10 August 2023, UK - Leading magazine printer Buxton Press has improved productivity and efficiency with the installation of four CoBo Stack robot handling systems from Komori UK. The company is now the biggest adopter of the technology in the country.
The CoBo Stacks are attached to the company’s four Heidelberg folders. The Cobo Stacks have had an immediate impact.
Kirk Galloway, chief executive officer of Buxton Press, says: “We’re delighted to report that productivity on the folding machines has shot up, increasing by between 25% and 40% depending on the product – far exceeding our expectations.”
Buxton Press began its journey into robotics as a means to increase productivity and improve overall efficiency in the folding department and as a way to further streamline operations. An increasing flow of printed sheets might place an additional burden on folder operators who would need to load paper and unload folded sections to keep pace with the additional throughput.
This led to an investigation of the potential that robots might have for improving productivity, with Buxton looking at several possible approaches. This included the CoBo Stack from Komori MBO. This is a robot assistant able to work alongside a human operator to relieve the stress of handling up to 8 tonnes of paper in a shift. Put simply it takes a bundle of sections from the folder and positions them with precision on a pallet. One CoBo Stack can feed two pallets, moving from one to the next to maintain continuous production. For short runs, the CoBo Stack can load two sections to one pallet from the folder. Furthermore, the installation of the CoBo Stack does not increase the overall footprint of the folder.
“It ticked all the boxes,” Mr Galloway says, being compact, quiet, easy to use and without the need for a protective cage around the mechanism. He adds: “It seemed an immediately attractive solution with the potential to deliver the increased productivity and efficiency we were seeking while at the same time reducing the manual handling side of the operation, freeing our folder operators to be more productive in other areas.”
Now the company is turning its attention to one of the binding lines and the impact robot handling might have on efficiency in loading pallets with finished products. The CoBo Stack is on wheels to enable easy movement between different machines. “I have no doubt that production will similarly increase in that area,” Mr Galloway says.
“The advance in manufacturing technologies is both staggering and exciting and we are always interested in suitable innovations which will further improve our overall production efficiencies, helping us to take Buxton Press to the next level.”
Tom Baker, postpress sales specialist at Komori UK, says: “Buxton Press had clear goals and demonstrated the right attitude towards the equipment from the start. It has been a pleasure to work together with Buxton Press on their journey to improve productivity through automation. We now have 15 installed across the UK and Ireland and more due in the coming months, with over 250 installed globally.”