shim on it, which has our makeready on it. The Smooth 106 has a lot of little things that are different, such as the pneumatic chase lock, while a lot of electrical things are different.
Is there anything you wish it had that it doesn’t?
Not really. We optioned it with everything we wanted.
How reliable is it?
Time will tell I guess! It has only been in a couple of months. But so far so good.
How fast is it?
It has a design speed of 8,000 sheets per hour so will comfortably run at that speed if the job suits. The typical jobs we run probably average 5,000-6,000 per hour.
How easy is it to use?
It is fairly user-friendly, but maybe not as user-friendly as the old one for a novice. The operator running my new machine came off a late-model diecutter so he had no issues at all and picked it up in no time. But the amount of electronic stuff makes them not as user friendly. There are hardly any buttons. It is a touchscreen and it is quite incredible. The old machine from 2003 has twice as any buttons than this one. It is completely different.
Has it saved time and money?
We would much prefer to be running just one shift. Previously we only had one 40-inch cutter in this size and it was running seven days a week, with two shifts for five of those. We never had a breakdown but if it had broken down, it would’ve out us in all sorts of trouble. So this puts us back to one shift and we won’t have to stress. It also increases our capacity. We were struggling with one machine. This has taken the pressure off.
Has it won you any new business?
Probably not: when we are chasing work, no one knows how we are doing it or what machines we are using. But it has definitely given us the capacity to take more work on. Previously we couldn’t take any more work on.
Were there any difficulties surrounding the install?
We had a few teething problems with the electricals but they have been sorted. This is the first in Australia of this model and about the 20th one made, so when ours went in they were still ironing out a few electrical issues. There were glitches in the programming, but we have updated the software and it has settled down. We had an engineer here for a week but that is not enough to find out everything, so we ran for a month and the engineer came back for and rectified all the issues. Since then we haven’t had any problems.
How has the service been?
As always with SBL, their service has been excellent. With every one of their machines we have put in, they have sent engineers from the factory to do the installation. We think it is important to have factory engineers to do installations and training. We have had very few problems with any of the machines. Graffica has also been very good.
Who do you think it is right for?
It is a top-of-the-line diecutter and is a bit more expensive than other models so would be more suitable for medium- to high-volume packaging companies
Would you buy another one?
We are currently in negotiations for another machine.
MIG needed additional capacity to cope with the company’s growth. Shane first thoughts were for another SBL-1050SE to compliment the machine he had already. However, the extra features and overall improved performance led to the installation of the first Smooth 106 in Australia. The sale is exceptionally good news for Graffica. SBL and Graffica have been partners for many years. To have a new high-performance diecutter to market here is great news.
Neil Southerington, Graffica
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