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Hatteras Increases Focus on Packaging with BOBST Die-Cutting Technology

Press release from the issuing company

Mex, Switzerland—A BOBST VISIONCUT 106 die-cutter has levelled up finishing capabilities and output for New Jersey-based printing company, Hatteras, as the 40-year-old business expands its offering for the packaging market. With contactless sheet registration systems, inline blanking and stripping, and continuous smooth feeding, the highly automated machine is allowing Hatteras to meet tighter deadlines and high quality requirements, while also attracting new staff.

A company with a diverse product portfolio and matching customer base, Hatteras is known for its dedication to excellent service and close customer relationships. Based in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, it comprises cutting-edge offset, digital, and large format printing complemented by in-house mailing, fulfilment, warehousing, assembly, and distribution. Its packaging division offers a full range of solutions for brands including folding cartons, rigid boxes, sleeve packaging, and point-of-sale displays.

“Our current mix of work is diverse, ranging from marketing collateral to direct mail, to packaging, to retail signage and event graphics. In the past few years, we’ve become more focused on packaging, specifically folding cartons, and this is where the new BOBST die-cutter comes into play for us,” said President Bill Duerr, whose father started the company in 1983.

“As a fourth-generation printer, I’m extremely focused on aligning our capabilities and services with the needs of the marketplace,” he continued. “So, as we forge ahead into packaging, which is a highly competitive space, we are up against players with decades of specialized experience. This means we must combine our great service offering with the best equipment available to deliver high quality and economical packaging solutions.”

Automation changes perception

Due to these considerations, Hatteras decided to increase its die-cutting capabilities significantly by installing a BOBST VISIONCUT 106 LER Autoplaten® die-cutter with stripping stations and inline blanking, and contactless sheet registration systems. Bringing speed, flexibility, and maximum uptime, the new VISIONCUT replaced an older die-cutter at Hatteras, and with output speeds of up to 8,000 sheets/hour, has tripled its capacity overnight.

By combining all die-cutting processes in one workflow, the company has completely overhauled its efficiencies, moving from labor-intensive manual methods to fully automated stripping and blanking for non-stop delivery of high-quality cartons and boxes.

Bill explains how this fundamental change in working methods has positively impacted the company and the staff, saying, “The VISIONCUT has given our team a whole new outlook and a new way of thinking. Rather than just throwing more people at a job, we’ve made the decision to invest in more advanced, highly automated equipment with more precision tooling. This strategy also allows us to deliver the product much faster without compromising on quality to meet the high demands of our packaging customers.”

Attracting more talent

Another distinct advantage for Hatteras is the user-friendly and simple operation of the VISIONCUT, which features a large, full color Human Machine Interface (HMI) SPHERE offering intuitive navigation. Full step-by-step instruction guides help operators through the entire set-up process with ease, meaning Hatteras can quickly train existing staff or new inexperienced recruits. Furthermore, the opportunity to work with the latest BOBST die-cutting equipment has pulled in highly trained operators from elsewhere.

“Skilled operators are becoming harder and harder to find and the whole industry is challenged with general staff shortages, so the equipment needs to do more work,” said Bill. “Having the latest and greatest technology also allows us to attract talent that may not have considered us in the past. They know from experience what the BOBST machine can do and the difference this level of automation can make to an operator’s daily life.”

He continued, “We’ve been really fortunate because we have some guys who have been here a while running the old equipment, but we’ve also been able to bring in some new staff who helped us hit the ground running, brought our other guys along, and then shared their knowledge with the production planning and estimating teams, so it’s all connected.”

Ready for a future in packaging

Compromising regarding production equipment rarely offers the best returns in the long run. While some machines can save money upfront, the lack of productivity and consistent product quality will over time cause regret. Hatteras learned that lesson in the past which was instrumental in investing with BOBST again.

“Our relationship with BOBST is not new, but we bought a cheaper, less advanced machine from another manufacturer some years ago. It’s perfectly fine and works ok, but it just hasn’t given us the productivity of a BOBST which would have taken us much further than we are now. It was not the right choice, but we have acknowledged that and this time we went to the best in the industry,” explained Bill.

Now with the VISIONCUT 106 LER firmly installed, Hatteras is ready for the next chapter of its evolution as the company sets its sights on becoming a bigger player in the packaging segment. The versatile machine can convert paper from 70 g/m2 (.004 in) to carton and solid board of 2000 g/m2 (.060 in) and even light corrugated board of up to 4 mm (.160 in), giving Hatteras plenty of scope to expand its applications and bring in more customers.

Bill concluded, “I have always seen BOBST as the gold standard when it comes to carton converting and die-cutting in particular, and I’m really happy with the direction that we’re heading in now with the VISIONCUT 106. To be honest, I think we’ve only just scratched the surface regarding the efficiencies it will bring and the quality. Put simply, it’s changed our whole mindset as a company, and that’s awesome!”


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