In the sports world, nothing gets the fans of a contending team more excited than when management decides to make a big trade. Nearly two years ago, Mark Smiley saw an opportunity to improve the back-end operations at Badger Paperboard, www.badgerpaperboard.com in Fredonia, Wisconsin. That’s when he traded an outdated, 100” Seybold paper cutter for an 85” Seybold unit rebuilt by Colter & Peterson, featuring the latest electronics and a separate ‘Flying Carpet” system. The trade turned out to be a winning move.
“With the complete cutting system we’ve added to our operation, it has increased our productivity levels by at least 25%. One of the leading reasons why, is the amount of down time that has been eliminated,” remarked Mr. Smiley, owner and president of the 60-employee company that he founded in 1990.
“Our old cutter had some serious mechanical issues and was no longer reliable. Colter & Peterson www.papercutters.com has a good reputation and they know how to build paper cutters. I knew exactly what I wanted, and the refurbished machine they delivered is an old warhorse that runs like new with the electronics and Microcut® computerized system.”
Badger Paperboard has grown tremendously as a leading national converter of custom chipboard, cornerboard and pallet slip sheets for Smiley, who began his career selling paperboard in the Midwest in the mid-1980s. In addition to Wisconsin headquarters about 30 miles north of Milwaukee, paperboard converting and warehousing facilities are located from coast-to-coast in Charlotte, North Carolina and Dallas; a manufacturing plant opened last month in Los Angeles County and joined an existing warehouse.
Servicing national accounts mostly in the commercial, retail, food and beverage and cosmetics industries, Badger Paperboard has established themselves as the go-to source for high quality work and quick turnaround.
“Our bread-and-butter is the lower end where we produce between 1-5 skids of material, and we usually get it done in 3-5 days before it is shipped out the door,” said Smiley, who reduced the paper cutter size based on the type of work they perform. “We cut everything from a minimum of 8-1/2” x 11” up to 30” x 40”, and the width size can have a larger master chipboard sheet for more output.”
Aiding the turnaround time is the “Flying Carpet” system, a Southworth lift table working in tandem with the refurbished cutter. Southworth was very popular for over 20 years until automated, more expensive Germany-style paper handling equipment reached the market around 1990.
Badger’s lift table was transformed into a speed delivery device with Microcut. The automated process is available for any brand or size paper cutter from 20-150 inches and dramatically improves production time for a fraction of the cost of a new machine. Microcut memorizes trim sequences instantly so the back gauge automatically positions itself for each cut.
“Our table has air nozzles and a few other features that is operator-friendly and makes for faster operation,” said Smiley, who has a two man crew work with the machine. “They put the pallets on the lift table in stacks of 6”-8”, and the air nozzles help scoop and float the reams of paper into the back end of the system. Everything is programmed to Microcut so it receives a precise cut.”
The rebuilt Seybold paper cutter also provides reassurance that Badger will make its deadlines.
“We are paper converters, not maintenance people. We perform regular service but it’s a shared responsibility with Colter & Peterson,” informed Smiley. “Our guys work with their technical reps and we’ve had no service issues in the two years the system has been here. It’s more conducive to how we do business.”
So impressed was Smiley, he recommended a sister company purchase a C&P paper cutter.
“American Converting in North Carolina was in need of a big cutter. They just installed a rebuilt 110” Lawson last month and are very happy with the early results.”